Ezpeleta Could Lead F1 Breakaway Championship
Those worried by the current state of the MotoGP championship - dwindling grids, rocketing costs and a barrage of rule changes aimed at "fixing" the problem - can be comforted by the state of Formula 1. While overtaking became increasingly rare in F1, the racing in MotoGP got better and better, until the pointless rule change reducing capacity from 990 to 800cc effectively killed off the racing. But as long as F1 remained as processional as it had been for the past 10 years or so, MotoGP had nothing to fear, it was felt.
Then, with the onset of the topsy-turvy 2009 season, the on-track action in Formula 1 took a dramatic turn for the better, with overtaking making a big comeback. Tragically for F1, though fortunately for the MotoGP series, the off-track arguments have been tearing the world's premier motorsport apart just as the on-track antics are making it a sport worth watching again. The teams and bodies that run the sport are engaged in an all-out war for control, with Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley attempting to impose a GBP 40 million budget cap on the teams, after first attempting to instigate a two-tier system of technical rules for capped and uncapped teams.
The dispute has seen FOTA, the fledgling Formula One Teams Association, set up to allow the teams to form a common front against Max Mosely of the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Management, threaten to pull out of the 2010 Formula 1 championship, and set up a championship of their own.
What does this have to do with motorcycle racing, you ask? Well, according to the Spanish sports daily AS, the name at the top of the list of candidates to run this new breakaway championship is none other than Carmelo Ezpeleta. As CEO of Dorna, Ezpeleta is currently charged with running the MotoGP series, and has been instrumental behind both the series phenomenal growth, and the plethora of rules which have bogged it down over the past few seasons. According to AS, Ezpeleta has already had discussions about the new series, and feels inclined to take the reins of any breakaway F1 series.
Ezpeleta is already familiar with F1 and the F1 paddock, as both Dorna and F1 were owned by private equity company CVC, before the European Commission forced CVC to divest itself of the MotoGP rights over anti-trust concerns, and both F1 and MotoGP meet regularly to avoid scheduling conflicts.