Lucio Cecchinello On The Complications Caused By The Rookie Rule

MotoGP's 2013 Silly Season is one of the most complicated in many years. Though the retirement of Casey Stoner has opened up the market, the real complication lies with two factors, and the way those two interact. The issue can be summed up in a single question: what are we going to do with Marc Marquez?

It has been clear for some time that Marc Marquez is going to be one of the hottest properties in MotoGP in 2013, the Spaniard expected to graduate to the premier class at the end of this season. Under normal circumstances, this would not be an issue, but the situation that MotoGP finds means that we are a very long way from normal circumstances. The combination of the global financial crisis and the radically depleted field, a consequence of the cost hyperinflation the switch to 800cc caused back in 2007, has meant that the series finds itself in a period of transition, with the return to 1000cc machines just the first step in a major rules shakeup. The scale of the proposed changes - a rev limit, a single ECU, one bike per rider, a cap on lease prices, and a limit to the number of bikes each factory can provide - means that discussions about the rules are ongoing, the situation changing at each Grand Prix as the haggling and horse-trading between the factories and Dorna continues.

Marquez was expected to fall victim to the Rookie Rule, the provision introduced when Ben Spies entered MotoGP in 2010, preventing a rider from going straight to a factory team in his first season in the class. Both HRC and Repsol, the Spanish oil giant who have backed Marquez throughout his career, have made no secret of their preference of putting Marquez directly into the factory Repsol Honda team. The Rookie Rule prevents this happening, leaving Repsol and Monlau Competicion, who run Marquez' Moto2 team (and the 125cc team he raced in before that) casting about for alternatives. Their preferred option, if Marquez cannot go straight to the factory team, is for Monlau to move up as an independent satellite team running Marquez as the sole rider. The team would be backed by Honda, and Marquez would have full factory-spec equipment at his disposal.

But that itself poses a problem. Under the current proposals, which look very close to being finalized, each manufacturer will only be allowed to supply a maximum of four riders with bikes in 2013, two riders in a factory team and two riders in satellite teams. With the direct route into the factory team blocked, Marquez causes a dilemma, for Honda and for the satellite teams involved: placing Marquez with either the San Carlo Gresini or the LCR satellite teams will cause problems with the teams' existing sponsors, and if Marquez brings his own team of mechanics with him, then it would also mean satellite teams breaking long-standing relationships with mechanics already working for the teams. Likewise for Honda, if HRC grants Repsol and Monlau's wish of creating a separate team for Marquez, that could mean being forced to take away a bike from one of the two Honda satellite teams. 

To hear the perspective of the satellite teams themselves, MotoMatters.com spoke to Lucio Cecchinello at Barcelona, owner of the LCR Honda team currently fielding Stefan Bradl in MotoGP. Cecchinello and Gresini are the parties in the most difficult situation, and though Cecchinello pronounced himself a supporter of the Rookie Rule, he was clear that the current set of circumstances made the situation even more complicated than it would normally be.

"The rookie rule was created to support the independent teams," Cecchinello told MotoMatters.com. "Before, manufacturers would always pick up the best young riders of the intermediate class, and this gave the independent teams less credibility with sponsors. So to try to support the independent teams, Dorna and the IRTA committee decided to create the rookie rule." The aim, Cecchinello explained, was for the independent teams to benefit from the increased exposure that signing high-profile youngsters would provide, and to help them to secure better sponsorship deals. 

The problem comes when this one-size-fits-all rule runs into the practicalities of riders coming through the kind of system that has produced Marc Marquez. The Rookie Rule was introduced in part to cope with the case of Ben Spies, who came into MotoGP with the backing of a manufacturer and their domestic distributor, Yamaha USA. With little in the way of sponsorship baggage and coming from outside the series, Spies could easily be placed in the Tech 3 Yamaha satellite team, and then promoted to the factory squad the year after. Marquez, however, is different: the Spaniard is a graduate of the Monlau Competicion organization, and has been brought up through the ranks by Repsol since he first entered the series in the 125cc class. This means that unlike Spies, Marquez brings a large amount of baggage, in terms of both team and more importantly, in terms of sponsorship.

