Dorna Looking To Hire Technical Advisor For Negotiations With MSMA

The rule changes that have been adopted in the MotoGP series since the class went four-stroke in 2002 have generally been met with increasing disappointment by the fans. The 990cc format is generally viewed as the high point of motorcycle racing for many years, even after the fuel allowance was cut from 24 to 22 liters.

But since capacity was cut from 990cc to 800cc, and the fuel allowance cut from 22 to 21 liters, MotoGP's rulemaking body, the Grand Prix Commission, has been buried under a deluge of criticism - not least from ourselves here at MotoMatters.com. Since then, things have gone from bad to worse, with the introduction of the tire restrictions, then the single tire rule, and finally the limits on engines, with criticism growing more vehement at every rule change, nearly all of it aimed at Dorna, the company which runs MotoGP, and its CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta.

The calumny heaped upon Dorna is almost entirely undeserved, though. For Dorna - along with the FIM (the sport's governing body) and IRTA (the body representing the teams - have little or no say in MotoGP's technical regulations. They handed over responsibility for the technical rules under the agreement which defines the role of the GP Commission. Under the terms of that agreement, the MSMA - the manufacturers' association, representing all of the factories involved in MotoGP - is responsible for drawing up technical regulations, and if those rules are agreed unanimously by the members of the MSMA, the GP Commission will adopt them unopposed.

And so most of the technical rule changes which have been blamed for ruining racing - most notably the switch to 800cc and the 21 liter fuel limits - came directly from the manufacturers, with Dorna, IRTA and the FIM unable to block them, whatever their concerns over the changes. Though any proposed changes are always discussed in the GP Commission, the MSMA always end up getting their way.

The reason for this arrangement is simple. The MSMA are deemed to be the technical experts in the GP Commission, as they have the knowledge of the technologies involved, and are assumed to be aware of the implications that any rule changes will have on their racing programs. Though there is considerable technical expertise in both Dorna and IRTA, their experience is all based in racing, with very few people in either organization having much experience of the manufacturing process.

But the balance of power in the Grand Prix Commission could be about to change. Dorna is currently in the process of hiring an outside advisor to help act as an intermediary between them and the MSMA in discussions on technical rules. The kind of person that Dorna are looking for is someone with both a background in racing, but also someone with an intimate knowledge of motorcycle manufacturing and engineering, who is capable of assessing what long-term effects rule changes would have on cost levels, and what possible implications they could have for racing. More importantly, this person would be able of presenting counter-arguments to proposals tabled by the MSMA, backed up with arguments taken from practical experience.

So far, MotoGP's Technical Director Mike Webb has provided technical expertise for Dorna, but despite his long experience in racing and his formidable intellect, Webb has no background in manufacturing and production. So Dorna are looking for someone from a manufacturing background, who can counter the arguments put forward by the MSMA with examples and expertise from their own experience.

Though one or two names are doing the rounds among MotoGP insiders - Jan Witteveen, the former Aprilia engineer, and Harald Bartol of KTM being those most frequently mentioned, though based more on suitability rather than any real information - there is no firm information on who Dorna is talking to about taking on this role. When asked to comment on the matter, a Dorna spokesperson merely confirmed that the position was open, but that the company had not approached anyone to fill the post yet.

The move to attract more engineering expertise to provide a counterbalance to the MSMA is part of a longer term battle between Dorna and the manufacturers. The contract with the MSMA ends after the 2011 season, after which new agreements will have to be made about the role the manufacturers have in the series and its regulations.

Dorna is believed to be losing patience with the factories, after promises to prop up shrinking fields by putting more bikes on the grid have been broken for year after year. Pleas for more - and especially cheaper - machinery have fallen on deaf ears, and the lease price of MotoGP bikes has increased every season. Compromise solutions, such as the request to lease just engines instead of entire bikes, have also failed over cost, with the factories demanding almost as much to lease an engine as an entire bike would cost.

