Bridgepoint Announces MotoGP And World Superbike Series To Be "Brought Together"

Bridgepoint, the private equity organization has today announced that it has brought MotoGP and World Superbike, the two motorcycle racing series it owns, under a single umbrella organization. The reorganization will see Dorna Sports become the parent organization for both series, though Infront will operate as an independent entity and continue to organize World Superbike under its own banner. Infront has also been named as "marketing advisor and global advisor" for both MotoGP and WSBK.

The implications of this announcement are huge, but not immediately clear. The logic behind the move is impeccable: the two series are spending too much of their time competing against each other instead of working together to promote the sport of motorcycle racing. By combining their marketing efforts, the hope is that both series will be made stronger.

The move is also not unexpected from Bridgepoint's perspective. The private equity firm purchased Dorna in 2006 when the MotoGP series was at the height of its popularity. It made a conscious decision to buy MotoGP. World Superbikes, on the other hand, came as part of the package when Bridgepoint took over Infront Sports and Media, the parent organization of Infront Motor Sports. Bridgepoint wanted Infront Sports and Media because of its strength in much larger sports markets such as soccer and winter sports. Ending up with the two world championship motorcycle racing series was never part of the plan.

Over the coming days, we shall be examining the full implications of this huge announcement. For the moment, we have published below the official press release from Dorna, InFront and Bridgepoint, along with the reaction from the FIM:

Bridgepoint brings together MotoGP™ and World Superbikes

Infront Sports & Media to act as marketing partner and global advisor for both championships

Bridgepoint has announced that Dorna Sports and Infront Sports & Media have reached agreement to bring both their motorcycle racing interests under a single umbrella organisation. Dorna is the organiser of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (“MotoGP™”), whilst Infront organises the eni FIM Superbike World Championship (“WorldSBK”) through its subsidiary Infront Motor Sports.

As a consequence, MotoGP and WorldSBK, will be integrated within the Dorna Sports group but managed as separate events with a view to enhancing the two distinct championships. The objective is to allow both series to develop and enhance their championship personalities, retaining their leadership positions in the arena of world motorcycle road racing - WorldSBK, with its focus on production-based racing, and MotoGP with its focus on prototype racing. At the same time, both championships will benefit from joint marketing and commercial strategies.

Alongside this re-organisation, Infront has been appointed as marketing partner and global advisor to both championships.

Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Infront Sports & Media, said: “Under the new structure, the two leading motorcycle road racing events are now set for sustainable further growth and development. A true win-win situation has been created. Both Dorna and Infront can now further strengthen and focus on their core competencies and, in addition, achieve leading positions in their specific area of expertise.”

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, added: “We’re very excited to have the two top motorcycle road racing series under one roof. We fully expect to develop and strengthen the distinct nature of both MotoGP and WorldSBK as separate properties and remain committed to working with teams and manufacturers, circuit owners, sponsors and broadcasters to give fans the best experience yet.”

Commenting on the re-organisation, Bridgepoint said: “This is a logical and exciting development which should ensure that both these fantastic Championships continue to flourish.”

About Dorna Sports

Dorna Sports is an international sports management, marketing and media company, founded in 1988. The organisation has its headquarters in Madrid, and further branch offices in Barcelona, London and Tokyo. Dorna has been the exclusive commercial and television rights holder for the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix MotoGP since 1992. With more than 60 years of history MotoGP™ is the pinnacle of motorcycle racing. Dorna has an all-encompassing Grand Prix event management philosophy, with 360º direct involvement in all areas of the MotoGP™ World Championship. Dorna has additional involvement in further motorcycling events, such as the Spanish National Championship (CEV) and the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, which seeks to promote the development of the next generation of riding talent. /

About Infront Sports & Media

Infront Sports & Media, based in Zug, Switzerland, is one of the leading international sports marketing groups in the world. Known for its high standards of delivery, the company covers all aspects of a successful sport event – including distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production and event operations. As a leading player in winter sport, football and other summer sports, Infront enjoys long-lasting partnerships with 130 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies. With an experienced and passionate team of 500 staff in 20 offices across 10 countries, the Group helps to annually deliver 3,300 event days of top class sport around the world. /

About Bridgepoint

Bridgepoint is a European private equity firm focussing on the acquisition of companies valued up to €1 billion. With some €11 billion of capital raised to date, it typically focuses on acquiring well managed companies in attractive sectors with the potential to grow organically or through acquisition. It has offices throughout in Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Stockholm and a portfolio development office in Shanghai. It invested in Dorna Sports in 2006 and in Infront Sports & Media in 2011.

FIM Statemeent following the announcement by Bridgepoint

The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) has taken due note of Bridgepoint’s announcement that it is reorganising its motor sport interests by bringing MotoGP and World Superbikes together under one umbrella organisation. The FIM President Vito Ippolito said of the reorganisation: “I welcome Bridgepoint’s decision to bring the two championships together within a single organisation. We shall shortly be holding a meeting of all the stakeholders in order to reposition the two championships annd look into the technical and operational implications. We shall then be able to adapt the regulationns to ensure that they have a distinct identity in future.”


None of this is surprising, really.

Imagine, that by design or by accident, you end up with both Infront and Dorna. You take no immediate action, you sit back and watch how they conduct themselves. And then, when there is an area of conflict (CRT) one group is publicly belligerent and threatens legal action against the other. Are Infront's management so poorly versed in corporate politics that they thought that was going to go over well?

