As MotoGP looks at cost cutting proposals to help teams and manufacturers in the face of the global economic crisis, which appears to have claimed Kawasaki as its first premier-class casualty, here are the possible negative implications of some of the proposed rule changes which could come into effect for the 2009 or 2010 seasons...

A freeze on engine development: Teams down on engine performance know they will remain that way until the freeze ends (after one or two seasons) and it goes against the spirit of world championship racing to not be able to improve the product on track.

Some system to address engine reliability problems must also be in place, since there might be legal consequences if teams were forced to continue using engines they discovered had 'faulty' parts. However such systems can then be abused, with parts designed to address reliability 'coincidently' increasing performance, as has happened in F1.

Extending engine lifespan: Whilst extending engine life to two or even three grands prix weekends before each rebuild appears a simple way to cut maintenance costs, it would need to be reinforced with some form of penalty system. Make the penalty for an early engine change (loss of grid positions, points etc) too severe and a world championship could be decided by it, make the penalty too light and the rule won't be observed.

Limiting testing: If teams can't test on the track then the importance of using ever more realistic, and expensive, computer simulation systems increases. These simulation systems can be run 24/7 at the factory headquarters.

Reduce track time on a grand prix weekend: Fans might well expect ticket prices to drop proportionally.

One spare bike per team: The idea of this is that two riders in a team will share one spare bike, freeing up machinery for more race teams without asking the manufacturers to build more bikes. But what about one rider teams and what will happen in the case of a flag-to-flag race where both riders want to change bikes in the pits?

It should also not be forgotten that 'cost cutting' almost always means 'job cutting'...



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