The 2012 regulations allowing Claiming Rule Teams (who will be allowed to run production-based engines in prototype chassis) into MotoGP are one prong of Dorna's attempt to reduce the influence of the factories. The CRT bikes are expected to be much more cheaper than the factory machines, while still being relatively competitive due to the three extra liters of fuel they will be allowed, something which has factory engineers running scared. If CRT bikes are good enough to challenge for podiums, or at least finish regularly in the top ten, then getting 22 or 24 bikes on the grid should be relatively simple to achieve.

With more support from private teams, the power base of the factories will be severely weakened. If MotoGP has five or six CRT teams, with a couple more waiting in the wings - a function currently being fulfilled by the Moto2 class, an ideal training ground for both teams and chassis manufacturers - then the series no longer need live in fear of one or more manufacturers dropping out of the series. Suzuki, for example, is widely expected to withdraw at the end of the 2011 season, but they could leave Dorna in a very difficult position if they were to pull out at the end of this year.

With a larger, and more importantly, a much more broadly-based grid, and technical support from an industry veteran with a background in manufacturing, Dorna - no doubt backed by IRTA, and possibly with the support of the FIM as well - is strengthening its hand. Once the negotiations get underway about a new contract between the MSMA and Dorna, the Spanish organizers may be able to force a much-reduced role onto the manufacturers, taking away their ability to keep introducing rule changes. With a stable set of rules, and a broader manufacturing base working out of smaller engineering shops, MotoGP's costs will perhaps stop spiraling out of control.

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Comments

"The kind of person that Dorna are looking for is someone with both a background in racing, but also someone with an intimate knowledge of motorcycle manufacturing and engineering, who is capable of assessing what long-term effects rule changes would have on cost levels, and what possible implications they could have for racing"

Total votes: 207

Roberts was never involved in the large-scale manufacturing of motorcycles. Although given the lack of success of his 990cc V5 MotoGP bike, he is keenly aware of the cost implications of designing racing engines. 

Total votes: 254

I thought Roberts leased Honda engines for that project (KR) and was only involved in the design of the chassis?

Total votes: 253

Roberts' team only leased the honda engine for that one year (2006). Before that year they made thier own 990 5 cylinder engine. I think he had a lot to do with the 3 cylinder two stroke Proton 500cc bike also.

Total votes: 248

He only leased the engines for his final 2 years, prior to that he designed and built his own engines with help from Proton.

Total votes: 239

Why would you need experience of large scale manufacturing for this position? Who builds more than 16 MotoGP bikes a year? Assuming Honda have 2 test riders with 2 bikes each they only need 16 total this year and everyone else needs fewer. Even if one manufacturer greatly increased the number of bikes they supply they are never going to mass produce them. (The Desmosedici RR doesn't count.)

I think King Kenny's experience would be perfect. If you try to look for more manufacturing experience then you'll end up with someone who is too well connected with the factories and would not do the job properly.

Total votes: 241

That is the most intriguing question. Why do Dorna need someone with mass production experience. Could be anything.

It could be as innocuous as Dorna wants to ban a list of exotic materials or manufacturing techniques so the sport is more production relevant.

Could be that Dorna are going to force the MSMA into building production race-only machines by imposing homologation procedures. They need a technical consultant b/c they don't want the race-only production bikes to cost $1m each.

Total votes: 251

The powers that be need to hire Kenny, and follow him around with a camera to document the awesomeness that would ensue.

MotoGP needs a reality TV show if they ever want to get over in The America.

Who better to connect with us Joe Sixxers with our Gixxers and our Yankee dollars than King Kenny?

Total votes: 247

Dorna seem to be gazing longingly at WSBK. Not only production based engines, but the way the WSBK organizers ripped up MSMA's proposed rule package and told them to get stuffed. Of course, that was easier for WSBK since the manufacturers had already stormed off in a tantrum due to the imposition of a one tyre rule, but MotoGP is haemorrhaging manufacturers and failing to attract new ones. Dorna have to do something.

