CRT Team List To Be Released Wednesday, And Ippolito Admits Production Engines To Be Permitted

The saga of the CRT teams continues to drag on. The full list of accepted entries was due to be published at last weekend's Barcelona MotoGP round, but last-minute haggling over rule changes has held back the announcement. More meetings were held over the Silverstone weekend, with the factories (assembled in the MSMA) meeting with Dorna on Thursday, and Dorna and IRTA meeting on Friday to discuss the outcome, leading to publication of the entry list being held back until coming Wednesday, June 15th.

The issues delaying finalizing the list were arguments over interpretations of the claiming rules. Some teams intend to use engines leased from outside manufacturers - meaning Aprilia and BMW - rather than buying the engines and tuning them themselves. The incumbent factories in the MotoGP paddock are extremely unhappy with this state of affairs, regarding it as a way for factories currently not competing in MotoGP to enter via the back door, taking advantage of the extra engines and three liters of extra fuel available to the CRT entries. The teams, for their part, were afraid that they would be legally prohibited from handing over an engine which they have only leased and so do not own. The compromise position is likely to be that the teams will be able to switch status from being a CRT entry to factory status (and therefore running 9 engines - just as Suzuki do - and 21 liters of fuel) instead of handing over the engine if it is claimed by a factory.

Paddock rumors strongly suggested that the number of CRT entries was very small indeed, though this was denied by Mike Trimby, General Secretary of IRTA. "We have more than enough entries," Trimby told MotoMatters.com, "And if I have my way, we'll 24 bikes on the grid rather than 22." Deposits had been paid, Trimby said, and entries submitted in good order. The current sticking point was the status of a number of teams, and how many of both factory teams and CRTs will be allowed onto the grid.

Parallel to this development, over in the World Superbike paddock, FIM President Vito Ippolito was forced to issue a clarification. Over the past week, a number of stories on websites and in magazines had appeared in which Ippolito had appeared to suggest that the use of production engines would not be allowed in CRT machines. This, Ippolito said in an official FIM communiqué, was incorrect; what he had intended by his words was that "complete motorcycles" of production origin would not be allowed to compete in a Grand Prix class.

The statement issued by Ippolito is completely in line with what the FIM President told Motomatters.com over a year ago. At the time, Ippolito said that the World Superbike series had a monopoly on racing production motorcycles, but once the engine was divorced from the chassis, the bike was no longer considered a production machine, and the engine could be used in MotoGP if the teams wanted to. So the CRT teams planning to use the BMW S1000RR, Aprilia RSV4 or Kawazaki ZX-10R engines will be allowed to go ahead, and the World Superbike series will not be able to prevent them.

Below is the press release issued by the FIM containing Ippolito's clarification:


Clarification from the FIM

On the occasion of the San Marino Round of the 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship in Misano (ITA), and with reference to the interviews recently published on some motorsports web sites, FIM President Vito Ippolito reiterated what has already been stated several times: Any complete motorcycle model derived from series production, homologated or not for the FIM Superbike/Supersport/Superstock is not eligible and will not be accepted in the FIM Grand Prix World Championship classes.

Back to top

Comments

Lets face it, the only rule that matters is that the manufacturers decide what a is a CRT bike. If you become too successful as a CRT team then they'll pull the rug out from under you.

What sort of technical requirements are the new teams going to have to pass before they can race? We've seen a few teams desperate to race in MotoGP in recent years that have been refused entry on what always seems to be an undefined basis.

Total votes: 205

... has until now basically meant that the MSMA didn't like the idea of any new teams coming along to join their party.

Will things change now the MSMA no longer (at least in theory) has control of the rule book?

Early indications aren't great, and this delay in finalising the CRT rules is a worrying sign. Asking teams to stump up a deposit before you've even decided what they are, let alone whether or not they can race, seems more than a little unfair and, unfortunately, could be a prelude to Formula 1 style tightening of the rules to kill off any engineering innovation that would allow small teams to compete with the big boys.

