Phil Baker worked with MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden
(2004-10) and race winner Chris Vermeulen
(2007-10) before setting up his own company, SA 1 Management.
The US-based Brit then managed Factory Yamaha MotoGP star Ben Spies and now works with reigning Moto2 world champion Stefan Bradl, who is stepping up to MotoGP this season with LCR Honda.
Got a question for Phil? Simply post your questions for the next instalment of Baker's Dozen
within the comments section below...
What were the most interesting things, in your opinion, to emerge from the Sepang MotoGP test?
Everyone was waiting to see where the Ducatis were in relation to the Hondas and Yamahas. Although Ducati and Valentino put on a positive face, I was personally disappointed to see Vale over a second back and a distant fifth to the factory Hondas and Yamahas.
I was also surprised at how visible the straight-line speed difference was between the manufacturer MotoGP bikes and the CRT bikes. I fear that we are set for two races in one this season, as the gap between the two is very significant at present.
I was really impressed with the way that Stefan Bradl adapted to his first time on the 1000cc bike, gradually closing the gap down to a second to Valentino in fifth.
Why does Yamaha have no title sponsor for its Factory team? How important is it to have one?
I am extremely impressed with Yamaha's approach on this. Unlike other teams in the past, they will not undersell the title sponsorship position. This ultimately undervalues the whole paddock and makes a mockery of such partnerships. It is important to have a title sponsor, especially if you are a smaller satellite team, but I like Yamaha's approach of settling for associate sponsors and looking in-house to subsidise their program, while at the same time constantly looking for the title sponsor.
How much are MotoGP riders paid?
This ranges greatly. I don't think it is any secret that Valentino sits at the top by quite some margin and then it dwindles down to some riders having to earn the majority of their money through personal sponsors. The climate for rider salaries has changed dramatically in the past three years and the knock-on effect drips down throughout the whole paddock. I can't give specific figures, but I can say that I believe that they all deserve every penny they earn.
What do you think about the CRT idea?
I understand the concept, but having been involved with the sport back in the 990cc days, I have to say it's not my preference. I understand the current climate requires us to look at cheaper and more affordable methods of racing, but this is the elite level of the sport and there is nothing like seeing a 'real' GP bike sliding through a corner.
Do you know what the 2012 Yamaha livery will look like?