Total votes: 243

If want to read the ideological underpinnings of an all-privateer or an all CRT league, read about ACO's possible move to ban works teams from LeMans competition. LMP1 would turn into privateer prototype race cars (kinda like old F1), and LMP2 would be similar to the current CRT rules, but with price controls for the entire vehicle not just the engines.

I think banning works teams from LeMans could be a good move for the series in the long run as long as the manufacturers and the specialty engine builders remain interested in LeMans competition.

I'm not convinced that production-derived engines is the way to go for MotoGP. Motorcycles derive too much of their identity from the engine so it is important to maintain a proper prototype series, imo. I don't care if they spec WSBK b/c the MSMA have got to sell the bikes so the cost to produce the stock machines is of utmost consideration, but I would hope GP can remain prototype.

The manufacturers build "next gen" production prototypes 24/7/365. They would benefit greatly by having a racing series to shake them down. Sadly, the MSMA refuse to bring these bikes to the track. They opt, instead, to bring expensive miniature F1 engines that go 1%-2% faster than their current crop of SBKs. Madness. They should bring the next gen of production engine to the race track for MotoGP. I don't know exactly how this could be accomplished via the technical regulations, but I hope that is why Dorna are bringing on a manufacturing consultant.

Total votes: 249

I think the idea of a CRT engine and prototype engine are not at odds. If they have legitimate intellectual property that is planned to be shown to the world at some point in the next few years (i.e. sold as part of a vehicle) then they should have it protected by patent or it's not worth keeping a secret. If they do have something to protect as a secret then it's probably more than 2 years away from production and maybe they shouldn't put it on the track. I think if a factory wants to run a team under the rules of being a CRT then they should be welcome to do it. I think that HRC has value to add to racing beyond their 'secrets'.

Total votes: 244

I think that audiences have grown until last year and some may still be growing. And the recent decreases are due to unrelated economic issues around the world. The increasing dissatisfaction is only coming from the most ardent, trainspotting fans that are impassioned enough to believe they could all do it better. I find the demand for the technical pinnacle of competition countered with disdain for the precision and regularity of the machines and results to be at odds.

I think this 'Mediator'-type of position sounds great. But only if they would be less likely to be coerced by one of the parties involved. If it's a buffer, they have to be independent. The FIM should be in charge of this person (funded by Dorna or not). If this person can be threatened, they will be impotent in terms of facilitating meaningful change. Everyone must be free to walk away from the table.

But overall, until they ask the questions of "why are we racing?" and "what do we hope to achieve?", with a blank slate in mind, and arrive at a consensus agreement the promoters and participants will be at odds with each other. A mediator will just take the heat off of management.

Total votes: 222

I believe that is why KRSR has come up so much - no one believes he can be intimidated or bought. KR's detractors have called him many things but 'patsy' isn't one of them.

As to whether his other qualification make him right for the jab, I'm still undecided. There are few people who have the knowledge of MotoGP that KR has and there are few people who have spent as much time trying to work out what is wrong with it. KR has some great ideas but I think even he will admit that some of them have been wrong.

Personally, I would love to see the guy in this role but I don't think he is a real candidate. I do have to wonder what the value of large-scale manufacturing experience has in this job. I simply cannot fathom how that would educate the discussion.

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MotoTheory.com - MotoGP Data & Statistics

Total votes: 236

You only have to look at the recent WSB Superpole time of Cal Crutchlow at Silverstone which would have placed him 5th on the grid at the MotoGP race held at the same circuit the month before to know that a less powerful and considerably cheaper bike can still do well...Shit! It's an R1 beating the YZR-M1...Who would have believed such a thing possible?
Cal's time would have put him in front of Casey Stoner and both the Tech 3 boys as well as many others on basically a heavily modified road bike compared to the million+ £ MotoGP prototypes. The saying 'power is nothing without control' springs to mind and it would seem that a less powerful bike can be just as quick if you are able to actually utilise most of that power.
I know, people will say that WSB uses qualifiers whereas MotoGP doesn't but even that makes a mockery of all the millions invested in the MotoGP machinery when all you have to do is change the tyres to make a roadbike as quick.
The extra fuel allowance will allow the CRT bikes to reach a higher state of tune without the need to conserve fuel which should allow them to be very competitive with the factory bikes.