Total votes: 215

I hope they keep it simple. As of race 1, all should be factory teams.
Newcommers own the engines purchased. Do with them what they may.
Divorced from proddy chassis. 9 engines and no claims,21 litres fuel.
The gang of 4 ? Well,Honda,Yamaha,Ducati and Suzuki are hardly going to claim an Aprilia,BMW,Norton or Kawasaki engine.
CRT is a joke.A sick one at best.
Factory Kalex/BMW,Factory Moriwaki/Kawasaki,Factory Suter/Aprilia etc,somehow makes sense. Like F1. Red Bull/Renault, McLaren/Merc etc. On the one hand it sucks as a die hard biker. On the other,it makes perfect sense. Bigger grids and close racing.
Back door entry entry into MGP1 may well be argued by the MSMA,but with 15 rider grids, a compromise is in order, otherwise MotoGP won't have a sport to complain about in the not too distant future.

Total votes: 200

what are you trying to say?

Total votes: 205

If they would have policed themselves and made manufactures like Yamaha and Suzuki supply more bikes and have the cost reasonable than MotoGP wouldn't be in this mess with so few bikes. If the MSMA would at the very least provide competitive engines for people to stuff in a frame that would have been better than nothing. But once Kenny Roberts showed that a privateer could actually be competitive with that formula that went out the door. So what is Dorna suppose to do? Let the grids wither away? They've already let Suzuki break the 2 bikes per factory team rule along with completely dumping the 6 engine rule so that they would stay in the championship. The manufactures doesn't want anyone to join their party but something had to be done before there is no one left on the dance floor.

Total votes: 207

What about teams that DO purchase production motors and invest thousands in development or at least "modifications", only to have a factory be able to claim their motor for about E12,000 or some paltry sum. Teams will be reluctant to let their technology go for that small amount.

Total votes: 192

The CRTs shouldn't have any technology that they are afraid to lose. That is the point of being a CRT. IF you have the finances to develop technology that rises to the level of intellectual property, you must have the backing of a factory in which case you should be entered as a factory.

Total votes: 205

So the CRTs are expected to buy a slightly warmed-over production motor and race with that, are they? Because that's about all they will get for the amount they can expect to lose if one of their engines is claimed.

Make no mistake, the MSMA have engineered this bargain-basement price for an engine claim. They don't want CRTs investing capital in developing a production engine or (heaven forbid) making their own engine.

So to say that the CRTs shouldn't have any technology they are afraid to lose is fatuous. If a CRT wants to take part and do anything other than make up the numbers, they will have to invest in and develop their own intellectual property; intellectual property which is then at risk of being pilfered by the Big 4, as the rules stand.

Total votes: 215

>>So to say that the CRTs shouldn't have any technology they are afraid to lose is fatuous.

A CRT is a Claiming Rule Team. The entire concept of a CRT is built around the idea that the engine can be claimed for a nominal fee. If they are afraid to lose engine technology for a nominal sum then they should not sign up in the category of teams whose engine can be claimed. They can sign up as a factory team with 9 engines and 21 liters of fuel. Or sign up as a CRT and as soon as an engine claim is made refuse it and switch to factory status.

I agree about the back room MSMA dealings but the resulting rules are up front about what can be done and how. Regardless of these details I think a lot of the know-how is in the ECU and engine mapping which is not covered by the claiming rule.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 221

I'm fully aware of what a CRT is and is expected to be. They are clearly regarded as cannon-fodder to make up the numbers. I (naively) though that the CRT experiment was an attempt to break the dead hand of control that the MSMA currently exerts. It appears that the MSMA have brought pressure to bear and effectively neutered any threat the CRTs might bring to bear.

And this is why we're seeing teams deciding to lease engines; precisely what Carmen Ezpeleta didn't want, apparently. Would you sink large amounts of R&D into an engine that can be claimed for a pittance? I know I wouldn't.

Agree about the electronics; but in that field the factories have an unassailable lead.

Total votes: 218

Dorna (Ezpelata) actually wanted the manufacturers to lease engines.
However they did not agree, MSMA wanted to lease engines at roughly half the price of a satellite bike.
Dorna asked them to lease engines at reasonable prices to extend the grid or they would put CRT rules into play.
CRT it is!
In race there 1 to 3 seconds a lap between the fastest Moto2 and the back markers in MotoGP. And this is with a sub-supersport spec engine below 140 hp, Dunlop slicks and standard stainless steel brakes.
Hell, in treacherous conditions (Silverstone), Bradl was as fast as Rossi!

