Interview: Carmelo Ezpeleta On A Spec ECU For CRT Bikes, Subsidizing Factories And MotoGP In Asia

Much was expected of Friday's Grand Prix Commission meeting at Assen, which was set to discuss the major changes coming in MotoGP. The results of that meeting turned out to be a damp squib rather than the expected revolution, as decisions on the big changes were pushed further down the road. On Saturday morning, the day of the race, MotoMatters.com spoke to Carmelo Ezpeleta about those expected rule changes, and about the reasoning behind them.

In the discussion, Ezpeleta told MotoMatters.com that his main aim was to both reduce costs and increase the entertainment value of the series. Part of that would be by helping the CRT bikes where they are weak: the electronics are a major issue for the CRT bikes, and Dorna have enlisted the help of Magneti Marelli to provide the CRT machines with a standard ECU, developed using their extensive experience gained from racing in MotoGP. A rev limit is still on the cards, but whether this will be introduced in 2014 or 2015 is as yet unclear.

While unpopular with a lot of people, Ezpeleta laid out exactly why the rule changes are needed: Dorna is in the entertainment business, and is subsidizing both the teams and factories to race in MotoGP. That contribution is substantial, and the only way to keep the series viable is by keeping costs low. Expanding the popularity of the series was also important, and to that end, MotoGP will be going to Southeast Asia in either 2014 or 2015, though Ezpeleta was coy on exactly where that would be. Here's what Carmelo Ezpeleta had to tell MotoMatters.com at Assen:

MotoMatters: I would like to ask you about the new rules for MotoGP, the rules which are coming in 2014 or 2015.

Carmelo Ezpeleta: We are still discussing. I will continue with the same philosophy, that we need to reduce the costs, and we need to balance out a little bit more the big difference between the bikes. I'm not saying that the only solution is the CRT, and of course from next year, we will improve the CRT bikes. We are talking right now with Magneti Marelli, trying to make our own ECU, more developed, which we will give to all the CRT teams that they will be able to use from next year. I think this will improve also the possibilities of the CRT bikes. And of course for 2014 I continue thinking there is a possibility to limit the number of revs, and one ECU the same for everybody. I don't know if this will be for '14 or '15, but we will continue with this idea. But still there are discussions with manufacturers.

MM: Would the rev limit be for 2014 or 2015?

CE: We are still discussing. We have been speaking since February, and we have said that we will say everything before the end of this season. There is still plenty of time, but still we are in discussions.

MM: How do you think the manufacturers will respond? Are they looking favorably at these suggestions?

CE: Well, this is changing, because some days they agree, then other days they say no, and then they continue saying that for them the most important thing is to develop technology, and we say for us the most important thing is entertainment. So we are more or less in marketing discussions, more than anything, let's say.

MM: CRT will continue to be a very important part of the series.

CE: Yes. But I think it's important to understand very well that CRT has been just a name. It's a name which has been meant to help the number of bikes on the grid. And you can see that the bikes are not far away, you know? Look at the times, the worst is 3.6 seconds from the first, and the difference in the cost is incredible [The cost of the complete Gresini FTR Honda CRT bike is around 1% of HRC's MotoGP budget - Editor]. It's not a bad solution, it's not a bad solution. And if I help them with a better ECU and I can reduce the times by one second, we will have all the grid in 2.6 seconds, which is precisely the gap we had three years ago spending three times the money for everything. This is not a bad solution.

Because the number is the only thing you cannot discuss. If this is OK or not, if it serves the technology level the manufacturers want, this we need to discuss, but in fact this is done. Now it is a proposal from some of the manufacturers to provide from 2014 bikes to be sold at a cost of around 1 million euros per season, including parts and whatever. OK, let's see how that works. But in fact what is the most important thing is we want to maintain the close races, make them more like the races in Moto2 and Moto3, at a reasonable cost.

And this is something that to be honest I don't understand why we are still discussing about this. Because the world is in the economic mess that it is, and I can't understand how it is that people are still discussing why we need to reduce the costs. And reducing the costs is not one bike or two bikes, something like this, in the meantime we are doing many things to reduce the costs. When we discussed reducing the costs, we said, OK, change to steel brakes. Then we said, what is the problem with the carbon brakes? The problem is just the price. OK, let's continue with the carbon brakes, but reduce the price. How? By making an agreement with the carbon brake manufacturers. The following thing may be suspension.