Total votes: 246

In 2007 Yamaha and Honda showed up unprepared for 800cc competition which started a whirlwind of criticism and controversy. Things only got worse in 2008 when King Kenny went missing, and Yamaha and Honda went on spending sprees to get pneumatic valves and adapt their bikes to Bridgestone tires. The 2009 season saw Kawasaki withdraw, Suzuki become miserably uncompetitive, unpopular engine life regulations, and an ugly public negotiation between the MSMA and Dorna over engine lease prices. In 2010 all of our problems were supposed to cease b/c Dorna would be introducing a new 1000cc formula, but then.......................nothing.

Not a peep. All quiet on the Western Front.

What are they up to besides hiring a new consultant? What end objective do Dorna hope this consultant will help them achieve?

Total votes: 256

Burgess for the new job.

He may or may not know the manufacturing end of the stick (I have no idea), but he sure as hell knows all the players, and what works in the pits and on the track. There are very few in the world with his breadth of knowledge and experience, I think it'd be an interesting appointment.

Total votes: 255

Jerry Burgess - as brilliant as he is - suffers from exactly the same problem as Mike Webb. Vast experience in racing, but little experience in manufacturing. That's the knowledge gap that Dorna are looking to plug. 

Total votes: 242

Gotcha.

Where I look at this, is how important is the manufacturing knowledge? After so many years in the biz, JB knows what the factories can turn out. So why is so much importance being placed on manufacturing, when these are prototypes, not machines ever destined for production?

Honda has shown how much they like to get an engineering idea in their heads, and follow it, regardless of how much the riders tell them "this doesn't work". With a company like that, how is some tech adv. gonna have any influence, or even credence, if they won't listen to the guys who are actually racing the bike?

Big question for this new guy: Tires. The natives are getting pretty restless, and Bridgestone does not appear to be even bothering to change anything. From reports, they made the tires for the year, ain't gonna throw them out. Is this tech guy gonna have any power to bring to bear on them?

More I think about it, more it looks like someone to throw to the wolves (media) when the heat gets turned up.

Good luck to whomever takes this on.

Total votes: 210

As good as Roberts or Burgess could be at the position, I still see the point of having someone with a deep manufacturing background to be able to call BS when MSMA claims something is, or is not possible. If a panel of 3 people were appointed, there would be a wider range of experience and knowledge, and a vote would always end in a majority.

Total votes: 259

The more people Dorna involve, the more money they have to pay, and the more likely there will be disagreement and discord over certain issues.

Three is preferable to one, only if the one is not a strong candidate, imo.

Total votes: 256

He was the first person that came to mind, so I'm happy to see others agree. At the
same time I think expecting ONE person to stand up to MSMA and have such a vast
range of knowledge is naive at best. I agree that a group of 3 or at least 2 would
make this position(s) much more likely to have an affect. If it was only one
then like many here we couldn't go wrong with Kenny Sr, but I feel it would
have less of a chance of success.

Total votes: 216

I wish this CRT thing would just go away! It's going to be impossible to operate it as people think it will be worked.

Better just having production castings and filling them with something special. House in a proprietary chassis and hey presto! Special materials and components are available to most these days so getting precious about the factories having advantages is silly!

Total votes: 244

Why can't the CRT idea co-exist with your second paragraph?

It's just to keep factories from plunging too much money into the bikes because they won't 'invent' proprietary designs.

Total votes: 251

is the man for the job..with selected help from Oscar and the likes..
these guys, with help from us, could make a difference..

long live the revolution..