So the gap is certainly not that big and we can reasonably think that the potential gain from Moto2 to CRT bikes with 60 more hp and super sticky Bridgestones could be over 3 seconds right?

Total votes: 205

You give the CRTs too much credit. They are not intellectual property houses, and we have all been recently appalled to discover that the CRTs are actually looking to lease technology from other companies.

The revelation of lease contracts is distressing b/c as we have discussed in prior threads, achieve max power (though not necessarily max engine performance) is as straightforward as purchasing high compression pistons from a third party like JE or Wiesco, planing the cylinder head for compression, and then doing airflow work like port polish and minor reliability development. The CRTs claim that this minor work (well below WSBK standards) is too difficult and too cost inefficient for private CRTs.

Jerry's remarks are not naive, they are a realistic acknowledgment of the relatively pathetic state of private motorcycle racing teams regarding their ability to develop their own proprietary engine technology. The only glimmer of hope is that the leasing arrangement is just a smoke-screen to thwart engine claiming and unify engine development to make CRTs competitive.

Total votes: 215

CRTs are an unknown quantity at present. How can I give them too much credit? Do you know the engineering background and intentions of the CRTs that have put themselves forward? I certainly don't. For all we know there may be engine developers and tuners in their ranks who could threaten the big 4. Then again there may not be.

My point was that with the claiming rules as they stand we will never find out. No-one will take the risk of pouring R&D into engine development (which does actually involve a bit more than buying high-comp pistons and waving a riffler file around) because of the likelihood of losing any proprietary technology, or at least having it exposed to members of the MSMA.

And tuning an engine to below WSBK standards will give you sub-WSBK performance. Welcome to the back of the grid.

Total votes: 193

I think that MotoGP is going to morph into a CRT series. Once you have a power module that can pump out 250hp the rest is programming and purchasing components. The only thing that is custom on a factory machine is the frame and engine everything else is supplied by vendors on the open market. Both will be available to the CRT teams and building a bike based on the Aprilia V4 is going to be plenty fast and inexpensive (relative to a motogp machine). I even doubt that carbon brakes are going to be that much of an advantage given the new brake materials around.
Sure you can spend 50 times as much and go 15kph faster but who will do it? The factories will win every race until the shift but change will be driven by popularity and the CRT teams will be more popular because the racing between these teams will be closer and more exciting. Sponsors will get more bang for the lower amount of bucks and the fans will dictate the end of factory involvement.

It's funny how things hit you. I was reading comments from Filippo Preziosi he was stating that the carbon frame was a very interesting engineering challenge and I thought great very interesting and then, well, how many people really care about that? Rossi is losing, Ducati is losing and here we have a guy that wants to screw around with design & material science and has no real short term mindset. This is not what the fans want. They want close racing now if not 5 years ago. Almost every MotoGP fan is complaining about the predictable racing. The factories are ruining the series. In actuality the CRT bikes could be very very good. More fuel, more engines and new blood throughout the paddock.

Moto1, coming sooner than you think.

Total votes: 209

I agree that it's a good thing and overall the model will shift toward all CRT. This leasing bit will have to be nipped in the bud. If someone doesn't have the right to give up the engine for the claiming rule fee, then the motor shouldn't be allowed. I think the current model shows how factories are willing to pay ridiculous amounts of money to get 15 kph. The power that the organizers will have with the CRT rules in place offers an alternative to set the rules to limit costs and be able to survive a mass exodus of factories. I don't believe that the factories will leave with ill will. I have a feeling they'll be quite willing to have their names associated with the series at no cost to them, as in "powered by (insert OEM engine base here)".

I think it will take a year to work out the kinks and a year to see how it's a better model and then the following year it could come into it's own.

Total votes: 215

This is actually my third attempt to write a comment off of this. Every other version I lost sight of what I was hoping to say and eventually deleted it in frustration. That aside, I agree and more importantly hope that you are right. And here are my reasons.