And one bike or two bikes? Well, maybe we have a good solution for one bike for the flag-to-flag, and to make it more safe, and to maintain the entertainment. But then maybe today in the warm up a rider will crash one bike, and he cannot participate in the race, this is not good. We need to reduce the costs in the things that are not helping the entertainment. That is the philosophy. And OK, I realize I have to wait for people to understand this philosophy.

MM: I've spoken to both Lin Jarvis and Livio Suppo about the need to increase income as well as reducing costs. How can we get more income into the series?

CE: Increasing income is very difficult. It is exactly the same, if we talk about look at what is the problem in the south of Europe: they built a lot of houses that they don't sell. How you can sell a lot of houses? Reducing a lot the price. There is not any other discussions, there are not any other massive things, because the situation economically is, increasing the income... Why does a fantastic team like Yamaha not have a title sponsor? It's not because they are not working well, it's because this is so difficult. But from the other side, many of the resources are coming from us. Because on the entertainment side, from television and whatever, we are obtaining money which we are then passing to the teams.

And this is something that the people don't realize, that I am paying the manufacturers. I am paying the manufacturers. And my contribution to the manufacturers is bigger than what it costs to be a title sponsor. And it's important to discuss about increasing revenues, OK, it's up to them, they can increase and I will be very happy if they increase the revenues.

The situation is very difficult, but it is a question of price. If you are looking for a title sponsorship at x amount of money as it was in the past, you will never reach it for exactly the same reason you are not selling houses at the same price as five years ago. But why do you need to have a main sponsor? Because you cannot cover the cost of participation yourself. If the cost of participation is less, you will need less sponsors, or maybe nothing, maybe you can do it yourself, as it was in the past. In the best years of the - between brackets - world championship, the majority of the teams - not in our age, before our age - were not sponsored. And they participated. Why? Because they consider this is important for them. We need to reflect on this, we can continue saying, we need to sell more sponsorship, we need to sell more sponsorship. In fact, the private teams sell more than the factory teams, except Ducati. And nobody is a bad salesperson or anything, it's because it is so difficult.

MM: One of the still most expensive parts is the travel, because we go around the world to 18 races.

CE: But we are paying the cost for that. When we are going to a Grand Prix outside of Europe, the contribution is double what we pay for a normal Grand Prix, and we are paying a big part of the freight. And if it's more freight, then this is part of the agreement, but we pay when go outside of Europe.

MM: Asia is also a really important market. Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India. What about that region? Next year we will be going to India hopefully...

CE: Hopefully! We haven't finished the agreement yet, we are discussing with them, most probably we will go to India. We are also talking with people in Southeast Asia for another race there. There are some possibilities, but there will be a new Grand Prix in Southeast Asia before the end of 2014, beginning of 2015. That is the plan.

MM: One more question about the calendar, next year there will be two US rounds probably...

CE: Most probably. Well, two for sure, three would be very difficult, but we need to see exactly where we can go or not go, and exactly what is possible. We will know what we are going to do very soon, but not yet, we are still discussing.

MM: This race at Assen is on Saturday, and the circuit has suggested that maybe they could move the race to Sunday.

CE: No, the circuit did not suggest it, the circuit has considered our plan that they change the day, but they are a little bit reluctant because they think that, as you can see here, it's a big crowd. They are worried that the tradition here is very important, and they are worried, and we too, that if we move to Sunday then the numbers will decrease. We don't think so, but we are still in discussions about that. The fact is, that when we are on Sunday, the TV audience is much, much bigger than if it is on Saturday.

MM: Thank you.