I have no idea how this will pan out, but I'm hopeful. I hope that we end up with two separate series, one production-based and one less restricted, and that there are less calendar and technology overlaps.

Total votes: 116

Plausible and sensible

Yet again the rules are paramount. Within the parrallel universe,SBK should be reduced to current STK regulations. The money saved can put GP premier back on the track of true prototype with the consumate rewards. Financial,competitive and spectatorial.
Watch this space. CRT sucks as grid filler.
Someone at Bridgepoint has slammed his fist on the desk and its high time.
As usual,I'll wait and watch.

Total votes: 114


The manufacturers would never support SStk regulations for the premier production class b/c SStk rules turn stock bikes into race bikes. SStk doesn't make all of the bikes relatively equal either, which is a mainstay of WSBK competition.

The FIM just need to garnish WSBK with common sense. Fix the rev limit as has been done in BSB, and reduce the rev ceiling slightly so Ducati can run a 1000cc twin without the inane performance balancing rules. Recreate the old homologation specials so that race bikes can be sold to AMA, BSB, and WSBK teams, and global rulebooks can be aligned (like the 750cc homologation special era).

In practice, private teams would buy a homologation special like a 999R for $50,000. The bike already has the necessary titanium internals so each team would be responsible for altering the compression and performing the airflow mods. Each team would also be responsible for developing cam profiles and electronics (beyond the stock programs on the spec box). Homologate the gear boxes and only allow sprocket/chain mods. Find ways to control suspension costs. The factory teams still have an edge, but there are no more super secret prototype racing parts. WSBK is 'smart' and still production based.

In the long run I think it would be beneficial to require homologation procedures that require interchangeable parts, engine scaling, etc; though the MSMA would likely never relinquish control of their manufacturing freedom. A displacement change to 800cc would differentiate MotoGP and WSBK as well. Each class would have its own displacement identity, and there would be less confusion as to which class is the premier racing category.

Total votes: 104


re: "The money saved can put GP premier back on the track of true prototype with the consumate rewards. Financial,competitive and spectatorial."

just didn't see the whole "ezpelata has authority" part... like why...? :(

re: "CRT sucks as grid filler."

yeah it does...!

Total votes: 99

+1 MotoLen

My point exactly.

Total votes: 102


re: "Bridgepoint has announced that Dorna Sports and Infront Sports & Media have reached agreement to bring both their motorcycle racing interests under a single umbrella organisation."

oh that's right it was ME...!!! :) although, i never okay'd DORNA calling the shots. something's gone terribly amiss. >:( the NWO, new world order (for racing) is coming whether we're prepared or not.

Total votes: 100


You can pick up your "I predicted that" trophy after this guy and anyone else who predicted it over a year ago on any bike forum on the net is done with it.!

I'm poking fun of course. You want to make a real prediction? Tell me what the next Apple is going to be. I'll give you 10%.

Total votes: 121


I bet Shuei is choking on his Sushi tonight..Checkmate.

Total votes: 132

Yep. Nowhere to go now ...

Yep. Nowhere to go now ... except maybe World Endurance.

I think that to view WSBK as being anything but factory machines from the get-go is a bit naive. I'm not sure I've ever seen an RC30 on the street. Honda is not above building homologation specials ...

Total votes: 97


re: "Honda is not above building homologation specials"

unfortunately BIG RED is not above pulling out and gutting a series either. they could even go so far as to stop producing sportbikes (ie. blades, cbrs) altogether for a time and it wouldn't be a blip on the balance sheet since they compete in standards, scooters, cruiser, MX, off-road, power equipment, etc. (merely an illustration). soichoro-san ain't around any more and they've been actively frying WAAAAY bigger fish for some time. whether this comes to fruition or not, we "fan-sumers" should gaurd ourselves against placing more value and emphasis on motorbikes than what's really there. sobering truth is 97% don't give a rat's.

Total votes: 96

Believe me, I get it. That's

Believe me, I get it. That's why I don't take Honda's threat to leave MotoGP, or even motorcycle road racing, lightly. I saw what they did here in the U.S. when they didn't like the AMA Superbike rules; bailed out of every class, stopped sponsoring races. The race they used to be title sponsor of is likely to disappear from the schedule next season.

Honda can always go back to building incredible machines for Suzuka and leave "GP" racing to the bikes built in a shed. Looking at this week's developments, it appears that Bridgepoint took the possibility of Honda leaving MotoGP and going to WSBK very, very seriously.

Just a thought: If a guy like Crutchlow can't earn a living wage without the direct financial input of Yamaha, who's going to pay riders when all the factories leave?

(Of course, they all won't leave. Ducati will hang around, win everything and build their public image.)

Total votes: 106

I hope this goes one step further

I am sure that current CRT bikes would be faster on SBK Pirelli tires. CRT is much closer to SBK bikes then MotoGP bikes. Bridgestone design their tires for MotoGP. CRT teams have big problems with that. This just don`t work.

Maybe this can go one step further.

I know, I know... wishful thinking.

Total votes: 106


CRT have got closer to the protoypes since Bridgestone brought the evolution tyres into play.

DePuniet's fast lap was within half a second of a Repsol Honda and Marlboro Ducati at Aragon..just over a second shy of the battle for the last podium spot.
They are three-quarters of the way through their first year, with more favorable rule changes to come.

