Suzuki Boss Denning Believes Elias Punishment Will Not Set Precedent

The paddock's response to the leniency of the punishment for Toni Elias and the Gresini Moto2 team has been one of puzzlement. After all, for testing during the summer break, a period during which all testing is prohibited, Elias was only punished by being excluded from a single session, and the team handed a 3000 euro fine. That, some said, was a pretty good price to pay: an affordable fine and the loss of 20 laps on a crowded track against some 90 uninterrupted laps on an empty circuit. Such a light penalty might set a precedent, and speculation has been rife that others could follow in Gresini's footsteps.

One of the first names to be suggested as likely to benefit from extra testing was the Rizla Suzuki squad of Loris Capirossi and Alvaro Bautista. The Suzuki GSV-R is suffering from a serious lack of development this year, and could really benefit from extra testing time. Suzuki team boss Paul Denning has previously been rumored to be considering extra testing, and so caught up with the Suzuki boss to get his opinion of the punishment for Elias.

Denning disagreed with the belief that the penalty was unnecessary lenient. "I believe it was a genuine mistake," Denning said, "and the penalty is appropriate for a genuine mistake." The problem, Denning explained, was the complex rules which cover testing. "The rules are so complicated about what constitutes a break that they're easy to misinterpret," the Suzuki boss said.

Nor did Denning believe the punishment for Elias and Gresini would set a precedent. "We could already test as much as we like, by putting a 22 liter tank on the bike so it's no longer a legal MotoGP bike," Denning said. "But we don't, because it's about observing the spirit of the rules."

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I cannot believe that last paragraph ! We are talking GP racing here, not cricket !!

If that is in fact true ( " We could already test as much as we like " ), it is a slap in the face to the guys at the factory who are struggling on a restricted budget, the team and the riders. As a team manager you have an obligation to provide as much support as is possible to maximize results.

Smokey Yunick would turn in his grave .

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

No wonder Suzuki's MotoGP effort is so pathetic, if Denning realised that they could test as much as they like he should be trying to do it. Suzuki is already compromising the spirit of the rules by knowing they would never make the season on 6 engines (as stated by numerous sources) and relying on the pity of other teams and Dorna to pad out the season with some concessions.

If Suzuki break the rules, Honda and Yamaha will follow suit. Suzuki are at the back of the grid b/c they couldn't afford the spending spree after the 2007 season. If they start another spending spree by breaking the testing rules, does anyone actually think they will come out ahead? I'm not so deluded, and neither is Denning.

Observing the spirit of the rules is important b/c they don't have the time, money, or patience to review each rule change with a team of lawyers. IRTA do not function like FOTA. If IRTA maintain a bit of chivalry, I say more power to them.

because you cannot test, evaluate and trouble shoot new components/upgrades at a GP. They are effectively pouring money down a hole without testing. A structured,rational test programe will save money over the course of a season as it will avoid going down a blind alley with concepts and destroyed engines/ crashed bikes resulting from desperation at races.

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

They have a structured rational test program, but they are only able to implement the program with their GP riders at official MotoGP tests. If Suzuki were to break this arrangement by embracing a hyper-literal interpretation of the rulebook, they would be worse off than they are now. Suzuki are backmarkers b/c Honda and Yamaha went on a spending/testing binge to get their 2008 bikes up to speed. The spending glut has continued with the implementation of the control tire (different than the initial 800cc Bridgestones) and the engine reliability rules. Suzuki cannot sustain the current pace of development. Luckily for them, the other manufacturers spent tens of millions during the off season to develop a technology that doesn't increase performance.

If the point of MotoGP was to avoid wasting material and financial resources, all of the teams would withdraw with immediate effect. They do not glean any production-relevant information from MotoGP bikes. They are simply rapid-prototyping halo products and then destroying them for advertising/entertainment purposes. MotoGP doesn't suddenly make sense when someone finds a 2% performance gain. It satisfies our desire to go faster, but it doesn't have anything to do with fundamental business activities.

I spoke to HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto about this subject (and Filippo Preziosi as well), and they both said they learned a lot from MotoGP. Nakamoto said they learned a lot about fuel injection at part throttle, an issue which has huge implications, as that's where most road bikes spend most of their time. Preziosi said something similar, but said that he basically handed over all his data to the road bike division, and they cherry-picked it for useful lessons.

Great sources David, anyone that follows racing knows that materials and technology developed for racing in MotoGP does in fact find its way to the production bikes sold to the public. How about the M1 big bang engine sequence that is now in the R1? Ducati's traction control on the Streetfighter S, 1198 S. Carbon Fiber framing and bodywork anyone? We see that all over the place on performance bikes and cars. Carbon rotors, which have not hit mainstream on production bikes but is prevalent on performance cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche.

Of course for production based bikes the materials are going to be relative to the price points for that particular bike. You won't find all those features on the intro models.

I find it hard to believe that the production people learned anything from an engine that runs at (??) 150C to 200C on 96AKI race fuel. The marketers have an enormous profit incentive the promote the idea (whether myth or truth) that racing is useful for production vehicles. Nakamoto also must convince Honda that it is useful to race MotoGP even when Honda have 1 title in the last 6 seasons.

Hell, you know what? The more I think about it, maybe I should just concede that they gather production relevant technology. The only production bikes the MSMA develop feverishly are race replicas. Conceptually speaking, the Japanese I-4 is a racing engine that has been shoehorned into all manner of bikes regardless of displacement. Same goes for the Ducati L-twin.

It's a self-fulfilling prophecy really. Prototype racing technology benefits production racing bikes. It's a self-contained industrial microcosm that is rapidly imploding b/c it isn't relevant or cost-effective to the consumer. I made the mistake of assuming that production bikes were consumer relevant. I won't let it happen again :-D

I agree with phoenix1 if suzuki break the rules and start testing so will the other factories so even if they did test theyd still come out last only now theyd be spending more time and money to do it.

The rules are confusing? To who? Yeah, you have to think through them as you read but they aren't that long nor complicated and you certainly don't have to be a lawyer to figure it out.

Gresini isn't some newbie team here. 125cc and Moto2 Classes

Contracted Teams who benefit from or who have been offered a
Participation Agreement to take part in the Championship are
forbidden to practice with those machines:
i) At any circuit between the 1st December of one year and the
20th January of the following year, both dates being inclusive.
ii) At any circuit outside the Continental Zone where the team is
based, (Europe, Asia/Oceania, Africa, the Americas), between
the end of one season and the start of the next season.
iii) At any circuit included in the Grand Prix calendar of the current
year after the date that is 14 days prior to the first race of the
iv) At any circuit included in the Grand Prix calendar of the current
year during “breaks”, as defined in 1.15.1 above.

The following exceptions will apply:
f) For the Moto2 class, practice at any circuit in the
Continental Zone where the team is based during the
“winter 2009-2010” only.

--------------------------------------------- - MotoGP Data & Statistics

sadly Suzuki does need help. GP really can't afford to loose another factory.

I honestly believe they should have stuck with an inline 4 instead of a V.

Maybe when they jump to 1000cc Suzuki can go back to a inline, let's face it Kawasaki rubbed there face in the mud on an under-funded inline 4, were Suzuki already had years under it's belt with the GSR-V.

A SUPER TRICKED GSXR-1000 would lap better than there 800V!

I thought I read that the engines the Moto2 teams use are handed out at random at the start of a race meeting, and are returned at the end of the weekend.

So, what engine was in the bike Elias tested at Misano? If it wasnt an official moto2 engine, then surely Elias didnt test on a legit Moto2 bike ...