Much was expected of Friday's Grand Prix Commission meeting at Assen, which was set to discuss the major changes coming in MotoGP. The results of that meeting turned out to be a damp squib rather than the expected revolution, as decisions on the big changes were pushed further down the road. On Saturday morning, the day of the race, MotoMatters.com spoke to Carmelo Ezpeleta about those expected rule changes, and about the reasoning behind them.In the discussion, Ezpeleta told MotoMatters.com that his main aim was to both reduce costs and increase the entertainment value of the series. Part of that would be by helping the CRT bikes where they are weak: the electronics are a major issue for the CRT bikes, and Dorna have enlisted the help of Magneti Marelli to provide the CRT machines with a standard ECU, developed using their extensive experience gained from racing in MotoGP. A rev limit is still on the cards, but whether this will be introduced in 2014 or 2015 is as yet unclear.While unpopular with a lot of people, Ezpeleta laid out exactly why the rule changes are needed: Dorna is in the entertainment business, and is subsidizing both the teams and factories to race in MotoGP. That contribution is substantial, and the only way to keep the series viable is by keeping costs low. Expanding the popularity of the series was also important, and to that end, MotoGP will be going to Southeast Asia in either 2014 or 2015, though Ezpeleta was coy on exactly where that would be. Here's what Carmelo Ezpeleta had to tell MotoMatters.com at Assen:MotoMatters: I would like to ask you about the new rules for MotoGP, the rules which are coming in 2014 or 2015.

Comments

Dorna subsidizes the

Dorna subsidizes the factories?!! I know this will be ill received here and the language it's not accepted but only one word comes to my mind; it begins with a P and ends with an E.

Total votes: 94

Ezpeleta Seems Confused

MotoGP and the accompanying capacity classes are not supposed to be some sort of Vegas entertainment. They are supposed to be a proving ground for riders and manufacturers, that just happens to be entertaining for a lot of people around the world.

The more they try and dumb it down to make it more palatable for the uninterested punter, the worse they make it.

When was MotoGP last "entertaining"? The first year of the 990s, when there were basically no rules except for 990cc, 2 wheels and a minimum weight.

Evey year since then they've added more rules, and the racing has gotten less interesting and more expensive.

Maybe they should get Andrew Lloyd Webber or Elton John involved to spice it up a bit and make it more entertaining...

Total votes: 112

Looking at it the wrong way

If MotoGP weren't entertainment, it wouldn't exist. Without the audience, there is no show. There is no money and the riders would be out looking for regular jobs. 'The Show' allows there to be racing. Period.

And the assertion that the 990cc era had less rules simply isn't true. There may be more words in the rules but they are far less limiting than the rulebook for the 990s. Once simple word - 'Prototype' - made racing next to impossible for all but the richest factories. The Aprilias, the KRs, the MotoCzysz, the Kawasakis, Suzukis and anyone else was forced out because they couldn't afford to go racing. It took a few years before the problems showed themselves but we are paying the price now.

Dorna has opened up the rulebook and is continuing down that path allowing participation to a broader set of players. The greater the participation, the better the show.

For the purists who say 'they need to make it like the old days, screw all of this CRT crap', I say, you don't remember your history very well. The old 2-strokes operate without a rulebook specifying anything about prototypes and teams could buy parts off the shelf and use them. And they did. We are gong back to that, not away from it.

Total votes: 111

BRILLIANT...!!!

somebody needs to bring in madonna or beyonce for a half-time show...!!! oh wait, there's no half-time break in the middle of sprint races. :(

Total votes: 83

Saying that the Gresini is 1%

Saying that the Gresini is 1% of the HRC effort as a way to explain why CRT is the way to go is disingenuous. The Gresini CRT bike might only cost 1% but I doubt whether that includes staff and other costs. The HRC budget is for their whole Motogp program, research and development and other costs that are part of their racing program. Manufacturers will spend whatever it takes and whatever the budget is. I think the current CRT rules exist for the same reason as F1 changed their path. By having a racing series utterly dependent on the participation of a few select factories, you are placing yourself at the mercy of organisations who have shareholders and for whom racing is very much an optional activity. it is no way to run a business being dependent on such a small group of people. I suspect that CE would be more than happy for all the factories to leave and then he can go back to running a race series where he, as promoter, is in control of all aspects of the process. Costs are the smokescreen by which he gets to hide his real agenda.

As for being entertainment, that very much is Dorna's role. The FIM are the ones who sanction the series and if they want to run a purists race series, they could. But no one would watch and they'd lose money hand over fist.

Total votes: 101

I watch racing because I find

I watch racing because I find it entertaining. I don't know why so many people think entertainment's a bad thing. If you don't find it entertaining why do you watch? If enough people don't find it entertaining who's going to pay for it?