Fact: I cannot go buy an RCV212 at the dealership.
Fact: A brand new stock CBR1000RR, although amazing, is not as fast, handles like, stops like, even looks like a RCV212.

Myth: Because the RCV212 is the best bike on the grid this year, doesn't mean I'm going to go buy a CBR1000RR. In fact, I bought my 08 CBR1000RR in 2008 a year that Honda wasn't winning. I bought that particular bike because of all the amazing reviews it got by the motorcycle magazine riders who all rode the stock 08 CBR1000RR. Not RCV212's.

As suggested, as long as there is a "powered by, or a manufactures name attached to the title ie....Red Bull Racing Renault, McLaren Mercedes, the factories are still getting just as much publicity for their name and are spending exponentially less! So why do they have their own private works teams who purposely make sure satellite bikes are not competitive. Control. Look at Red Bull Racing in Formula 1. Everyone knows that they are powered by a Renault engine. Is it safe to assume that supplying an engine to Red Bull Racing is cheaper than running your own works team? Well let's see, with just supplying an engine you are actually making a profit, sure there is some R & D work, yada yada, but at the end of the day Red Bull is paying you to supply them with an engine. Or B, you could run your own team. Spend tens of million on materials, engineers, fabricators, technicians, and all the other accessory personnel required to run a race team.

Fact: For those of you not following F1, Red Bull Racing by far has the best car this year up through this moment.

Fact: an Engine is probably the most important thing to have in a 4-wheeled vehicle to make it move on its own power.

Fact: like MotoGP, F1 cars are pure prototypes that don't adhere to any of the laws of transportation or codes of safety for mass production.

So, Renault makes money, and gets their name out as an outstanding engine builder. Now I'm not saying I'm going to go buy a Renault. I'm in the US, and we have no such things here. But if I lived across the pond and was building some sort of racer, I would be tempted to look at Renault and see if they could supply an engine to meet my needs.

Hypothesis: If I saw a San Carlo Honda were to win a world championship, I would not say damn, San Carlo needs to get into the motorcycle business, they could make a better bike than Honda could. I would say damn, Honda has the best technology/rider this year. And just like that, Honda has their name out, just as well marketed as paying tens of millions of dollars/euros/etc to run a works team.

And finally we are finally left with team names on the grid whose sole business statement is to go racing...and that's when it gets amazing again.

Total votes: 203

"Fact: I cannot go buy an RCV212 at the dealership.
Fact: A brand new stock CBR1000RR, although amazing, is not as fast, handles like, stops like, even looks like a RCV212."

True, but one of the reasons I chose to purchase my 2005 Honda cbr600rr is because it was one of the 1st production sport bikes on the market to have trickle down "4stroke 990" era motogp technology(rc211v swing arm) Also. The "baby blade" was based off of the 990 rc211v in size dimensions and the body(fairings) where near identical. ('03-'06) 1st gen. 600rr. I chose this model over their current model based on this.

Total votes: 209

Running a team costs money, doesn't matter if it's a factory or satellite. Both of them get money from major sponsors to provide the bankroll.

The incentive for a factory to run the team is to control all aspects of it... financially, picking whos on the team, and who rides the bikes.

The incentive to do that is to make sure they always finish in the top spots.

The incentive to finish in the top spots is to get the most camera coverage & attention. That ups the price they can charge sponsors to put their name on the bike, and keeps the factory reputation as a leading racing force.

Additionally they get the direct benefit to apply the chassis, engine and electronics learnings to their productions bikes, instead of being one step back from the data, getting feedback from teams they don't design chassis for and don't control.

So I see plenty of reasons why a factory would want their own team and not just sit back to supply engines.

Total votes: 221

What do Dorna gain from a CRT/Moto1 championship?

Dorna don't gain anything, and Moto1 would only further blur the lines of demarcation between WSBK and GP. Homogenization of SBK and GP is the opposite of what the GPC want. I'm inclined to say Bridgepoint would give it a go in order to save money, but Dorna has said on numerous occasions that CRT will merely be grid fillers. We have no indication that anyone is plotting to turn MotoGP into Moto1.