That creates complications for satellite teams such as LCR, Cecchinello explained. "I have existing sponsors, like GIVI, like ELF, who have supported us for many years, and in that case, I don't see a very easy way to work together with Repsol, especially ELF, for example. ELF have invested a lot of money in our team, so we want to keep them." Cecchinello currently has a two-year contract with Stefan Bradl for 2012 and 2013, meaning that he could not simply drop Bradl in 2013 without creating massive complications. Bradl signed with LCR expecting to have a Honda RC213V for two seasons, and any changes to that situation would mean renegotiating contracts. "We have a two-year contract with Stefan Bradl, and for me to stop working with Honda, I would need either to renegotiate the contract with my existing rider, or I need to try to find a way out of working with Stefan Bradl."

Even adding Marquez as a second rider, expanding his team to two satellite Hondas, would be complicated, especially if the stipulation that each manufacturer can only supply four bikes stays in place. "This would mean that Gresini would have to stop, to give his bike to LCR, which I don't think is going to happen," Cecchinello told MotoMatters.com, adding that the same would be true if Marquez were to go to Gresini as a second rider. Gresini would face the same kind of sponsorship problems that LCR did, Cecchinello explained. "Gresini would stop working with Castrol, with San Carlo that they have a historical cooperation with their sponsor, and the rookie bring the sponsor in a project that is only for one year." The fact that Marquez is destined for the factory team - and the fact that everyone in MotoGP knows this - means creating a lot of disruption for minimal gain. Even allowing Monlau to enter Marquez as a separate team does not benefit the championship long-term, Cecchinello said. "I also agree with the Dorna and IRTA position not to accept a team that would be set up just for one year, you know, because also this is not serious. "

Though the idea of the Rookie Rule was good, the practicalities of the matter make it very difficult, Cecchinello said. "Of course, we must understand that this kind of rule has a meaning and is logical when we [the independent teams] can take an advantage from this rule. If this rule creates a disadvantage to the independent team, I think is correct to reconsider this matter. The problem is that it's difficult to say "this is the right direction", because every time, the situation changes. So maybe in some situations, the rookie rule is good, and sometimes it could create a problem."

"We did this rule to protect the independent teams," Cecchinello explained. "At this moment, there is a specific situation that can create a very tough situation for sponsors, manufacturers, teams, riders. This situation can also happen again in the future." From his perspective, the problem was caused by the stipulation that the factories can only produce four bikes for next year, Cecchinello said. "So my wish at the moment is that we should all sit together and either open the door to the manufacturers to implement more bikes on the grid, and then Honda will produce just one bike more for [Marquez]." This itself created further complications, however: "But also, I understand for Honda it means they will lose time, as they need to find another rider for just one year only, probably," Cecchinello said, referring to the fact that a vacancy will have to be created in the Repsol Honda team for Marquez to move into in 2014, after his rookie year, making it difficult to find riders to fill that space. 

Overall, the Italian team manager was happy with the rule, but the complexities of dealing with a rider like Marquez remained. "I think that it's a fantastic rule, but at this moment, for this specific situation, in particular for the two independent Honda teams and the Honda factory, it's a big mess. So, I don't want to say that the Rookie Rule is not good and we need to change it, but let me say that at this moment, what is happening to LCR and to Gresini and to HRC, and also to the team of Marquez is a little bit uncomfortable rule." It was not just a problem for Honda, Cecchinello was keen to add: "By the way, maybe some manufacturers would not be happy if we ask to change this rule, but from the other side, let me say that it could be in the near future that Yamaha or Ducati could find themselves in the same situation, you know?"

MotoGP's Rookie Rule has had great benefits for the satellite teams in MotoGP. Tech 3 obtained the services of Ben Spies for a season, and Gresini had the ideal figurehead in Marco Simoncelli, until the Italian was tragically killed in an accident at Sepang last year. For single, relatively unattached riders, the rule works perfectly. For riders such as Marc Marquez, who have been nurtured and prepared for MotoGP with the backing of a solid educational and sponsorship structure, it is a much more difficult fit. If the limit of four bikes per manufacturer is to be introduced for 2013, it is hard to see how the Rookie Rule can be maintained without it turning against the teams it is intended to help. The simplest solution would be for the introduction of the four-rider limit per manufacturer to be delayed. With doubts over the number of satellite Ducatis that will be appearing on the grid for 2013 - the satellite Pramac squad faces an uncertain future at the end of this season, and Karel Abraham of the Cardion AB team has been deeply unhappy with the GP0 version of the bike he has been given to ride - allowing an extra Honda onto the grid, for a team with the means to pay for it, seems like common sense.