There's a balance to be struck. It doesn't have to become Nascar but it does have to present some drama.

Total votes: 96

A few years back I noticed a substantial

Change in where bikes were being sold, Ducati for example, is having triple digit increases in sales in SE Asia, with staggering growth and a booming middle class, its only a matter of time till this sport, and many others, follow cricket's lead and start to migrate to Asia.

The introduction of MotoGP to Indonesia and India is almost mandatory to its future. Yamaha will have little trouble attracting a major sponsor (such as Tata) if and only if the sponsor's major market has rounds of racing available to it.

Dorna and the factories also need to understand how important junior development is, the flow on effect is having riders from all countries lining up on the grid (nothing is more provocative than a good dose of nationalism), direct support of junior development programs in India, and through out Asia is crucial. This project should be a joint initiative WITH the factories, as they will be the ones selling product into the region (Dorna and the factories will both benefit, a decade long plan needs to be developed).

Somehow the nexus of riders 'bringing sponsorship' to teams needs to be broken, it should be a clean decision based on performance of the rider, not the cheque book, which garantees the ride. This is unlikely to happen however, as current system generally favours European riders, with major oil companies etc. assisting the progression of some riders, when the biggest companies in SE Asia start to participate, who will get the rides? Best if we clean up the rules now.

Anyway, another fantasitc insight into the decision making process of the powers that be, thank you sir.

Total votes: 93

Once again

Carmelo's short sightedness is evident. Reduce costs? How about you attract money to the sport by making it popular in the markets where motorcycle sales are booming? Unfortunately, the manufactures already see where their future sales and marketability lies, but Dorna cant. A race in India and "somewhere" in the Southeast maybe in 2014 or 2015?!? Really?!? Do you think you can afford to wait there Carmelo?!

WSBK will be racing in India and Russia, yet MotoGP has to wait ANOTHER 2-3 YEARS?!?! The way it stands now WSBK is the most complete world championship with the best "entartainment" racing, just not the best bikes and riders (though no offense to the riders, most are fast enough for GP's).

MotoGP really needs to stop resting on it's laurels and start making their package more attractive and assecible to where motorcycling is having the most growth, and I'll give you a hint Mr. E, it's not f***ing Spain.

Total votes: 107

'it's up to them'

'And it's important to discuss about increasing revenues, OK, it's up to them, they can increase and I will be very happy if they increase the revenues.'

Rubbish. Total Rubbish. I'm surprised that David didn't challenge this. He has pointed out previously that Dorna have a crack team of enforcers who ensure that all their juicy clips that could ever entice new fans into the sport are pulled from YouTube and anywhere else where they might get some coverage.

If Dorna worked hard to increase the global audience and to provide data to show its growth, they would massively assist the teams in bringing in new sponsors / retaining existing sponsors or increasing the price paid by sponsors.

A couple of years ago I took some kids from my school to a musical. The theatre went way over the top to ensure that no photos or videos of the performance were taken, pulling kids to one side as we left and insisting that they deleted snaps they'd taken of the encore. What would have happened to the pictures? They'd have been straight onto facebook with a rave review. Instead, the kids just posted what a bunch of pr**ks the theatre staff were. The positive free ads on social media were stamped down and in their place bad publicity was gained.

Dorna should be actively encouraging discussion and fan sites. They also should take a good look at the pricing of their streaming service. I'm sure they are trying to protect this income, but I bet that they could easily match it by having ad supported videos with a massive audience.

Total votes: 119

Priorities

CE:"When we are going to a Grand Prix outside of Europe, the contribution is double what we pay for a normal Grand Prix, and we are paying a big part of the freight. And if it's more freight, then this is part of the agreement, but we pay when go outside of Europe."

Carmello could save his own money by travelling from Europe to the USA and having the Indianapolis then Laguna Seca races back to back then go to the summer break and resume racing in Europe. Rather than going from Europe to Laguna Seca, going for summer break, flying back to the USA then doing a back to back in Europe at Brno!!