Total votes: 256

But I think we'd all like someone with a _proven_ track record of doing what they do. I'm a good devil's advocate and squeaky wheel but this is a position that will require deft political skills more than anything to have a chance of success.

The other half of the coin is that Dorna will need new teams with cash/sponsors ready to go the CRT route if they want any chance of actually having leverage in negotiating with the MSMA. Cash/sponsors seem to be in short supply these days. We would all like to see a bigger grid but are there really teams ready to fill those places in a manner befitting a top level world championship? It is a possibility we may need to suck it up and deal with a couple more years of 14-18 bike races until the general economy gets back in gear and on track. I'm don't agree with the approach of lowering standards to grow the grid. If the sport is strong it can weather a few lean years.

F1 is a good example to study, they expanded the grid this year but the existing teams are already so refined that all the new teams are several seconds off the pace so fight at the back of the grid when they manage to finish. Anyone remember Ilmor? FB Corse? KR? It's hard not to draw parallels. F1 is attempting to add another team this year but there don't even seem to be any reputable applicants! Anyone with that much cash is wondering why the hell they would spend it in F1. That does not bode well for MotoGP, which has always found it harder to attract sponsors than F1.

The unfortunate reality is that we are in the midst of a global economic contraction and a lot of the 'problems' with motogp are not within the realm of being corrected by the 3 concerned parties. Here's to hoping that the sport is not ruined in attempts to fix what is not the root problem.

Chris
moto2-usa.blogspot.com

Total votes: 222

I wish that someone would tell Speed Channel (Fox) to stuff it as well so that I could watch WSBK live on their webiste, similar to motogp. I say this because while I appreciate the abilities of these drivers, the racing has sucked the last few years and is more a procession than anything. If 2012 looks like Moto2, then that would be great - that is fun.
I guess I could learn Italian and watch the races on the the link this site provides or get a DVR, but complaining is more fun.

Ciao!

Total votes: 255

I do not understand What Dorna wants to archive. The WSBK is almost like semi-prototype, and the works team with full factory back up like Aprilia is winning. If the regulation favors the CRT team too much, do the manufactures want to continue to invest in the Motogp team? They will go to the WSBK. What we wants is fair rule, not favoritism. If the Dorna wants to help the private teams, why don’t they subsidize their own money to them? We cannot simply compare the four wheels and two wheels and say which rule is working. They may be able to borrow the ideas, but so many aspects are just different. F1 has far bigger grids, but Bernie Ecclestone wants get rid of the backmarker teams who are significantly underperforming.

Total votes: 247

It is crucial that the 2012 regs are set correctly..and the fact we've yet to see any constructive detail on them from the MSMA, makes me fear they don't really have a clue, or worse, don't really care..

Why are the same people, whose influence over the rules have plunged GP into this headless chicken like state and whom Dorna are at odds with, being charged with delivering a new set of regulations to take the series forward, when the contract that gives them absolute veto is up for renewal..and at the same time the new format is supposed to kick in?.. what the hell are the FIM doing in all this?

Would it not be better to put the decision making process back a year to 2013 so that the four manufacturers have less of a say after Dorna break up the little cartel to fix in their favour?

They were given the privilege of making the technical rules and have an obligation to the sport, a sport that has a rich history going way back before Soichiro strapped a homemade little 2T engine to the back of his pushbike, and they have failed miserably.

Total votes: 235

It's not easy for Dorna, whilst the manufacturers are looking at the sports impact globally, improving longevity of motors and improved fuel economy etc, WSBK is throwing two fingers at the entire ethos of the sport, and most of the wsbk teams are complaining about it. Instead of production based bikes, the aprilia and I suspect the Beemer(both have massive budgets) are full prototypes akin to motogp with all the benefits(electronics) but few of the restrictions. As Rossi said there isn't alot you can do on the 800s that will give you an edge, there's one line and one line only add to that a very iffy tyre program from BS. WSBK don't suffer from that and they also have more riders who will have off days(biaggi last week for instance)you wouldn't see JLo or Rossi off the podium without something drastic happening and if they are then you usually know who'll be next.. The biggest problem for me this year is the Yam(nice problem to have) neither Dani nor Stoner have been able to get their respective bikes near the yamaha and have now, in my opinion(ofcourse) become uncompetitive(especially the duke)in that they are always gonna be 3rd and 4th if JLo and Rossi are fully fit. I suspect that dorna have had a hand in the drastic changes taking place this year as having Rossi V JLo next year on the same bike would have been a disaster, and now, well I suspect most of us can't wait to see what happens.. Roll on next race and Rossi being a bit fitter...