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Comments

Some things strike me about whats going on in motoGP (aside from changing the rules all the time but its a necessity to get where they need to be im told)

Why restrict the number of bikes a factory can provide when we're trying to expand the grid? This makes absolutely 0 sense. If a team has the funds to purchase/lease a 5th yamaha or honda or ducati for the grid, then why not let them?
Another question would be why require 2 bikes for a factory team? An easy solution to this whole Marquez problem is to let Monlau Competicion come up and be a honda team, respol honda runs dani pedrosa by himself, gresini san carlo runs bautista, and LCR runs Bradl. Its still 4 hondas on the grid regardless of what colors they are. This would also provide more sponsors an access in with 4 different teams on the grid.
We know Marquez is the hot name but what about the guys currently beating him in the championship and running with him? Pol Espargaro certainly deserves a shot in the show as does Luthi but aside from finding a way to put together a CRT ride it doesnt look like there is going to be a seat available for them (unless Spies and Hayden and Edwards decide to go and destroy WSBK for some reason).

Some of the restrictions Dorna is trying to impose I can understand. Would have made more sense had they put the package together last year so it would be 1 redesign rather than 2. But they seem to be throwing money out the window while they are trying save money and also seem to be restricting the manufacturers more and more to the point of possibly pushing them out.

Total votes: 178

I agree, why not let Dani be the sole rider in the Honda team and put MM in his own team for the year?

Great article once again. Things are never as simple as they seem.

Total votes: 150

I would assume that Repsol being the title sponsor for Honda would require in their contract with Honda that a 2 rider team is represented at each race. unless injuries occurred. 2 bill boards on track instead or one. these pesky contracts...

Total votes: 139

or maybe mm93 will continue to mix brilliance and a wildness into a package unable to win a moto2 or premier WC and interest will fizzle out...

not (:

Total votes: 147

Why not rename the whole thing to the Marc Marquez show at the same time ?

Total votes: 159

soz

Total votes: 139

There should just be a limit on the number of bikes each team can field. I interpret the limit on the number of bikes provided/manufacture is an attempt to limit a potential domination of the top 5 positions by a single factory (see Honda 2011).

2 bikes per team would allow more teams to choose to lease the most competitive bike, while restricting certain sponsors from controlling the rostrum.

Total votes: 141

That thought of Spies, Hayden and Edwards all going back to SBK is tantalizing. If I'm not mistaken, they are all former champions. Spies could go back on a Yamaha, Hayden on either Ducati (Panigale next year) or Honda and Edwards back to Honda (or BMW). I also think that there is a good chance one or more may be there anyway. Throw Rossi in there and no one will watch MotoGP anymore.

Total votes: 168

Watching the WSBK telecast on the weekend, I was struck by how entertaining the racing was.
Sure, they are not the fastest bikes, and some of the riders seem to suffer from routine brain-fade, but at the top of the tree there was serious dicing, along with great technical skills on display.
I have followed GP racing since I was a kid, and my uncle gave me almanacs featuring Duke, Hailwood, Surtees, Agostini, etc. I've invested a lifetime following this sport, but I think its future is parlous.
Dorna are presiding over what I suspect will be the death of GP racing unless they find a way to keep prototypes as the most relevant class. And I don't think jumped-up WSBK bikes masquerading as CRT bikes are the answer - WSBK is doing that class or racing much better than MotoGP.

Total votes: 172

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the effort you've gone to and really enjoyed the read - but articles like this must help Honda and co put pressure on Dorna to accept a change of rule. It helps to get the public in an understanding/accepting frame of mind. If the rule is abolished or, even worse, put aside for this "one of" case, then Dorna are as weak as piss.... again. imo

Total votes: 142

So, you think it's better that we don't know what's going on? It puts pressure because pressure is due, there is leverage because there's a reason for it. Keeping secrets isn't the way to security.

Total votes: 130

Why don't they just let Marc start 8 motogp races this season so there's no need to worry about the rookie rule next year? Could he race in moto2 and motogp at the same time?