Spain and Portugal are practically bankrupt as is the USA, yet 4 races are in Spain, 1 in Portugal and 2 in the USA. I understand Dorna want to grow markets in the USA. That is great, but the yanks live in their own isolated world, they talk their own mashed up form of English and are 1 of only 3 countries in the world of 196 countries that still use an imperial measurement system, if it wasn't invented there they don't want to know about it. There needs to be less focus on Spain and Spanish riders because this series has already turned into the Spanish cup. Dorna CEO is Spanish all the executives are Spanish and rules and penalties seem always to benefit Spanish, but this is supposed to be a world series.

I agree that we want racing not an entertainment circus. When there is a pass on the track want to see the action remain on the TRACK. I'm sure we are all sick to death of the camera man instantly cutting to the pits to see their reaction as they do in F1. Again, if there are battles at the front with the star riders, we don't want the camera man showing a long boring saga of some back marker no name CRT rider pulling into the pits to retire, that stuff can be shown on replays or picture in picture, or save it for after the race. The camera direction this year in particular has been poor. With much talk about a a riders tyres going off in the race, we want the camera man showing us long close ups of the tyres so we can see how they are worn. The new full screen rotating swooshing MotoGP replay logo is also infuriatingly SLOW and annoying. It takes up too much time and blokes out too much video. Please go back to last years left to right swipe. Stop copying Formula 1!!!

Total votes: 106

Agreed. Equally annoying is

Agreed. Equally annoying is when for example the leader is way in front and crosses the finish, but there is a cracking battle for 2nd further back. What do they do, show the garage and hopefully 'fruity' girlfriend jumping up and down, and we miss the real action.

Drives me bloody nuts!!

Still not as bad as WSBK on Eurosport; they show adverts right in the middle of an overtake!

Total votes: 100

Those are some seriously

Those are some seriously strong and logical arguments, Detroit. Ezpeleta should look at some of the policies of Dorna and get to cost cutting in a more sensible way than dumbing the series down. What is preventing MotoGP from going to India and Indonesia? According to Vicky Chandok who is the head of the apex motorsport governing body in India, MotoGP's cost demands are way too high and the prospects of a proper show of racing very remote. Ezpeleta maybe subsidizing the teams but he is drawing his pound of flesh from the circuits that are hosting the races. Rob Peter to pay Paul. Lousy strategy, in my opinion. The series will have to less Spain centric and become truly global and for that Asia is where the action is. In China, India and other Asian countries, motorcycles are a part of the everyday life. Not something that people see as weekend recreation as they do in America. It is superfluous to state the monthly sales figures of motorcycles in China and India exceed the annual sales of motorcycles in the US of A. Superficial changes are not going to help. A drastic rethink both from Dorna and the MSMA is the way forward.

Total votes: 92

Its necessary

Even the last placed CRT needs to be shown a couple of times.Its for the sponsors. Why would sponsors pay when they know that their bikes would not be shown on TV at all. Dorna is trying to improve sponsorship situations and this is what they must do. I do agree about Pits though. Seeing Lin Jarvis with his mouth open is still less interesting than seeing a good clean pass.

Total votes: 92

I believe a standard ECU for the prototypes

Is very important if MotoGP is to become entertaining again.

I'm not thrilled about the rev limiter, because if it works out like in F1, then whenever a bike gets in the slipstream they will just hit the rev limiter and won't be able to pass.

Total votes: 106

No Need to bash America

To the Brit posting under the name Detroit, STFU

Get over it, we won the revolution, kicked you out and saved your butts in two world wars. Now go eat some fish n chips and drink yourself blind.

You're welcome.

Happy Fourth of July.

MotoGP is boring. In 5 (and working on 6) seasons ALL races except for Assen 2011 have been won by the same 4 riders. That is boring, boring, boring. With Stoner leaving and Rossi potentially still on a crap bike in 2013 it will be between Pedrosa and Lorenzo for the win every race, with one taking off and winning by 5-15 seconds and us being forced to watch the "entertaining" battles for 8th. If Rossi does get on a decent bike then it will be 1 of 3 riders winning every single race.

I think MotoGP as it is right now will be bankrupt withing 5 years. Lots of people are realizing they are paying a premium price for a sub-standard product. They can't attract sponsors (something which is NOT a problem for WSBK or BSB) and insist on charging outrageous ticket and online streaming prices for the motor sports equivalent of soccer. Instead of 90 minutes of boredom it's 45 mins of boredom.