Total votes: 222

There is no real 'manufacturing' in MotoGP, take the M1 it has CNC machined cases, cylinder head, a forged steel crank and off the shelf titanium rods with CNC machined pistons and probably rings from an outside supplier.The gearbox is just a gearbox with a fancy slipper clutch.
If you had an issue with any of that a few clicks on the mouse in Solidworks can sort that. You can rapid prototype items to be used for casting cores in a matter of hours.

As I and many others have said is there is no Return On Investment(ROI) in MotoGP, I can only lease the bike, I cannot develop or alter it in any way, I am tied to the factory for updates and have to pay a premium for the prevlige.
The factories should be forced to manufacture TZ, RS RC30 or OW01 type machines with a fixed price 'kit'. The performance should be above a WSBK and below factory bikes. The spares availablity will be for the life of the contract for the formula.

Total votes: 231

Well mabe Dorna need someone japanese for this role......anyone involved in motogp coming up to their 60th birthday and compulsory retirement?.........how about Masao Furasawa.

Total votes: 224

MotoGP and SBK get married.Production based platform makes the most sense to me.
Not likely to happen though.Right now,I've had the privelege of reading a number of well considered comments.My guess is that the two series are actually at war with each other.Waiting in the wings,Aprilia, BMW, Suzuki and Kawasaki.One series will get killed off.
Like many previous poster's,my immediate thought was Kenny Roberts Snr.
A panel of three is also a very smart idea.
Of course,amalgamating the series into one has a stumbling block in the form of Ducati,
unwilling,and correctly so,to abandone the L-twin as their traditional and much favoured Superbike platform.Should they go full production with the Desmosedici,I feel a lot of the MSMA issues could be resolved.
The tyre issue,I believe should remain in the hands of one appointed manufacturer.

Total votes: 247

maynard
Kevin Cameron, has all the tech knowledge, with much left over, and has been amazingly accurate in his predictions of what the various recent rule changes would do to the sport. His insight is sorely needed.

Total votes: 236

Cameron was my first pick when this idea was posted on the forums. He has the historical perspective as well as the technical. He has seen the cycles the sport goes through to be able to see through the short-term reactions being proposed now.

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MotoTheory.com - MotoGP Data & Statistics

Total votes: 240

Cameron has the technical knowledge, the historical perspective, and a racers' heart..

He is totally the best man for the job...

Total votes: 263

I don't get all the whining about the tires? Can someone explain that to me? People whined when Michelin was going through the motions and it got to the point that teams switched mid season to Bridgestone. So now Bridgestone is running the show and what?

As far as why a manufacturing background is being eyed for this position, I think too many of you are looking at this whole series through too narrow a view.

Total votes: 244

How do we have too narrow a view?

I'm asking sincerely, not defensively. What is your view of the sport and why might Dorna need a mass-production guru to help out?

Total votes: 237

I see it as GP realizing that they are headed into what is often termed a death spiral, and without a view to making money for the manufacturers, AKA manufacturing and selling, the sport is bound to turn more and more into a rich man's game. In the end it will be Yamaha and Honda, and eventually just one of them.

I don't claim to know everything, and really have only followed GP since it has been a 4 stroke dominated series.