Total votes: 145

Many GP riders have said that riding 2 wsbk races in an afternoon doesn't even come close to the demanding performance of just 1 GP race. And there's what, an hour break between the end of Moto2 and the start of MotoGP? Add into that all the practices with zero break, well long-list of reasons short = logistically impossible. And he really needs to do well for this year's Moto2 championship.

Total votes: 141

The main problem when too many rules are made is that too many unanticipated situations also arise. Sometimes rules while producing intended consequences also end up producing unintended consequences; the case of Marc Marquez falls into this category. The lesson that Dorna needs to learn is to stop making too many rules and complications and keep things simple, that way problems will be less complex and one can find relatively easy solutions. MotoGP is methodically being killed by the urge to make too many rules to keep the championship alive. This is a case of the cure being worse than the disease. Moto2 has already been reduced a World Chassis Championship and MotoGP could become something equally stupid.

At least in World Superbikes, you have motorcycles which are properly made with manufacturers putting their names on those bikes. And for those who do not find that exciting there is Road Racing. Isle of Man TT is wonderfully exciting and dangerous thing.

Total votes: 155

The first comment makes the most sense, put Padrosa on the lone factory Honda and add another satellite team for Marquez. But, barring that and keeping in w/ the current rules (good or not) why not put that money behind a CRT effort for a year. Would add a lot of interest and we'd see what kind of racer Marquez really is.
If he has as much talent as he seems to, it wouldn't hamper his development and may actually help it. Worse case and he flounders, then maybe that would help drive the stake into the heart of the CRT concept which at that point may not be a bad thing.
Again, keeping w/in the rules and two factory Honda bikes that may be the only choice?
And lastly, I've seen one WSBK race this year and it was far and away a better show than any of the MotoGP races. Just my .02

Total votes: 122

Everytime a rule is not working for a manufacturer (mostly Honda) there is a discussion that the rule is inconvenient. Maybe it is, but let Honda sort it out if they want MM to be in MotoGP in 2014! Whether they create a separate team and have to disappoint one of their current satelite teams, or if they let one of the satelite teams run MM (and disappoint a few sponsors) for a year is up to them. The rule is there for a reason, and I did not hear Yamaha whine so much when Spies could not go to the factory team right away. Rules initiated by Honda (990cc weight limitations, 800cc bikes) have scared a number of manufacturers away from MotoGP (Kawasaki, Suzuki, possibly Aprilia) and again they want to change the rules in their favour.

I like the fact that Honda is continuously supporting MotoGP, both as an excellent manufacturer of race bikes and as a team that is introducing riders with different styles and characters into the championship, but their power to influence MotoGP rulemaking has made it less, not more interesting.

Total votes: 151

Because the fans are crying out for more personality in GP and with Rossi on the brink of retirement Marquez (with the passing of Marco) is the sun on the horizon. He's important to the championship because fans seem to want a show on and off the track. Personally I don't care and have always liked Stoner (for example) but don't complain about the "boring" racers and then complain about the solution.

Total votes: 143

but to me Marc Marquez seems much more Dani-like than Vale-like. He looks like a pretty shy guy in all the PR stuff.
Which does not bother me or decrease my desire to see him in the main category.

Total votes: 135

No wonder the kid rides like he can do what ever he wants. All this talk is pathetic in my opinion. We have already had a decade where the sport bent over for a single rider and now we are about to start down the same path again. Dorna have learnt nothing from the mistakes of the past. If this type of thing was good for MotoGP then MotoGP would be reaching for the stars rather than its current effort of dwelling in the gutter.

Has Marquez ever ridden a MotoGP Bike? The list of alleged legends who have failed to impress once they through a leg over a big boys bike is long and impressive. I suspect that Marquez is going to get a rude shock when he climbs on a MotoGP bike and tries to pull his dangerous stunts at the speeds MotoGP bikes run at. But lucky for him he will have Dorna and the FIM all working to make sure he is the next manufactured star that brings in the coin the same as the last one.

Total votes: 154

Hard to argue with that...

Total votes: 148

Thank you for finally coming up with the other answer that's always been there, but nobody is willing to see: What if Marquez has a miserable, unsuccessful rookie season? What if it turns out he's not the automatic "next alien" that he's being made out to be?

I, for one, am already tired of hearing about Marquez. How about we wait until he gets a success rate to match Nicky Hayden (aka, one MotoGP championship in the bag) before we crown him as being the next GoAT?