It does work and will only get closer, have patience.

Total votes: 120

I hope this results in me

I hope this results in me being able to watch WSBK online, preferably in a package deal with motoGP.

Total votes: 121

Amen to that...

I was getting around it for a while by making it look like i was logging in from vietnam but they caught on and now we're blocked thanks to Speed and their wonderful team having "exclusive" rights to distribution - which on its face should tell us these guys are inept can't market anything.

On another note, does this open the door to Sbk mgp weekends at Laguna? No disrespect to AMA, but that would be awesome.

Total votes: 101


re: "does this open the door to Sbk mgp weekends at Laguna?"

no, but it opens the door to a combined card at COTA (ray of hope). no disrespect to laguna, but they don't have space, nor do they have the space... to BUILD the space. ironically analagous to the niche business of motorcycling, pit lane is also a "fixed size" that will likey grow no bigger than what it currently is. for every 1 that joins, 1.5 exit.

Total votes: 104

+ 1 Million

+ 1 Million

Total votes: 104


re: "I hope this results in me being able to watch WSBK online, preferably in a package deal with motoGP."

how's 2 for the price of 2 sound...?

Total votes: 98

I see this as a good thing

It would be nice to see WSBK dumbed down to stock with sealed engines and MotoGP allowed to modify internals as much as they like. What is developed in MotoGP could trickle down to WSBK. Should be no manufacturer teams in WSBK with all factories running teams in MotoGP. But maybe I am crazy.

Total votes: 113

MotGP and WSBK

Just how are MotGP and WSBK rivals? They are two different types of motorbike roadracing. Their only point of conflict is interpretation of the tech rules governing the two series and that isn't much of a conflict although the media feast on it regularly. WSBK is a well-managed series that has good manufacturer support presently and brilliant racing. MotoGP is a mismanaged series in dire straits. Why Dorna was chosen to take over WSBK management with their performance in MotoGP is surprising, to say the least. And what has become of the Flammini's, I thought they controlled WSBK? Did they sell out? Methinks the loser out of this deal will be WSBK.

Total votes: 118


The rules that make WSBK entertaining are being blocked by the MSMA in MotoGP. Dorna wants MotoGP to be as competitive as WSBK, but Honda and Yamaha are unconvinced that they shouldn't be allowed to drive the sport into the ground by manipulating the rulebook until they have the margin of victory they desire.

If MotoGP were rev limited with 24L of fuel, everyone would be singing Dorna's praises, and the Flamminis would be running a pizza parlor somewhere in Italy. That's not to say Dorna are inherently superior, just to say that the formula is everything, and the mindlessness of the MSMA is what ultimately decides who looks cool and who looks fool. If people would see the forest through the trees, they'd realize that the MSMA are utterly insane.

Total votes: 114

Different types, same crowd.

I watch both series and i guess you do too. I'd guess most people into any of these series watches both. If both are run at the same weekend, at the same times (noon-ish on sundays), then they are competing for the more or less the same crowd. Thus, they are rivals.

Sure, there are ways to watch both series at a delayed time (recording, reruns, downloads, streaming, etc.), but what are the advertising/economical implications related to that?

A joint PR effort would probably reduce costs as well as increase interest across the series. I could see WSBK spreading out over the world (as it is now, it's mostly run in european countries) with the help of MotoGP, for instance.

Total votes: 102

defining differences

Cant disagree with the rhetoric above regarding the differences between the series and that the prototype classes should be the premier championship.

A few things I'd like to see;
Moto2 opened up similar to Moto3, the time is right to allow more than one engine manufacturer with similar rules & constraints to Moto 3.

Make CRT's more prototype based - the 4 bike rule for factories doesn't really worry me but I'd like the Manufacturers be committed to selling prototype style engines at sensible fixed prices to CRT teams which by consequence make CRT's very special desirable motorcycles in their own right.

Open up the technical interest and make all the bikes prototypes. Sounds expensive I know, but making the teams more like F1 teams all with custom designed chassis and various different engines I find a stimulating prospect.

Total votes: 107


re: "but I'd like the Manufacturers be committed to selling prototype style engines at sensible fixed prices to CRT teams".

if by sensible you mean "at a loss" so you john Q. fan-sumer can be nothing more than "entertained" for a few hours the answer's... NO. for a better perspective, call renault F1 and ask them how much for an engine...? tip, be sitting down when you make the call.

Total votes: 101

DORNA was facing a serious

DORNA was facing a serious problem trying to implement the spec ECU and rev limits, they would have seen WorldSBK with its unlimited electronics become the clear technological leader.

Now they can dumb down WorldSBK with rules designed to make it slower, lower budget and much less of a development class, no longer any threat to MotoGP.

There was a story a week ago about how FIM, AMA, BSB and WorldSBK are going to be meeting this fall to develop a common rule based on the BSB model... basically superstock spec bikes with a spec ECU, no traction or launch control.

This will eliminate any rationale for the manufacturers to run factory teams in WorldSBK, they won't get any R&D benefit from developing and racing bikes that are actually dumbed down from the stock street bikes.

Total votes: 121

A racing series with no

A racing series with no traction control, launch control, limited ECU wizardry, and otherwise off the showroom floor?

I don't know, sounds interesting to me.

Is disallowing ABS brakes from a touring car series considered dumbing it down?

Total votes: 105

Sounds like NASCAR. And yes.

Sounds like NASCAR.