Also, why would Dorna go Moto1 if they don't have to? GP could remain full prototype even in the absence of the MSMA if MotoGP had a "Cosworth DFV". Even a DFV is not necessary to maintain prototype racing b/c Dorna can use manufacturer contracts to get the changes they want. Dorna sign contracts with a few manufacturers to get 81mm 4-cylinder 1000cc prototype bikes. The new manufacturers endure a few embarrassing seasons, and then the fuel limit goes missing (oops!). Honda and Yamaha do not get their contracts renewed, but Honda and Yamaha decide to stay b/c they still want to control the rulebook even if they don't have revenue-sharing. Dorna announces $20M entry fees for all participants. Teams without contracts are forced to withdraw.

Dorna want to be rid of the fuel limit, and they probably want a horsepower cap b/c it makes things more entertaining. Why turn MotoGP into Moto1 simply to get rid of the fuel limit?

The 1000cc rules and the new CRT are a charade. The MSMA hope that 1000cc will make the racing tolerable while the economy recovers which will shut up Dorna and give them a new train to rob. If 1000cc fails to produce good racing and the economy doesn't recover, the MSMA will be replaced over the next 5 years as Dorna signs new manufacturers. The MSMA will be forced to withdraw in shame, or they will be forced to accept Dorna's rules amendments.

If you are Ducati, you're in for 1000cc b/c you hope Honda and Yamaha withdraw. If you're Honda and Yamaha, you're in for 1000cc b/c you are buying time. If you're Suzuki, you're in a real pickle b/c the future is uncertain, but the cost of designing a new engine is guaranteed.

Total votes: 188

What Dorna gains is leverage and control. Fuel limits may be an irrelevant symptom of a control issue of the rules committee, but it's not a problem in itself. I don't see a difference between a customer prototype engine (a la Cosworth) and the CRT engine other than an initially lower barrier to entry because of the cost effective source of engine cases and base design. It's not like there is going to be much original equipment inside these motors.

I don't see the harm in terms of blurring of lines as most people don't understand the difference between SBK and Grand Prix racing. The delineation is not anyone's product. The spirit of sport is maintained in being the peak of the sport with machines that can't be purchased by anyone for road use. It's the SBK prototype creep that does more harm on that front.

Total votes: 219

I agree with you, but neither of us run MotoGP or WSBK. My post is what I think the participants, organizers, and sanctioning body want for MotoGP and WSBK based upon what they have said over the years.

I've not taken Bridgepoint's recent bid for IMS into account b/c Bridgepoint's motives are not known at this time.

Total votes: 200

@grantstrickland Last weekend we didnt even have enough racers to complete the grid...... SO WHAT~!? VERY few racers are capable of competitively competing on a MotoGP machine. The fact that there are so few riders are in this class is not to suggest that many more teams are needed, but rather that the VERY FEW on this level justify the small number on the grid.

Total votes: 220

This come from Wayne Gardners weekly column that can be found at
http://www.waynegardnerapproved.com/
Wayne's weekly #59

NEW WORLD ORDER
Has the time finally come to combine MotoGP and World Superbikes into one series? I know it sounds crazy, but let’s think about it for a minute. Like it or not, the world economy remains in a fragile state and motorcycle sales and manufacturer profits are down significantly. As a result, companies are finding it much harder to justify the millions required to fund race departments. Added to this is the issue of sponsorship, which is much harder to come by as many companies look to tighten their belts. These are all facts of life that aren’t likely to change any time soon. Then there’s the state of the current MotoGP grid – just 15 or so bikes, and sometimes less if riders are injured. Over in Supers, grid numbers are certainly higher, but most of the field look like they belong in a BSB race or at a track day rather than on the world stage.

Why not consolidate the best parts of both shows and create a super series, with MotoGP bikes and the very best superbikes doing battle with each other? Yes, to an extent it would be a two-tier competition, but I think it’s a far better option than the introduction of CRT bikes in MotoGP next year. Can you imagine TV commentators trying to explain those complex rules to viewers? It’s going to be extremely confusing for most people and I think it’s fair to say that these entries won’t add much to the show.