Remember, Simoncelli was supposed to be the next incredible, wonderful, make-you-forget-about-everybody-else rider. Unfortunately, he was killed before he managed to cool his riding style down to the point that it became as effective as the real aliens. And, as a result, he's not going to be remember for much of anything other than being a casualty of the sport twenty years from now.

Side thought: Gee, if Spain could put as much effort into national economics as they do national sports stars . . . . . . . .

Total votes: 145

This makes no sense to me. Ben had to wait a year prior to joining the factory team so should Marquez. Field Dani on a 1 man Repsol team for the year.

Tired of Honda running the series like they own it. Threatening to leave if they don't get their way. Deal with it.

Total votes: 147

I don't if Honda could or would supply a fifth bike, either for just one year or maybe beyond, but I'd prefer that solution. I guess it would weaken the CRT emphasis, but I'd accept that in these dire times.

Total votes: 144

Why would you want to bend the rules for this single rider? Why not have Honda supply all the teams and make it a RC213V championship? Or make MotoGP a 600cc championship, since that would suit MM better?

I would suggest to Honda, that they propose to offer the nr. 1 satelite rider at the end of 2012 a chance to ride for the Repsol Honda tema in 2013 (at least for a year). That would up the stakes for Crutchlow, Bradl, Bautista, Dovisioso etc. and give them a chance to prove their worth in 2013. MM can join Repsol in 2014.

Total votes: 147

Yamaha and Honda both grow cajones and tell Dorna that " This is what we want; ( insert requirements ) ,otherwise we supply NO bikes and walk away ! Take it or leave it "

Two problems solved as Dorna could be sidelined too. With the Spanish economy going further towards the abyss, Dorna should be canned anyway. The FIM should make the regulations, not some bunch of corrupt, self- serving nationalists.

Total votes: 148

What we have now is the result of the mfgrs running roughshod over a weak sanctioning body. We don't need the MSMA getting more power, we need someone at the top who can make consistent and simple rules and grab the MSMA by the neck and tell them how it is going to be.

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

Total votes: 125

If Cecchinello believes the rule is a good one for satellite teams perhaps it should be retained. Limiting the number of bikes when we need every bike we can get (even for one year) seems illogical.I am not so sure that MM is as great as the experts think, but then I wasnt that impressed with 58 when he first got into the premier class. I still miss him, as I'm sure many do. To me it seems quite simple - anyone who can find the money to do MGP should be allowed to until we get maybe 30 bikes on the grid. If a manufacturer can find the crew and parts (and satellite teams) to run more bikes, let them. If MM upsets some 'top riders' like Sic did then that will be good too.
On the Spanish influence - I would hate MGP to disappear and I am sure we would all miss it if it did.The Spaniards, like all of us, are going to need something to cheer them up and I sincerely hope that the accountants do not tell the many Spanish etc. Co's involved to pull the plug. Motorcycle road racing is big in Spain - lets hope it stays that way.
Moto2 is great but it seems a little like a log jam at present - the flow to the premier class needs to be encouraged, not restrained. I for one would be very disappointed if someone like Bradl lost out because of a dumb rule. A flow pushing non-Alien and retired-Alien riders to SBK might be a very good thing for both.
Perhaps letting CRT's use their own tyres would be a good thing too...should be worth a second a lap or more and make those rides viable for the not-so-well-supported talent.

Total votes: 143

Sigh... It's self-defeating to bring in rules that limit the number of bikes manufacturers can bring in. No doubt it's being done to make CRT more attractive, but doing so by limiting the prototypes numbers altogether is the wrong way to do it! Standardise the technology of the prototypes, to make them cheaper and closer to CRT…

Total votes: 135

nostra-drama says -

hcr - pedrobot
sat hcr - marky mark
gresini - alvi
lcr - brads
fact yami - lorry
fact yami - dovi
tek twah - cal
tec twoi - smiddy
fact duc - goat
fact duc - nicki
dud duc - hekta
dud duc2 - tony the turtle ;)'
lots of prillyas - everyone else
ama - spies
vodaphone holden commodore V8 supercar - casey

Total votes: 136

Why is it that almost every rule that Dorna creates in the spirit of cutting costs, making it easier for the smaller teams, or making it easier for new riders end up having the exact opposite effect?