And yes.

Total votes: 109

Choke on it Nakamoto! Haha!

Choke on it Nakamoto! Haha!

Total votes: 103

Please, whatever happens...

Just keep that shitfinger, Ezpeleta, away from SBK. He is a failure.

Total votes: 116

Personally, I think WSB needs

Personally, I think WSB needs to be "dumbed down" a bit. In the US DMG took over AMA and changed the rules quite a bit. The bikes were "dumbed down" as some might say, but the racing is getting better. Not only that, but they had a rule stating that anything you put on your bike has to be something anyone can buy to put on their bike. I think it was the first time I had seen anything other than exhaust systems advertised by Yoshimura. If they weren't selling it to other racers, they couldn't run it on their bikes. All of a sudden the Jordan boys are fighting it out with Young and the Buell guys are stealing podiums.
There are ways to write technical regulations that limit cost and performance while still keeping the bikes pretty close together. Right now WSBK does a good job of keeping the bikes close together (the factory teams anyway), but you'd be hard pressed to say they are keeping it affordable.

Total votes: 116

Finally, might allow them to sort out the regs

I never thought that this might happen, but now that WSBK and MotoGP are linked, maybe the rules can be linked as well

If MotoGP is to continue as a prototype series (which is the only way to differentiate it from WSBK) then there needs to be a source of income to pay for the development, either through sponsorship, or selling the technology.

Being that only manufacturers can supply bikes to race in WSBK due to the homogation rules, then they are a potential buyer/user of technology developed by MotoGP teams. So that this can happen there needs to be a link in rules between them.

My personal preference is that MotoGP comes up with a fairly open set of rules which reflect the direction that motorcycle developement needs to head, and also the prototype nature of the series, ie. Fuel limit (or equivalency requirement), no spec tire (but all tires available to all teams), and no homogation rules, no factory teams (they can supply chassis or engine to a team, but not both maybe?), the success of the series will dictate how much money is spent on development. To link it to WSBK, they use the same rules as MotoGP, but with a lag time of say 5yrs (development time for a new production motorbike) and a homogation requirement.

For example, year one of the new rules, there are some safety requirements, and teams are allowed to use 21L of fuel, or the equivalent energy in diesel, electricity, etc, the teams to select what tires they want to use for a weekend on the Thursday before the race, these tires to be supplied to Dorna by the manufactures for distribution (would stop a manufacture giving a special tire to any rider with an identical appearance)

5yrs later, WSBK has the same rules as year 1 in MotoGP, but with a homogation requirement and factory teams.

Total votes: 93


re: "If MotoGP is to continue as a prototype series (which is the only way to differentiate it from WSBK) then there needs to be a source of income to pay for the development, either through sponsorship, or selling the technology."

this is entertainment. what about "fan-sumers" (you, me, we, us) coming off the dime...? ya know, same as they do for F1, nascar, football (soccer), baseball etc. if you had to guess, if not from YOU, where do you think the angels are getting the $250 million to pay albert pujols...? bank loan...? be it direct or indirect, all monies ultimately "trickle-up" from those being entertained.

Total votes: 100

honda is full of it

so, honda will LEAVE motogp IF a spec ECU is brought in: BOGUS! now we all know why they were 'threatening' to leave - because they were not REALLY leaving!


Total votes: 100

Bad news. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Bad news.
I don't see how two series, run by organisers almost equally inept at making and enforcing rules, together will do any better.

Dorna have fiddled with MotoGP rules from the start. Here's the record;
1. 990s were a Honda benefit
2. 800s (unsurprisingly a Honda V5 with a cylinder lopped off), processional racing, an escalating costs, hard to ride except for select riders, control tyres that made the difficulty to ride even more difficult, stupid fuel limits, a walkout of manufacters, Rookie rule
3. 1000s that have continued the saga of the 800s
4. Depleted grids and CRTs
5. Moto2 and Moto3 that have followed on from 250s and 125s, great racing, however success comes down to just a few teams, a few chassis and in Moto3 the motor (just 2x makers). Marquez' almost limitless testing will garner him a World Championship

Infront with WSBK have done better, however;
1. RSV4 won series with gear driven cams. Aprilia got away with it as no one inspected the engines
2. Aprilia using 28 engines per season is not sustainable
3. Years upon years of a Ducati benefit and special rules for them, $60k Ducati 1098R special vs $18k production Japanese bikes
4. Arms race leading to production bikes becoming less suited for road use

WSBK has done better in enticing the manufacturers and managed control tyres better than MotoGP. What is odd is that the control tyres in Moto2/3 is done well (whilst MotoGP 1000s is mismanaged).

We're going to end up with 1000cc roadbikes with 81mm bores that are all top end (poor mid range) and unsuitable for road use.

All of this just so Dorna can save face when they dumb down MotoGP to contain costs. This leads to dumbing down WSBK. So where does SuperStock go?

There is something clearly wrong with MotoGP/CRT rules when +120hp Moto2 bikes are nipping at their heels.

Total votes: 103


Because it wasn't Dorna who controlled the technical rules through the 990 and 800cc era, it was the manufacturers, via MSMA! So most of the stuff you're complaining about, the rule changes under which MotoGP shrivelled, were due to the likes of Honda, not Dorna.

Since Dorna wrestled back the power to set the technical rules a few seasons ago, we've had Moto2, Moto3 and CRT. We still need another season or three to see how CRT pans, but as an earlier commented said, it's been making steady progress even just in the first season, so it's looking hopeful.