The Supers, however, could provide a great championship race within a race, as the very best talent from that class would ensure amazing action right through the field. Maybe a different coloured number plate system could be used to identify the two different classes, the way it used to be in the 1980s. The other major advantage of a single series would be the appeal to sponsors. No longer having to choose between one or the other, they could put all their eggs in the one basket. This would all help strengthen top-flight motorcycle racing as a global entertainment spectacle and ensure its health long into the future.

Now, I know there’s no chance of this happening any time soon, but one day it simply may have to. If anyone else out there has any ideas of how to boost grid numbers and increase the popularity of motorcycle racing’s premier classes, I’d love to hear from you via Twitter@TheWayneGardner.

Total votes: 185

I think a restructuring of both series should occur. The fact that the FIM has licensed the managing of the different fields to two separate businesses is the only barrier.

Gardner's idea isn't bad, but it doesn't take that barrier into consideration. If that barrier disappears, it's very possible. The CRT model is the best alternative while maintaining the non-production mystique of purpose built machines. The twist on his idea that I hope will happen with the current proposed model is that the top teams, riders and engineers in WSBK will come to the CRT side and just run in a custom chassis. And that production racing rules will be more like current superstock, and that rules will be homologated across national organizations.

His recognition that economic concerns should be guiding consolidation is important. I think a shuffle of the deck is in order and everyone can come out ahead with fair opportunities, reasonable costs, attractive financial compensation and a good show for the public.

I'd have replied to him on twitter, but clearly the motomatters comment section is only filled with blowhards like me and fans that sleep with a thesaurus tucked under their pillows. 140 characters just isn't enough!

Total votes: 224

Imo, unification may be economically convenient, but it doesn't meet the needs of the FIM or the MSMA. Both parties are concerned with more than just the international flagship racing series. Unifying WSBK and MotoGP would further alienate the national series from the international scene. The farther the nationals are removed from the international scene, the more rulebook variations the national series are forced to create in order to meet the cost/technology needs of the local teams.

WSBK doesn't really need to be integrated into MotoGP, WSBK simply needs to return to its roots. The 1000cc formula was supposed to achieve rules stability and cost cutting for all production bike racing series, but IMS were not satisfied with the MSMA rulebook.

The problems with production bike racing are relatively straightforward. A Superstock rulebook encourages manufacturers to equip stock bikes with production irrelevant racing parts. Supersport and Superbike rules are not affordable to a majority of the national series. Sensible rules and homologation procedures can remedy the situation. If they enforce a set compression ratio (with no racing modification), the process of tuning the bikes would be greatly simplified.

Suppose they returned WSBK to its Superproduction (Supersport) roots, and they used the homologation papers to regulated stock static compression to 12.5:1. Depending upon how they write the tuning rules, prepping and engine could be as simple as installing an aftermarket cam to change valve lift, duration, and overlap; and installing aftermarket racing springs. The bikes would be easier to tune and the engines would be more reliable (reduced compression). Perhaps the machines would shed about 10hp, but none of us would notice the difference on the TV, and lap times would not be substantially different. Small price to pay, to build bridges with national teams while also establishing a single rulebook that can be run around the world.

Total votes: 217

I completely agree. Though in terms of unification of management I can see an advantage in that these changes made to GP and SBK formulas could more easily be made with respect to both series.

The common ground SHOULD be the FIM. But it seems that they don't have the sway to make both branches move in ways that would benefit everyone. Second, the FIM seems to have little influence in unifying a set of SBK rules WITH cooperation with the national organizations with which they are supposed to be representing on an international level. Are not all the national organizations participants in the FIM? It would seem there's no link.

If they had a unified set of 'superproduction' rules I could see adventurous teams being wild cards, testing the waters of endurance racing and the performance of all involved could be more clearly compared across the board. It's all really one big test isn't it?

Total votes: 190

The lack of a universal national rulebook is extremely frustrating. The only people who seem interested in establishing a unified rulebook are DMG, but they are held in such low regard by racing promoters that few series are willing to change. Interestingly enough, DMG is held in high regard by manufacturers which is why MFJ has adopted the new AMA rulebook.