What we have seen in the last 5 or 10 years of MotoGP racing is that the number of bikes, riders, and manufacturers on the grid has steadily decreased. And the costs of running a team and putting a bike on the grid has dramatically increased... And races being less exciting and close for each year.
And during all this time DORNA has continued to change rules and regulations constantly, bending over backwards to try to stop this trend. And in my humble opinion, they are only making it worse for each rule change...

Was thinking about this when news about Suzuki's future MotoGP bike "leaked" out. They have an almost finished bike ready and aiming for a grand return to GP racing for the 2013 or 2014 season. And the only thing I could think was... "Wonder how much the technical regulations will change until then, forcing Suzuki to design a whole new engine"

Somewhere, someone is not doing it right.. And this rookierule is just another example of that...

Total votes: 154

Almost all of the rule changes regarded as raising the costs - 800cc, fuel limits, engine allocation limits, testing limits - were imposed by the manufacturers, not Dorna. Dorna is to blame for failing to increase income into the sport, but it is the manufacturers themselves who are to blame for increasing costs.

Total votes: 169

That's so true David. All the rule changes are instigated by different "players". DORNA, MSMA, Factories, etc... And it's wrong to just blame DORNA for this. My bad!

But the bottom line (in my oppinion) is that the rules need to be a lot more stable, and all these changes and stupid rules is making it even even harder and more expensive.

The one bike per rider rule will also put an end to "flag to flag" races, which helps make the races more entertaining in mixed weather condidtions. Now they will have to go back to red flagging races, and restarting them. And i dodgy conditions teams will have to make difficult tyre descisions and gambling that could affect rider safety. And the big teams will still have several complete bikes in the trucks, just waiting to be assembled in case of a crash. So the cost will be almost the same.. The only difference is that we might end up with the scenario that riders in the smaller teams that crash heavily in the morning WUP might nog be able to start the race if the can't put the bike together quick enough, or they don't have the spares... Making the shrinking grid even smaller..

And why is there even a limit in how many bikes a factory can supply the field with? Isn't it better with more bikes on the grid, regardless of that make it is?

The flaws of the rookie rule are made obvious in your great article...

As I said... Someone, somewhere is doing it wrong... And they (everyone involved in the making of the rules, whoever they are) needs to take a step back, and really think hard about what they are doing, and why... Because the shinking grid, and less entertaining races has to be turned around before we are stuck with a 10 rider grid on 2 different bikes...

I'm not entirely sure that the CRT concept is the sollution...

Look at what F1 has done the last couple of years... They have gone from boring racing with no passing being done except in the pits, and a shrinking grid to what I think today is a really even and interesting championship. 7 different winners in 7 races. Close racing until the finish, and a full grid.. They must be doing something right? Even though I'm not smart enough to figure out what... LOL

Total votes: 150

The changes might have been suggested by the manufacturers, but Dorna went along with them.

Total votes: 143

Dorna complied, because they had no choice under the terms of the contract signed prior to 2002, which gave the manufacturers a monopoly on making the technical regulations. Dorna, the FIM and IRTA had no choice but to go along with what the factories wanted.

Total votes: 161

Carmelo rolls it out whenever he needs to show that he can overrule any MSMA proposal but keeps it hidden when placing the blame for rule changes that didn't work as intended.

That 2002 contract that gave the MSMA tech authority? It was written by Dorna as part of their purchase of the sports' rights from the FIM, who used to be in charge of the technical regulations. The FIM got a load of cash to offload their responsibilities and the sport entered a period of unprecedented instability. If you unlock the candy store and let the kids in and eat until they are sick who is to blame?

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

Total votes: 150

Honda! Always Honda! They seem to be the only member of the MSMA :-)

Total votes: 126

Dorna doesn't stand up to anyone who threatens to pull out if they don't get their way. Where else are the manufacturers, the teams, the FIM going to go? Putting together a race series of this magnitude isn't done overnight. Dorna has strength; they just have to use it.

Total votes: 161

Dorna is to blame for failing to increase income and for poor promotion of the sport. They just point finger in the other way (to MSMA) saying it's not our fault.

Total votes: 136

...oh, and the "one bike per rider" rule is another one of these rules that will have the exact opposite effect.

Total votes: 148

Vodaphone are pulling their money from this series next year. Whatever Casey decide`s to do next year it wont be team Vodaphone.