As for Moto2 nipping at the heels of MotoGP, this is nothing new. Back in the 250/500 days, the 250s were very close to the 500s at some circuits, on a very few occasions were even lapping a hair *faster* than the 500s. This does *not* however mean that the 250s could have beaten the 500s in a race (the NSR500V twin, which made less power but had a lower weight limit than the fours, showed why: though it could corner faster, that advantage meant little when they got blocked mid-corner by a slower four, and then the fours power advantage let them accelerate quicker out of the corner)!

Total votes: 93

My 2 cent proposal


Moto1 (Heavyweight Prototype)-
Highly modified prototype or production engines
Prototype chassis
rev limit, 81mm max bore, max of 4 cylinders, 1000cc max, spec ecu, spec tires, max of 12 engines per season, 24l of fuel.

Moto2 (Middleweight Prototype)-
Highly modified prototype or production engines
Prototype chassis
rev limit 81mm max bore, max of 4 cylinders, 600cc max, spec ecu, spec tires, max of 12 engines per season, 24l of fuel.

Moto3 (lightweight Prototype)
Highly modified prototype or production engines
Prototype chassis
rev limit 81mm max bore, max of 1 cylinder, 250cc max, spec ecu, spec tires, max of 12 engines per season, 24l of fuel.


Superbike (Heavyweight production sportbike)-
Moderately modified production engines i.e. [BSB or WSS end mods only]
Lightly modified chassis i.e. [AMA PRO rules...lighter 17 inch wheels, adj tripleclamps, fork internals, brake lines/rotors/resevoirs, rear shock & linkage, hand and foot controls, levers]
1200cc twins - 1000cc fours, 500-750 over rev, spec ecu, spec tires, max of 12 engines per season

Supersport (Middleweight production sportbike)-
Moderately modified production engines i.e. [BSB or WSS end mods only]
Lightly modified chassis i.e. [AMA PRO rules...lighter 17 inch wheels, adj tripleclamps, fork internals, brake lines/rotors/resevoirs, rear shock & linkage, hand and foot controls, levers]
850cc twins - 600cc fours, 500-750 over rev, spec ecu, spec tires, max of 12 engines per season

Sportbike (Lightweight production sportbike)-
Moderately modified production engines i.e. [BSB or WSS end mods only]
Lightly modified chassis i.e. [AMA PRO rules...lighter 17 inch wheels, adj tripleclamps, fork internals, brake lines/rotors/resevoirs, rear shock & linkage, hand and foot controls, levers]
250cc singles, 500-750 over rev, spec ecu, spec tires, max of 12 engines per season

and leave superstock classes as a national level support series
Now every major national motorcycle racing series can adopt the rules and everyones happy (FIM)

Total votes: 92

42% displacement advantage.

So, in WSBK you propose keeping the 20% (1200 vs 1000) displacement advantage for the twins relative to the fours, while in WSS you want to increase the current 25% (600cc four/750cc twin) displacement advantage to 42% for the twins relative to the fours?

Allowing 850cc for twins in WSS would have made sense if WSS rules had progressed like the WSBK rules (750 four vs 1000 twin -> 1000 for all -> 1000 four vs 1200 twin) and gone from 600 four vs 750 twin to 750 for all. It still is 600 four/750 twin, and also 675 triple.

Total votes: 87

In AMA the 848 Evo competes

In AMA the 848 Evo competes in the middleweight class and still gets beat by the inline 600cc fours and thats with no motor mods for that class. I think it should be 636cc fours to 850cc twins to reflect the current middleweight line up imo ('13 Kwak ZX6R/Duc 848 Evo). I see the middleweights moving up in capacity slightly in the near future. I think the development has plateaud. I don't really see any new models coming out (R6/CBR600RR/GSXR600) because of dwindling consumer interest or performance dead ends. Kinda like superbike moving from 750cc fours to 1000cc fours a decade ago and think Ducati and Kawasaki see this eventually happining.

Total votes: 97

Daytona Sportbike

Daytona Sportbike, the class in which the Ducati 848 Evo competes, is performance balanced. The rules are adjusted for each make of bike until all bikes are relatively equal. Performance balancing is necessary in DSB b/c very few modifications are allowed and the manufacturers have great variance in the tune of their stock bikes.

Total votes: 91

where should the development come from?

A spec ecu in every class means not much room in the way of factory development in the current atmosphere of possibilities.

Total votes: 109

rewarding failure is the latest fad

Weird how Dorna failing completely at increasing MotoGP's marketability and sponsorship efforts results in in their being rewarded with control of a series that is healthy due to the successful efforts of its promoters. I wonder if the Flammini brothers are happy with whatever they ended up with after getting pushed out of the drivers seat.

This is truly a horrible day for motorsports, the control of both premier series being put in the hands of a marketing company primarily concerned with TV sponsorship deals is the beginning of the end of true competition as we knew it. I guess the world really is changing and the idea of entertaining people with a contrived show is more important than true skill and accomplishment.


Total votes: 103

True competition

When was this mythical era of 'true competition'? And who was paying for it?

