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HRC still against control ECU and rev limit

2 November 2012

HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto says a proposal from MotoGP manufacturers to help lower costs and improve the show will be delivered 'soon'.

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has touted the possibility of a control ECU and rev-limit from 2014, unless the three remaining manufacturers can come up with an alternative method of achieving the cost-show goals.

In a wide-ranging interview with Speed TV's Dennis Noyes, Nakamoto made clear his annoyance at speculation regarding the 2014 rules.

The Japanese, whose Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner will finish second and third in this year's MotoGP standings, added that discussions within the MSMA are moving forward.

"We are making a proposal, but this is a confidential issue. You will know soon... We are doing this step-by-step. Next year we will go from six engines [per rider, per season] to five," said Nakamoto, who joined HRC in 1983 and was a senior figure at the Honda F1 team from 2000-2008.

Asked what he would do if he was in charge of MotoGP rather than HRC, Nakamoto responded that his first decision would be to remove the single tyre rule.

"[With open tyre rules] at some circuits one company makes a better tyre and at other circuits another. This means there are changes, surprises, improvement," he explained, citing the example of Makoto Tamada's race wins in 2004.

Nakamoto added: "The tyre grip level is so very good [now]... You cannot make sliding if the grip is so good."

Nakamoto was less specific in terms of cost savings, but sees little benefit from either a control ECU or rev limit.

"The factories are interested in development... If someone decided on a single ECU we would have no chance of development [in MotoGP]," he said, citing Superbike, the All-Japan Championship and Honda Testing Facilities as possible alternatives.

Then came one of the most revealing comments, which sheds light on the difficult balancing act needed to reach a compromise between Dorna, the manufacturers and the cash-strapped independent race teams.

Nakamoto appeared to suggest that major cost-cutting is not his priority because - since HRC views the money it spends in MotoGP as essential R&D - any savings that result from harsh MotoGP restrictions will just be spent developing similar technology outside of the sport.

"...Anyway, we spend the money, we will use the budget anyway, but it is better [to spent it] here [in MotoGP]."

Nakamoto stated that having a control ECU - which Honda, Yamaha and Ducati are all unhappy about - unilaterally imposed by Dorna would be a "crazy" decision. He used the same word to describe a rev limit, since "Honda must make a new engine and this is a big cost."

Despite the difference in opinions, Nakamoto stressed that talks with Ezpeleta are both friendly and progressing.


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