Total votes: 151

Vodafone is leaving Triple 8 racing after this season, also, they have Lowndes and Whincup are both signed for a couple more years, also they can not add a third car unless they purchase a racing license from another team as V8 Supercars limits the number of cars on the grid.

Total votes: 140

so does that mean FPR or Stone Brothers then? i simply cannot barrack for casey in a ford :)

nooooo!!!!!!!!!

Total votes: 140

I agree that the plan to limit factory participation in MotoGP is illogical. This is the way to address smaller grids?
There has been a number of discussions about leasing vs. buying race bikes. It seems to me that leasing only benefits the manufacturers. It's a revenue stream and protects proprietary technology. It also weakens independent teams which are forced to find huge amounts of sponsorship to lease each year. Also, the technology doesn't make great leaps forward each year so that if the teams owned their bikes they could develop and use them for as many seasons as they remain competitive. I would put forth that factories be allowed a two bike "factory" team and that they can additionally sell as many prototype bikes, with the same technical specs as the factory bikes, as they can. Likewise let the tech knowledge flow, if you don't want to let technology disseminate don't race. This would go a long way to lowering the cost of race bikes!
As for rider rules, please Dorna butt out and let the teams run their teams. This is Grand Prix racing not some parlor game.

Total votes: 127

Add in a provision to the rule that allows the Satellite teams to opt out. If they all opt out . . . then he can go to the factory. Solves all the problems.

I don't see how the rookie rule will evolve with the Dorna's extinction plan's for Satellite bikes. Sending rookies down to these CRT bikes could crush their confidence, as you can see with Spies this year, it's not so easy to get back.

Total votes: 140

Someone should send Carmelo a copy of Catch-22 to read. It may not help but it might make him feel better.

Total votes: 137

MotoGP is a perfect mirror of the socialist governmetns in Europe. The more rules and regulations they implement to make things "fair" "Cheaper" "more level" the more the exact opposite happens. Instead of letting the free market develop they inject all these ham-fisted rules and disaster ensues.

I really don't think they can help themselves.

Some random thoughts:

Why does Ducati stay in MotoGP? They spend a fortune and get very little in return. All their sales success have been from WSBK. Why not re-focus on that?

Why doesn't Hayden go to WSBK? He could be competative and win. He won his world title in MotoGP, why not go out winning in WSBK instead of parading around for 8th? For that matter why not Spies, Rossi and Edwards. MotoGP is heading towards glorified Superbikes, why not get ahead of it and bring it to WSBK. Could you imagine how much more popular WSBK would be? Even now the worst race in WSBK is more exciting than the best MotoGP race.

Total votes: 161

That their job is to promote the sport, not play around with the rules like they are shooting in the dark. Manufactures race in MotoGP just as much for development as for marketing exposure. They are only gonna want to play if it is relevant to them.

Dorna should only step in and impose rules when those rules directly affect the promotion of the sport. They also need to grow some balls and start calling Honda's bluffs. Honda has single-handedly made MotoGP more expensive by imposing rule changes that nobody ever wanted. Did anyone really think that Honda thought "Dangerous Top Speeds" would be decreased with a reduction in capacity?!? Please people, stop being so naive! They use their huge influence in this sport to bully the rules around and end up eating sweet karma pie every time. Is Honda worth more than Kawasaki, Aprilla, and Suzuki combined?!?

The fact is quite simple though: Dorna has done a horrible job of marketing and promoting MotoGP. They think they can walk around and make demands from everybody like they are as important as F1. Sorry, but you are only as important as how many people actually care about you. We, the real motorcycle racing fans, obviously care, but we need to get the average man to care about MotoGP. The most ironic part is that the spectacle is the easiest part to sell !!

How can a sport that's more exciting to watch, more cheap to run, and whose technologies are more relevant to the public be less popular? That comes down to promotion and selling MotoGP as a positive benefit to whoever wants to invest in it (aka: Dorna's Job).

If I was in charge I'd expand MotoGP to where the future market was going by showing it worldwide FOR FREE. Places like Indonesia, Thailand, and India are shaping to be the future of where motorcycle sales and influence will be focused. Yet those countries have populations where only a small amount of people can pay for TV services that will actually show MotoGP.