WSBK is where all the action is. If only Rossi, Hayden and Spies would move to WSBK, it would be the death blow for MotoGP and we would have even better racing in WSBK.

Total votes: 107

Good to see you following

I can't tell what your eating but your certainly drinking yourself blind.

Total votes: 92

So, you're telling me

That you've watched 5 to 6 seasons of boring, boring, boring races?

Hmm, why do you continue? Simply point the remote at the TV and change the channel.

The number of blog entries for MotoGP almost ALWAYS vastly exceed those for WSBK. I've been to WSBK and MotoGP in Europe and here, and almost everyone at WSBK wants to be at or in MotoGP? Nobody retires from WSBK to MotoGP.

I also think markferrigno that you're derogative tone is unncessary. I couldn't see how Detroit was bashing America? he was explaining the basics of economics and how to save money.

Total votes: 90

@Auskid27 So this isn't bashing America.....

but the yanks live in their own isolated world, they talk their own mashed up form of English and are 1 of only 3 countries in the world of 196 countries that still use an imperial measurement system, if it wasn't invented there they don't want to know about it.

If it wasn't invented here we don't want to hear it? We don't use the Metric system? What the hell does that have to do with MotoGP? Cheap shots at how we measure speed, distance and weight? We "talk our own mashed up form of English"? Again, what does that have to do with MotoGP and racing? Just another silly cheap shot......

So explain to me how this "he was explaining the basics of economics and how to save money"

I've watched MotoGP for a long time and it's the support races that keep most of us entertained. But I can't see how anyone can say the MotoGP racing has not been boring.

Total votes: 87

You worry too much

The English think we're convicts, and DONT speak english, you'll put yourself in a box if you keep getting worked up over not much.

Our real concern is how do we turn a world championship of motorcycle racing into a real world championship instead of one which is controlled and dominated by southern Europe.

Total votes: 87

And yet, BMW, Aprilia, Honda

And yet, BMW, Aprilia, Honda and Kawasaki - actually, all but one of the front-running teams in WSBK - have no title sponsor. Apparently, attracting sponsors IS a problem at that level.

Total votes: 91

Instead of a standard ECU

…make it open source.

Factories (and others) can write all the code they want, and their changes propagate to the CRTs too…and to street bikes.

Total votes: 107

Great Idea in theory! But won't happen

Asking factories to make their electronics software open source is like asking Honda to race with CRT's. The will quit for sure!

In this day and age of having a strangle hold on to your IP factories will never agree to this. Don't forget that these electronics trickle down to road bikes and if it were open source then factories wont be able to differentiate their bikes anymore.

Total votes: 81

History Repeats

What is happening now in MotoGP merely reflects what happens in all sports, especially motor sports where the cost of participation is so high.

All the comments whether for or against what Dorna are saying are, by and large, valid and emanate from committed fans who want to see close racing and full grids.

As an older fan of motorised racing of all types, I would merely suggest that to look forward, F1 will find itself in this position in a few years as some phenomenally greedy people continue to suck money from venues, fans and sponsors and look backwards to UK saloon car racing where manufacturers decided they wanted to get involved, drove costs through the roof, and then quickly deserted the series.

It took many years and some major rule changes to get the saloon series back to something which now pleases fans and sponsors alike. Yes, it is artificial with success ballast but the racing is close and different winners, out of a limited number, appear.

However, one major difference with MotoGP is that I cannot go out and buy a saloon car that has similar power, handling and looks to a race bike.

MotoGP is likely to carry on for many years but its shape and "success" will be determined by one thing - MONEY. No more, No less.

Without wishing to draw too many parallels, F1 will also undergo some more major rule changes in the next couple of years and similar objections to MotoGP are already being voiced. It is notable that this year F1 is being touted as the most entertaining and unpredictable in years and why? The rules have been stable for a number of years and the governing body has the power to outlaw what it sees as any unfair advantages.

Also, the manufacturer involvement does not allow them to dictate the rules. They either play Bernie's game or get out, as many of them, including Honda, have.

Total votes: 95

Entertainment

I don't think that MotoGP has to become much more entertaining than it is now. Many people are under the illusion that everything was better back in the old days. It was not! Even in the Schwantz-Rainey days close battling seldom lasted for more than a few laps at a time.