I think that GP would prefer if money was spent on things that will turn a profit later. Like suspension/chassis stuff, traction control and so on. Things that people who buy bikes would appreciate and pay for. How about launch control? Will that ever be standard on a $10-20K bike? Not likely. Point being, do things in the rules that will precipitate more direct ROI. If the manufacturers were set on pushing out the little guys and dominating which many say they were, then good game. They win, time to move on.

Total votes: 257

I think you'll find that probably half of us tend to agree with you. Motorcycles are relatively simple, and the F1 engineering paradigms are not appropriate for MotoGP competition. I hope Dorna and the MSMA are interested in creating a production relevant prototyping exercise that will provide ROI for the manufacturers beyond sales and advertising. As we have seen in recent time, the sales and advertising (halo products) racing model is extremely susceptible to a down economy b/c sales and advertising are often the first departments to be cut.

There is one impossibly sticky wicket, though--fuel consumption. The manufacturers know that global governments are increasing emissions scrutiny which is particularly bad for motorcycles b/c motos don't carry catalytic converters or hybrid technology very well. The manufacturers believe there is ROI in fuel efficiency technology. The current fuel efficiency requirements and the 800cc displacement base (ostensibly for fuel efficiency reasons) in GP are a major contributing factors to the exorbitant costs and the lack of involvement in GP.

If it were up to me, I'd make GP so that it was only 1 development cycle in front of WSBK. Literally, all aluminum engine components and chassis components, except stuff like crank, cams, valves, valve springs, bearings, pins, rings, and other minor stuff. I'd also bore limit (if bore limiting were necessary) at a production relevant number like 78mm or 76mm. This arrangement is nearly impossible though b/c the MSMA were dismissed from the SBK commission and the Flamminis have decide to allow hundreds of prototype parts and exotic materials like titanium and carbon fiber.

We will have to wait and see. Honestly, I don't think GP can be rehabilitated until the MSMA exert pressure on WSBK. They can't whine about the WSBK rule book, and then dump tens of millions into the WSBK teams. At first it seems that Ducati would never go along with it, but when you realize that they nearly bankrupted themselves trying to rev big twins to absurd engine speeds (12,000+rpm), you could envision a scenario where they would want major WSBK reforms as well. They aren't happy with the performance indexing either.

Time will tell.

Total votes: 234

The controlled tire is better than the tire war. I do not want the tire to be deciding factor for the race win. So, I do not understand what some people are complaining about current tire. We also should not compare Crutchlows pole time with Lorenzos. The WSBK uses qualifying tire while the GP does not. For the race time, Lorenzos fastest time 2.03.526 is almost 2 second faster than Crutchlows 2.05.421. The production bike cannot be faster than the prototype if the manufactures have decent R&D. I just do not want both MotoGP and WSBK to be ended up like Cart/Indy debacle.

Total votes: 251

KR has great vision for the sport and is generally right. However, not sure he actually process planned and budgeted on the manufacturing side. They did design and manufacture the 3 cylinder 2 stroke, chassis and engine..Same with the V5. This was with Proton's financial support, not technical. They also did planning with Proton for larger volume street bikes, which never materialized. I think for this position the person needs to understand the build process, budgeting..how it affects the entertainment and he need to be somewhat political on how the goals would be achieved. After all, the goal is to make a MotoGP solution which is viable cost wise for the teams whether it just be an engine or complete bike. The person should have understanding on running a MotoGP team. I don't think Jan or Bartol really would have the personality to do the job.

Total votes: 244

You make a great case for Roberts and reading that, he seems to be the obvious choice..however with regard to personality, is it possible that he'd upset too many suits with his straight talking? Don't get me wrong..I think that's exactly what is needed and people would certainly listen to him because of the respect he commands, but are Dorna brave enough to approach him?
He doesn't strike me as a political animal but he may relish the chance of going up against the same factories that made it difficult for him to continue as an independent in MotoGP.

Total votes: 218

Does the man himself have a superior technical / engineering appreciation?

TwoStroke Institute. That is a very narrow window you are proposing between MotoGP & WSBK.