So why not sell it like this:

MotoGP will now be shown world wide for free. This gives anyone willing to invest in our beloved and exciting sport exposure to billions of people around the world in a way never before seen in motor sports. Know that unlike other sports, MotoGP will be excellent value for money due to it's vast exposure in every market in the world.

How could a company like Coca-Cola say no to value for money like that?!? We pay them a proportionet fee, and billions of people all over the world watching the races will be exposed to our brand. What company in their right mind would say no to that?!?!

I've mentioned this example before, but it's fitting now more than ever. Ask the average person if they like Formula 1 and they might say "no". Ask that same average person if they like MotoGP and they usually say "What the f*ck is MotoGP?!?"

That is the main source of all of our sport's problems.

Total votes: 134

Just another case of rules getting in the way. As was noted in the first post, limiting the number of bikes that a manufacturer can make available is insane when they are trying to expand the grid. This makes as much sense as the late and lamented provisions restricting testing on prototype machines.

A second bit of insanity is insisting that a new rider must first serve some sort of apprenticeship with a satellite team. Not only is it not enforceable (because no one is really checking the equipment given to satellite teams) but it may work to the disadvantage of all parties as described above when the rookie comes in with sponsorship that conflicts with contracts already in place.

Absent these insane rules, we would have one more Repsol Honda on the grid (with MM on board) plus the two regular factory Hondas and maybe...a Pepsi sponsored factory Honda for that little Italian guy...what's his name???

Total votes: 128

David summed up the Law of Unintended Consequences beautifully a couple of years back. This situation is yet another example of it in action. More rules will only bring more unintended consequences.

Total votes: 155

Here is a solution for the golden boy.

His team can buy Stoner's or Pedrosa's 2012 bike outright and run it as a CRT. As a CRT they will get more engines and more fuel. He can run his current sponsors and current team and if he really is as good as they say he is, with an RC213V at his disposal with more engines and more fuel he should clean up the championship. Any races he doesn't win he will still be the first CRT home and get to pull into the podium parc ferme which will tickle Dorna's itch just nicely.

Total votes: 137

The rookie rule is just another contrived, short-sighted and pointless rule.

It should be removed and so should Carmelo Ezpeleta before he totally destroys what is left of GP racing with his limp half thoughts.

Total votes: 146

"Why don't they just let Marc start 8 motogp races this season so there's no need to worry about the rookie rule next year? Could he race in moto2 and motogp at the same time?"

That way, he could kill riders in both classes on the SAME WEEKEND. AWESOME.

And Nicky stays in MotoGP for 2 reasons:

1) It's the most prestigious racing series in the world. Colin took a shit ride rather than step down to WSBK

2) MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY. Either that or it's .... no wait, it's money.

Total votes: 131

There is no unintended consequence here.

1. No rookies ride for the factory team.

2. Factories cannot supply more than four riders with bikes.

So...MM is a rookie so he can't be on an HRC/Repsol team. This has been known for almost three years now. Placing MM on a satellite Honda team and giving that team a full blown factory supported bike is ONLY about circumventing the rookie rule.

So...the four bike limit is only an issue because it's preventing HRC from circumventing the intention of the rookie rule easily. That's actually a good thing, not a bad thing.

In 2013, HRC will be able to give MM Stoner's ride in the form of a pseudo satellite if they chose. Will it be easy and painless? No. Boo hoo. HRC has a tough decision to make. Grow a pair and make it.

Or...just let MM go. Probably the best thing that could happen to MotoGP would be for MM to land somewhere other than a Honda team....Tech 3?

Total votes: 142

The intention of the Rookie Rule is to allow satellite teams to have some of these higher profile riders. Them being on a factory supported bike doesn't change that. Gresini still benefited from having Marco on the team even if he was riding a factory bike.

Total votes: 139

If Dave's statement is correct...

"Their preferred option, if Marquez cannot go straight to the factory team, is for Monlau to move up as an independent satellite team running Marquez as the sole rider. The team would be backed by Honda, and Marquez would have full factory-spec equipment at his disposal."

...then this isn't about placing MM on an existing satellite team. This is about creating a one off, temporary team, to circumvent the rookie rule. The possibility of a 4 bike limit is what's stopping Honda from doing that. As a result, Honda would like to place MM on one of their existing satellite teams but is finding that difficult due to current contracts that are already in place. Creating a new satellite team for one year is not about helping satellite teams general.

Total votes: 151