Statistics show that we are living in the era of the greatest MotoGP rivalry of all times. Number of times the following set of riders have filled the premier-class podium:

17 times - Casey Stoner/Jorge Lorenzo/Dani Pedrosa
12 - Casey Stoner/Valentino Rossi/Dani Pedrosa
12 - Eddie Lawson/Wayne Gardner/Randy Mamola
12 - Wayne Rainey/Kevin Schwantz/Mick Doohan
11 - Kevin Schwantz/Eddie Lawson/Wayne Rainey

Total votes: 93

Today in 1982, Freddie

Today in 1982, Freddie Spencer won his first 500cc GP, at Spa. I read this on another board so I decided to look at the finishing results from this race in the 'golden era' of GP racing.

Freddie was three seconds clear of Barry Sheene, with Franco Uncini another three seconds back. 17 seconds behind Uncini was Kenny Roberts. 12 seconds further was Randy Mamola. There were ten finishers.

Maybe the world has changed, and we've become an audience of short attention span, thrill-a-second image junkies. Maybe that's the problem - GP racing isn't suited to the NASCAR generation.

More later - back to grading papers.

http://www.motogp.com/en/Results+Statistics/1982/BEL/500cc/RAC/Classific...

Total votes: 103

No Rossi/Lorenzo/Stoner

No Rossi/Lorenzo/Stoner ???........

Total votes: 85

Great post Detroit

@detroit, man you have hit it on the head. I go back to the Agostini days and have almost had enough of the shambles that has become Motogp. You have mentioned almost everything that is wrong with the TV telecast and C.E. would do well to read your comments and take action.

Like many other Motogp fans I will never attend another over priced Motogp event and like other posters I am being drawn to the WSBK championships as it offers the excitement that a motorcycle fan craves.

As far as CRT goes, well I thought I would give the idea a chance but it has become a millstone around the neck of pure prototype racing. The show has now become totally BORING and boy you really need to get Mr. Rossi back on a competitive bike to help save the Spanish show from collapse.
Great job your doing David.

Total votes: 101

entertainment vs. racing

wow some harsh comments, I for one appreciate the article and hearing his thoughts and plan. first off getting into new markets is not as easy as signing on the dotted line. and just because WSBK is in India and Russia doesn't mean it didn't take them a 2 or 3 years to work out those deals. Why are people so surprised to find out that Dorna pays the teams to race? just like the tracks pay Dorna to race there. Sorry to say this but racing is a business if it doesn't make money it folds (bye bye Kawi and Suzuki) just like any other company. how do you make money? well you need to market your product pull in sponsorship and sell tickets. But what is it that makes racing exciting? look at the NASCAR model? Anyone can win it is a freight train from start to finish, and the racing is close, tight, and furious, no quarter is given. (I am not a fan by the way). dose that sound like something that might make MotoGP marketable? (with less crashing of course) there have been many post on forums like this about how good Moto2 is and other series like AMA super sport and WSBK. but MotoGP sucks even though this year has had some good closer-ish racing then in the past few years? stop focusing on technology as being the highest level of the sport, its racing against the best riders that make it the pinnacle of 2 wheeled racing. so after the tech of the 800's we have 3 manufactures with only 2 of them being competitive and competitive seats extremely limited. as a fan of racing I don't hate the rule changes because on Sunday there will still be 2 wheeled machines going around in circles to entertain me! good on Carmelo for trying to make this series work for the future, after all he is in a partner ship with the manufactures and they together make the rules by which they want to race. they and only they can make this series what it once was, the best of the best riding on 990's :)

Total votes: 91

Intersting points

from Ezpeleta. I just don't think he has a handle on how to solve the problems.

1st and foremost is why limit the factories to 4 bikes each? How is that good for the show? It puts talented riders out of a ride, or on an uncompetitive ride. That's pretty dumb, if creating a better show is what this is about.

Sure, cost cutting is necessary for the survival of the series, and in any state of the economy should be a major consideration (cost vs return) of any enterprise.

Travel has always been a mystery to me. I mean, the "overseas" schedule never has made any sense to me. At least this year the races in the US are consecutive on the calendar. I'm sure that better planning in this area could yield more savings.