Total votes: 228

Kenny Roberts had about as much input into the design of his engines as Neil Armstrong did on Apollo 11 or 13 or whatever it was. The first V3 was designed by the car concern TWR which was a complete dog/POS, it got better but was not until Yoda-san and Oguma-san finished up at HRC/Yamaha and redesigned the Modenas did it really start to perform. His 4T engines were designed by various firms in the F1 heartland Banbury UK where the team was based. They were all a complete WOFFTAM.
For all the $$ KR flushed down the loo with is engines,he could have continued racing for many years. KR tarnished himself by never actualy admitting making a race engine is far harder than he ever imagined and gave factories their proper dues.

Nostrodamus ,it IS a narrow window, at Phillip Island 09 an Australian spec superbike with a national level rider went FASTER around the track than a MotoGP bike with GP rider on board. That should not happen(especialy considering to low spec of Aussie superbikes), factory accountants will rightfully ask why spend so much on MotoGP to be hosed by a SBK?
WSBK's have to be production based with homologated kits/specials I am talking about a modern equivalent of TZ or RS over the counter racer available for purchase. NOT a souped up road bike.

Total votes: 235

TwoStroke Ins. is partly right. The first 2 stroke was drawn up by TWR with Roberts engineers input. They also helped with manufacture. There were parts that KR had made for the Yamaha previously, such as cylinders, so he already had some supply chain, but not much. The 2nd 3 was designed in Japan but Yoda was not invovled, the 3rd one, which worked pretty well was done completely in-house, as was the V5. Of course they used some outside companies, as all F1 teams do, but for the most part it was done in Banbury. The sponsorship they had from proton was to build a complete bike, including engine. Proton would not fund them to run anything else, so it was a way to get sponsorship. The team ran Honda engine's, but because the first 800 was not good, they also lost all sponsorship and stopped. So soe of what KR learned through the process might make him good for this position, but I would doubt Dorna or the MSMA would see him as the right guy.

Total votes: 233

TwoStroke Institute is 100% on the money with his comments, re KR engine programes. The person Dorna is looking for needs to have a SUCCESSFUL track record in limited production of race engines and ideally, running the whole race team operation.

It would be difficult to think of a more suitable candidate than Harold Bartol, but he is probably smart enough not to want anything to do with the BS that would accompany the position. Too many team owners look at a GP team as a way to line their pockets, via sponsorship moneys, consequently they are not prepared to make the necessary basic investments to develop machinery in house.

Looking at the Moto GP rules, no one should ever underestimate the power of stupid people in groups.

Total votes: 241

Maybe the new technical consultant is going to help out with CRT homologation.

We know Dorna want CRTs b/c they would be much cheaper than 800cc satellite bikes. The MSMA do not want CRTs b/c they can't control them. If the MSMA give the CRTs 1000cc and 24L of fuel, there is a good chance the CRTs could challenge the works teams even if they impose a specific stock engine and low claiming prices.

But what if the manufacturers built the 1000cc CRT bikes themselves, and then homologated them for FIM competition. The MSMA would still have control over satellite bike performance, but IRTA teams would actually own the CRT bikes. The 1000cc CRT bikes could be much cheaper for Dorna as well.

It would work kind of like this, imo. The factory teams stay with the current 800cc 21L formula. IRTA teams move to 1000cc homologated satellite bikes. Homologation would give the manufacturers control over the performance of the bikes b/c they could regulate things like compression ratio. They could also use a spec ECU for satellite bikes (that just happens to have a rev limit like Moto2). By using low compression and spec ECU they could also avoid selling sensitive technology to privateers.

Maybe the manufacturers would only build the engines while the chassis and bodywork were built by a third-party. Suter BMW? A real Tech 3 Yamaha?

How many of these new 1000cc satellite bikes would need to be built before economies of scale reduce the prices significantly? You'd probably need a consultant with mass production experience to sort it out and make executive decisions about how much tech these bikes should have. :-)

Hard to say what is actually going on behind closed doors.

Total votes: 232