As much work as DMG has done, there is still one major shortcoming of the AMA rulebook--free compression. Free compression challenges the "production" aspect of SBK/SS racing b/c free compression and other air flow technologies like port/polish work are regarded as proprietary secrets. Though the AMA has improved the "production" concept, the tuning companies still do not sell their engines even though every single racing part has been homologated by the sanctioning body!

Static compression is regulated in many production car racing series (e.g. WTCC) so I think DMG are eager to regulate stock compression. Unfortunately, the manufacturers have not agreed upon a standard ratio, and replacing stock pistons to achieve a standardized static compression is perhaps more expensive than allowing teams to run free compression. If a compression standard can be reached by all manufacturers (tall order, imo), costs will plummet and many proprietary technologies can be eliminated or moved into more advanced GP series.

Perhaps my second suggestion for WSBK seems like a nostalgic throwback, but I think the manufacturers also need to start an air-cooled sportbike series for naked machines. The purpose of the series is not nostalgia, but to acknowledge growing market segments (naked/standard), to acknowledge current production challenges (cost suppression), and to introduce new technology (direct injection). Modern sportbikes rev too high for direct injection to be incorporated in a cost effective manner, but air-cooled engines are relatively low revving by nature and direct-injection would be a huge step forward for temperature control and emissions control in air-cooled engines. Difficult to create b/c standard bikes have a wide variety of engine configs and technological features, but the rewards could be immense, imo.

Total votes: 188

1. You may loose a fair amount of interest (meaning investment) of the manufacturers, because they won't be developing much.
Of course with these rules you wouldn't need that much input from the manufacturers to be competitive, but less investment could diminish the value of the sport, at least in the eyes of the media, and less media coverage is never good if you want to run healthy series. Even with a cheaper formula, without all the money that the manufacturers invest directly in the series and to promote it, it could be a rough time for the teams.

How many real private teams (with little to no money from the manufacturers) in WSBK right now? Maybe 4 or 5, Aprilia Pata, Effenbert Ducati, Supersonic Ducati and the perennial losers Pedercini Kawasaki. Suzuki Alstare is turning into a private team.

2. You may quickly end up with world superbike specs lower than some national championships (BSB, maybe AMA if they go back to their former glory?), stealing the thunder of a "world" championship.
What credibility do you get as a world series if you run slower than national series on the same tracks?
Would people follow the series as much, would sponsors invest? Again back to TV rights and media coverage which are vital to the sport.

Unifying national and international superbike rulebooks may solve part of the problem...good luck with that.

Total votes: 208

1. Manufacturers may not reduce their investment, they may simply choose to use investment in a more cost effective manner. Currently, the manufacturers develop state-of-the-art 4-stroke racing parts for production machines. They do the same in MotoGP. If they eliminate state-of-the-art racing modifications in WSBK, it doesn't mean that WSBK becomes useless. On the contrary, WSBK may become more useful as the manufacturers move their budgets from technological development to hospitality and B2B endeavors that are designed to increase sales and grow the motorcycle market. MotoGP isn't necessarily a good place to conduct such business b/c the bikes are about as production relevant as alien spacecraft and the sponsors and technical partners are more interested in branding intangibles and developing technology than growing the motorcycle market.

2. The possibility of a national series running higher specifications than WSBK is no longer a threat. The AMA was the only threat to WSBK, but the US distributors have run the AMA aground, and the new owners (DMG/NASCAR) are interested in establishing a unified national rulebook in coordination with the FIM. All the FIM have to do is tell the national series to run an FIM-approved rulebook for national series or they can no longer sanction FIM events. It is no more complicated than that b/c there are few motorcycle manufacturers who operate outside of FIM competition, and fewer still who would be willing to antagonize the FIM by starting a new production series with a rogue promoter. Sad, but that's the way it is. The kind of megalomania and mad money necessary to defy the FIM was only present in the United States, but the warlords of US production bike racing have rendered themselves impotent and irrelevant by mismanaging the AMA national series (both before and after the sale to DMG).

I'm not suggesting that rogue national series won't exist someday, but they are not a threat at present, and if the FIM can establish a rulebook that leads to profits for national promoters and increased sales for manufacturers, it will reduce the possibility of future threats.