Total votes: 106

Playing stupid is not your strong point

The original title of your website was 'motogpmatters'. Why did MotoGP matter? Because it was the best of the best competing on the best of equipment with the latest technology and the biggest of budgets. Yes, lots of superlatives, that's the whole point. That technology rather quickly made its way to street production machines. That was why MotoGP mattered. It was a compettion to see who and what is the best and whet our appetites for when it was available on production machinery. WSB is entertainment. Let them fudge the rules as necessary, that is what WSB is about, nearly the polar opposite of GP. As you take away technology development and replacement it with rules ensuring close racing MotoGP no longer matters. Why? Because it is an entertainment show like any of the other 500 on the various TV channels. What sets it apart? Nothing. Nobody will put any value on a series that pulls production engines out of street bikes and installs them in frames made by largely unkown companies. Without big dollars being spent, nobody will pay them big dollars and without factory involvement nobody can afford to spend big dollars.

'True competition' spanned a long era, it was not so much the absence of rules but the freedom of choice. Choose your equipment and then make the best of it and race. Now it's somebody else chooses your crucial equipment and you have to suck it up and race. And don't do too well or we'll give you a handicap.

And as far as who is paying for it, well, this is the grand failure of Dorna that you point out now and again but fail to indicate that it is the true problem of the GP grid. Racing in every series with every type of vehicle tends to get more expensive. Cost increases in GP is not an anomoly. Honda is not the main problem, Suzuki is not the main problem, Dorna's failure to expand sponsorship opportunities for teams is the main problem.

For example Moto2, a class where there is no cost or technology barrier to entry, has a revolving door of riders and teams who cannot addord to race. Is this Honda's fault even though the class was designed exclusively by Dorna? No, it is a combination of Dorna's failure to expand financial oppoturnity and a global recession. In the face of these problems having Dorna execute a power grab to remove barriers from their grand plan to limit technology and factory involvement is missing the forest for the trees. In fact it is counterproductive as the only people willing to support the sport are the ones being ignored. Please spare me all the 'well Honda writes the rules' BS. Dorna had veto power over anything and everything and if they didn't exercise the power they had in the face of contractual violations of grid presence then they are responsible for the mess we're in.

Teams are finding it hard to get sponsorship now. Imagine when they have tell their sponsors that they are using a production engine in a frame made by a company that the sponsor has never heard of. F1 gets it, big names attract big money. Ferrari spends the most money of anyone on the paddock and instead of getting villified for it as Honda does they get extra payments and special treatment from the sanctioning body. BE knows, no big names, no big money. I still think some sort of pooling of sponsorship dollars would be the most beneficial change for the smaller teams but so far I have seen exactly ZERO new ideas on sponsorship soming from Dorna. If they like to emulate F1 so much let them have all the teams sign the equivelant of a Concorde greement that would give multi year stability and gaurantee a share of GP proceedings to the teams. F1's latest agreement gives 62% of the revenue to the teams. How much does GP give? And when they Dorna does give it is CE complaining about 'subsidizing' teams when in reality he should be glad to do it and referring to it as paying teams to participate in his series.

So Dorna did such a good job of managing GP rule changes and finacials now let's give them control of WSB too so we can have a technology limited production series and.........a technology limited prototype series? Or maybe he just convinced BP that their lesser investment in WSB was running so well that it was in danger of ruining their larger investment in the mismanaged GP series. The plan may be to screw up WSB so much that GP seems good in comparison. After all, that's what entertainment TV is about, just be a little more exciting or shocking than the next guy.


Total votes: 120

You are clueless

Who banned two-strokes? Who changed the fuel capacity restrictions 3 times in seven years? Who added the engine count restrictions? Who changed displacement twice in six seasons? It is the MSMA's job to protect the sport from the entertainers (they all agreed on that at MotoGP's inception), but they have failed miserably. Now that no one has the money to reverse these extraordinarily stupid rules, Dorna are trying to reintroduce on-track competition with a spec-ECU and a rev limit. The entertainers have inherited the sport via the incompetence of the MSMA, not by some kind of subterfuge.

F1 gets it?! F1 engines are equalized by the FIA so they make the same horsepower. The engine equalization is piled on top of the rev limit, bore limit, cylinder limit, valve limit, and V-angle restrictions; all of which were supposed to make the engines more equal. F1 has a spec ECU. F1 has a control tire. F1 limits the number of aero homologations to mix up the winners and losers over the season. They've even gone so far as to give an advantage to trailing drivers (DRS) b/c they refuse to eliminate aero wash by banning the useless technology of aerodynamic downforce. Why? B/c F1 aerodynamics is Britain's bread and butter. Engine building is a mainstay of continental European nations and the Japanese. Pure politics, not competition.

Regarding MotoGP's money split, the MSMA chose to bargain collectively. Some of them chose to bail on the sport before they had completed their five year contract, and they refused to acknowledge that the fuel regulations ultimately made the tires expensive and unsafe, which led to a control tire.

Bernie pays more to Ferrari b/c they are always willing to leave the manufacturers union in order to get more cash and FIA veto power. It's not b/c the FOM respect them or some other BS. Ferrari demand cash in order to breakaway from FOTA/GPMA or any other teams organization that has existed over the years. The ridiculous rules in F1 are the result of Bernie's attempt to bring in a half dozen manufacturers during the 90s and 00s, all of whom expect the same treatment as Ferrari.

Total votes: 104

This is a great thread

I'm really enjoying this debate between Chris, David and yourself.You're getting good debate out of each other - the sum of the conversation is more than each of your posts. Just one thing: I don't think it's necessary to call others clueless. More light, less heat! ;) You're all quite clueful, fwiw.