As far as a spec ECU goes, I don't even begin to understand how that's going to work with differing engine configurations. A secure data logger that ensures factories comply with a rev limit for specific engine configurations would be much more feasible, more realistic and less expensive.

All in all, there are other issues facing the series that should probably be addressed first...namely the lack of sponsor interest. I don't care who the sponsor is, get them into the series. Alcohol for one is a huge market that could once again be tapped. We've seen beer sponsorship, as well as alcohol sponsorship in the course of the last 10-15 years so it's not like it's completely banned. While they can't (in my understanding anyway) sponsor an event, they can sponsor individual teams or riders.

Then there is the popularity of the sport. Beyond the knowledgeable riding public, there is next to NO interest. Even among the riding public a rather large number of riders couldn't tell you the first thing about MotoGP or motorcycle racing in general. Movies like Faster went a long way in increasing public awareness. More social media wouldn't hurt. Freedom of access wouldn't either. IOW, the current plan is doing next to nothing to increase the fan base.

Increased efforts in both these areas could solve a bunch of the problems facing MotoGP and secure it's future.

Total votes: 79

Colin Edwards

was once asked what he thought of the current rules (I think last year) his opinion was to have 1200cc engine with zero traction control "that will sort the men from the boys" always entertaining colin...

must say though ,watching a rider mid corner with WOT and relying on the computers to sort the bike for that particular corner reduces the entertainment for me.

Good example was Lorenzo at laguna last during practice when he opened a handfull of throttle on a corner just after a practice launch, because he had not changed down a gear the traction control had not enabled throwing him from the bike.

Total votes: 85

I liked it

I liked this interview. Thanks for posting these interviews. It's very interesting to read the views of Ezpeleta. Racing has 2 sides. One is entertainment, the other is technology. Finding the right balance between both is not easy. Also, as the opinions on this site clearly show, the audience has different opinions on what they want to see, in what is exactly racing.
Moto2 has some close racing, but there are only a hand full of riders who can win races. Also, you sit on the wrong bike (chassis) or don't have the correct support and no matter how good you are, you won't even get on the podium. Put Marquez or Espargaro on West team and I want to see them put the bike on the podium.
Moto2 is entertaining but where is the technology? on the chassis? how many teams jump to the "winning" chassis mid-season? How long before we have only 2-3 chassis makers?
WSBK bikes have tons of electronics. The racing in this series is sometimes very good, but others, it's like in MotoGP, win by a lot of seconds (like Doohan used to love to do). Also, Yamaha dropped this series.
The reason for not more races back-to-back is because people don't follow the motogp circus around, probably because there are no appealing packages to go from one circuit to another. So they go back in forward like in the USA case.
Bottom line, all series have their entertainment value and we are lucky because we can watch them all.
Now, I hope that this weekend racing to be a good one, like last year!

@David, what did Cal wanted to discuss with you? saw the Tweeter message and got very curious.

Total votes: 79

So, if technology is king to the Factories...

Why can't I buy a high end Honda Sportbike (say, a 2012 CBR1000RR) with any kind of electronic assistance besides the link braking developed for the touring bikes and non-existent on MOTOGP bikes??? The CBR a highly refined 20 year old design.

The top of the line Yamaha R-1 (with electronics)? It's an also ran in the sportbike comparisons. Doesn't say much for the flow down of current MOTOGP tech to the showroom.

Why? Oh that's right the world economy is in the bin... and 125's, etc... in Asia, are the products of any sort of profit for the manufactures in Japan.

I would think I could buy a sportbike dripping with electronics... oh wait... I can from Ducati, BMW, MV Agusta... Hmmm...

There's something else a foot my friends... not sure what it is... but something...

Total votes: 81

From Yamaha's website: "For

From Yamaha's website:
"For 2012, the YZF-R1 receives another benefit from MotoGP® technology – a seven-level Traction Control System. "

The same page mentions MogoGP 7 times total in describing features of the R1.

http://www.yamaha-motor.com/sport/products/modelfeatures/6/0/features.aspx

Honda is a bit of an odd-man-out for still not having TC on their flagship sportbike though. Strange indeed.

Total votes: 89

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