Total votes: 239

but BSB is on par with WSBK as demonstrated by the fact that some teams buy the previous year WSBK bike to run in BSB or the success of british wildcards on BSB spec bikes.
Why is BSB successful? Because the manufacturers are involved, because highspec bikes make the transition to world supersport and superbikes easier. This is also why there are much more transfers from BSB to world series than from AMA (though obviously not the only reason).

National promoters who run national championships don't really care about what WSBK or the Flamini brothers want, they want their own series to generate interest and revenue, that's it.

If I understand correctly, when AMA was sold to DMG, new rules have been introduced to lower specs but it had nothing to do with the FIM. No one could afford such expensive racing by that time, specs have been lowered, the manufacturers ran away and the first year was a catastrophe.
Now the championship is slowly recovering but not quite reaching the same popularity nor credibility as before, and it doesn't benefit from the support of any manufacturer (except maybe Ducati?).

The Flamini want to make money, and so do the national series promoters, at times they struggle to survive and I doubt they would be willing to take into account more parameters i.e. what the Flamini bros or the FIM wants. Their job is hard enough already.

Total votes: 179

DMG's have made public their ambitions to create a FIM-approved national rulebook. Plus, DMG are using the basic model first proposed for 1000cc WSBK (minus the air-restrictors). The Japanese manufacturers are supportive, and they have pushed the MFJ (Japanese SBK) to adopt AMA-style rules.

In general, the national series are not interested in creating their own rulebooks, they are merely adjusting their rulebooks to respond to political pressure, technical limitations, and cost structure. DMG have offered a national rulebook to address national needs; however, the free-compression conundrum continues to plague production bike racing which might be part of the reason the FIM didn't adopt the free-compression AMA rulebook for national series. If the FIM can just get the manufacturers to agree to a homologated compression ratio, the national series will have a lot more options.

BSB has manufacturer money, but those manufacturing interests are not antagonistic to the FIM so changing the rulebook will not make them a threat. The old AMA was a very different arrangement. The Japanese distributors in the US were quite antagonistic to the FIM, but the Japanese gave them free reign b/c they were operating in a market that was nearly as big as big as the global market for high displacement bikes. US laws are also quite friendly to sportbike ownership so Japan had reason to let the US distributors run amok. They looked like the smartest guys in the room until it all came crashing down in 2008-2009.

Perhaps high-technology is better for ratings, but it isn't want the FIM, MSMA, and most national series want. Even BSB have created an Evo rulebook to address the cost problems with full-WSBK spec machines.

Total votes: 220

I'd like to see Kawasaki and a serious suzuki effort back before crt teams, there are plenty of manufactures out there(aprilia , bmw etc) who could enter the sport but it just doesn't make finance sense dorna should be putting more effort into sorting that out and overcoming the difficulties therein. By keeping the best rides uber expensive and elite they seem to be missing the point. The new teams in F1 are nothing short of an inconvenience at the mo.

ps anyone see Alex Hoffmans blog on twitter(it's on gpone) Interestingly he is testing an rsv4 at mugello whilst Rossi is there on the gp12, apparently he was left in the dust by the gp12 the difference was so great.. lot of creases and some I suspect like 70s jeans won't come out.

Total votes: 183

I can see no reason on earth why MotoGP and WSBK would ever merge. The fact that certain enthusiasts (and hopeless cases like Wayne Gardner) see a unified series as the Holy Grail completely ignores the commercial aspects of the sport.

Both series are strong Brands in their own right, and have built that Brand up over many years. As with all Brands, there is a definite (and large) financial value attached to that Brand. Do you honestly think that the owners of either MotoGP or WSBK are likely to sign away that Brand value and allow it to be subsumed into its rival? If you do, I have some attractive beach-front property in Sheffield to sell...

Even if both Brands are owned by a single entity (unlikely, but not impossible), nothing would change. Why would you buy a competitor to destroy the Brand you've just paid mega-bucks for? It simply doesn't make sense.

MotoGP and WSBK will be competing series for the foreseeable future (unless one or the other is so badly mismanaged they implode).

Total votes: 204