Total votes: 95

No, just have a different viewpoint than you

>>Who banned two-strokes?

Add this to the end of your question: 'and introduced the 990s and 5 years of excellent racing with relatively full grids?' The MSMA insitigated the change to 4 stroke and since then they have followed through with their only goal: advance production technology. Developing things like switchable maps, crossplane crank, traction control, etc. are all the reasons the manufacturers race. Remove development freedom and you remove their main reason for participating.

The switch to 800cc was pretty well panned by all the paddock pundits but went through with a uninamous vote from all concerned so if Dorna had any disagreements at the time they have a funny way of showing it. The switch to 21l was the change that kept relevance to the sport. If you are not aware of it, reduced fuel consumption is the major goal of all vehicle manufacturers. Introducing the 21l limit developed technologies that anyone with a newish bike benefits from. Retaining the ability to develop new technologies should be the reason that other manufacturers will come to the series. There is no reason for them to spend money on just another entertainment based race series. There is reason to spend money to try to develop what they plan on selling in 5 years.

>>It is the MSMA's job to protect the sport from the entertainers (they all agreed
>>on that at MotoGP's inception), but they have failed miserably...........
>>The entertainers have inherited the sport via the incompetence of the MSMA, not
>>by some kind of subterfuge.

No, it was MSMA's job to develop the technical regulations subject to a veto from Dorna/FIM, something that they never used. The 'entertainers' as you say were the ones in overall charge. They wrote the contract that stipulated that MSMA develops tech rules and brings the bikes to the grid and Dorna brings the money to pay for the bikes/teams. Honda has shown willingness to provide as many bikes as possible. Dorna has created a situation where there is no money for them. The teams that have not held up their side of the deal are the ones being ignored (Kawasaki) or re-courted (Suzuki) even though Suzuki has recently said that they have little interest in a spec ECU. I don't see How Honda is the big bad guy.

>>F1 gets it?!

Yes, F1 wants to put on a good show and does and knows that they need to please the big spenders to keep the big crowds watching. I think their rule contrivances are crap but they have a full grid with big manufacturer and driver names. Dorna wants to put on a big show but wants to do it with budget equipment from unknown manufacturers. F1 has clearly defined revenue sharing to make sure teams are financially viable and around for a while. Dorna grudgenly gives payments to the smallest teams and also has a habit of stealing sponsors from teams and having them sponsor the series instead. It seems that F1 knows how to run a business right.

>>they refused to acknowledge that the fuel regulations ultimately made the
>>tires expensive and unsafe, which led to a control tire.

Wow, now who is clueless? That's the first time I heard the fuel regulations being blamed for the change to spec tires.

>>Bernie pays more to Ferrari b/c they are always willing to leave the
>>manufacturers union in order to get more cash and FIA veto power.

You're 0 for 2. Bernie pays Ferrari more because they are the biggest and highest profile name in F1 and without them competing F1 is less. Bernie knows this. The same is true for Honda and GP but Dorna is in denial.

I'm sure we miss a lot of what is actually going on behind the scenes but a lot of what I see is BE being very against the people that are most responsible for the high profile of the sport. With the economic downturn I would think that working together would be more fruitful than working against each other.


Total votes: 98

What's the saying? Playing stupid isn't your strong suit?

By your own admission, the 990s were producing innovation. The rules chosen by the MSMA did not have anything to do with pure competition or innovation. They simply chose the dumbest way to slow down the bikes, and they deny culpability by blaming the tire/cost situation on the Bridgestone-Ducati alliance, and by blaming Dorna and the tire manufacturers for the control tire.

Furthermore, if you're a fan, you know the 800cc formula was about safety. Burgess said it. Ezpeleta said it. Kato's demise made it obvious. Voting against the 21L 800cc formula was voting against safety, and as someone else pointed out earlier, Ezpeleta was to stand to one side as long as the class was fully subscribed. Since then, the changes to the regulations have been much less noble, and the continuation of this formula has been an exercise in MSMA stubborness and chicanery. 21L-800cc is clearly not safer, but it does let big budgets prevail.

F1 just drove 3 manufacturers out of the sport. This isn't a matter of perspective, you are simply substituting nonsense for reality. BMW, Honda, and Toyota all bailed, and Renault withdrew their factory team to supply engines. F1 pay off Ferrari b/c Ferrari made it clear that their allegiance was/is for sale. That's it. They don't give a rats about the other manufacturers and they just demonstrated how little they care.

The cost of global TV feed and global travel is a relatively fixed cost. MotoGP probably spends about 2/3 of its revenue on TV, travel, and personnel. F1 spends about 10-15%. F1 produces 8x the revenue b/c people watch car racing. When MotoGP produces $2.5B per year, you can make comments about team funding. That day will never arrive as long as manufacturers are withdrawing b/c they spend 10x more than they earn.

If you don't know that the fuel regulations increased cornering speeds and ultimately led to control tires, you don't understand racing. If you increase cornerspeed, you can make quicker laps and burn less fuel. It is as simple now as it was in Group C. When fuel efficiency isn't an issue, getting the power down is the name of the game. That includes weight distribution of the machine. That's why Dorna are proposing a spec-ECU. The manufacturers don't have the money to completely redesign the bikes for 24L.

