Dorna Sports has announced that former director of Bridgestone Motorsport, Hiroshi Yasukawa, has been appointed as an advisor to company CEO, Carmelo Ezpeleta.
"I'm very proud that we can now count on the experience of Hiroshi Yasukawa who has had close ties with the sport for many years,” said Ezpeleta.
“He is an important and respected man who can bring a lot to the FIM MotoGP World Championship as we continue looking for ways to improve it. We're pleased with the fact that MotoGP will continue to benefit from his knowledge".
Dorna Sports acquired the commercial rights for MotoGP in 1991, and Ezpeleta joined the company in March of that year. In 1994 he was named Executive Director and in 1998 became CEO.
The big question is why Ezpeleta feels he now needs an advisor, and what Dorna hopes Yasukawa can specifically achieve.
Yasukawa (pictured with F1 boss Berne Ecclestone) oversaw Bridgestone's worldwide racing activities from 1997 to 2011, and is therefore a familiar figure to all the major motoring manufacturers.
Add in Yasukawa's Japanese nationality and it can be speculated that Dorna hopes the appointment will help improve communications between the rights holder and the all-important Japanese factories heading into the new 2012 era.
"It's a great honour to continue my career in this fantastic environment thanks to Dorna,” said Yasukawa. “Our relationship was always great throughout the time that I was working with Bridgestone, and I think I can help the continued development of the Championship.
“MotoGP has great potential lying ahead, and in the coming years we'll have to tackle new challenges and bring into existence the most appropriate changes to make the MotoGP World Championship even more thrilling and spectacular.”
Of the present four MotoGP manufacturers, Ducati, Honda and Yamaha intend to participate in the new 1000cc era, but Suzuki - which has reduced its involvement to just a single bike this year - is yet to signal its intentions.
Another Japanese manufacturer, Kawasaki, withdrew from MotoGP at the end of 2008.