This isn't a matter of perspective. You don't understand racing or the business. The manufacturers can work on fuel efficiency whether the formula is 21L or 24L. They keep the 21L formula b/c it allows expensive fuel-efficiency technology to decide who wins. The biggest pile of gold takes the match. The country club is restricted. Pure competition isn't even a tertiary consideration.

Total votes: 92

Comment drift.

>>By your own admission, the 990s were producing innovation. The rules chosen by the MSMA did not have anything to do with pure competition or innovation.

Good racing and innovation with no spec tires and no spec ecu.

>>and they deny culpability by blaming the tire/cost situation on the Bridgestone-Ducati alliance

You're really pushing the BS-Ducati link. So Michelin screwing up tire selection for several race weekends the season their Saturday night specials were outlawed had no bearing on the defection of riders to BS and the subsequent withdrawal of Michelin?

>Furthermore, if you're a fan, you know the 800cc formula was about safety. Burgess said it. Ezpeleta said it.

I remember at the time that most paddock guys including press people were saying the switch to 800 cc would increase corner speeds (10-15 times a lap) and only temporarily decrease top speed (once per lap) so was not an issue of safety, in fact it was likely more unsafe. Several current and past team owners workers suggessted rules such a 5 speed gearbox, narrower rims, and other tech fixes that were ignored.

>>If you increase cornerspeed, you can make quicker laps and burn less fuel.

The 800s were initially slower than the 1000s. The reduced torque required the high corner speed style to make a decent lap time. The 1000s, with the same amount of fuel as the 800s, have a noticably different line through the corners, everyone but Jorge, the last of the 250 madmen, that is.

This is all going far beyong what I was originally commenting on. The bottom line is I feel that the sport needs money to run and that is the main area of failure by Dorna. Even the CRT and Moto2 teams are struggling for cash, something that indicates that it is not the MotoGP equipment cost that is the problem but the value that outside companies place on advertising in the sport that is the problem. If more companies saw value in sponsoring teams then we would not even be having the spec ECU or CRT discussion.


Total votes: 116

The winds of change..

Talking a couple of months back, in the 'Rossi returns' press conference, Lin Jarvis said:

"The main motivation, the main reason for us to be here (in GP) is not to get a title sponsor, our reason to be here is to promote the Yamaha brand and also to go racing, and to animate our motorcycle business in general and motorcycle sport. And so the main motivation is to do that."

This is clearly a very important factor in the racing departments pitch for corporate dollar when trying to convince the company board to fund a MotoGP season and, they have to compete against other departments to secure that money.

Part of that pitch is R&D and the trickle down benefit to production - electronics, fuel efficiency and a green philosophy to meet stringent emission law, safety - which in my opinion is little more than a soft soap to bag the dosh so they can enjoy themselves doing what they like..fairplay to them.

However..It creates a conflict of interest for racing which is supposed to be about going as fast as you can, not an R&D platform for the manufacturers with escalating costs and spurious real life benefits focussed on fuel economy.

The manufacturers have to justify that racing budget to the board and, therefore, everyone else who races has to play to the rules set in place that make that pitch relevant. But..brand awareness by standing on the podium all over the world is more important to them and if rules can be manipulated to ensure this..why not?

This is the fundamental difference between the MSMA and IRTA, who are there just to race. It's the reason that fans get pissed off with the factories as their philosophy neuters the spectacle and forces competition to quit.

It's the reason Carmelo rolled out CRT and snatched the rule making priveleges back from the manufacturers. This is a sport that has to compete in a hard pressed global market against other sport for the publics hard earned cash, sponsorship and TV contracts.

In what other Global, world championship sporting arena, do SOME of the competitors have the power to make the rules, that exclusively benefit them and which exclude competition, to help them dominate?

It's a fkin joke..and it had to stop.

The problem for Carmelo is that nobody in India, China and the rest of the world, rides around on an FTR or a Suter. He needs them as much as they need GP..especially if Superbike is technologically dumbed down to BSB levels and the R&D angle is snuffed out there too.

I'd like to see GP maintain it's blue riband status for the manufacturers 'brand awareness health' but the perception that R&D is part and parcel needs to be outed for the sham it is, put back on the test track and more factories encouraged to compete by lowering costs and levelling the sporting playing field to improve the show. More fuel and engines, limited sensors, less weight.

Superbike for the teams, who are free to choose which brand they race and who can organise the 'Transatlantic type series/Superbike des nations races' increasing bike racings profile, especially if hosted in emerging markets which the sport needs to break into to secure their positive growth sponsorship dollar and could be organised to run closed season.

Total votes: 106

In the first half of 2012,

In the first half of 2012, U.S. consumers bought fewer than 12,000 sportbikes. That's in a nation of 300 million people, the wealthiest country in history. No one outside of our racing community pays attention to motorcycle racing. Biaggi comes here to SoCal in the winter because no one bothers him.

The point is that racing is never the best platform for advertisers - tobacco money supported the sport for so long because they couldn't advertise anywhere else. "Positive growth sponsorship" is generally a myth, particularly non-industry sponsors. Top-level racing always has been supported by companies that race because they want to, and if they get a sponsor to help pay the bills, excellent. Companies have to have another reason to participate, even if it's just the myth of R&D that they sell to the board of directors. The companies leave, and you're stuck racing GP bikes that can be out-performed by some stuff off the showroom floor.

Is it a spectacle? Sure. But so is pig jello wrestling.

You can look at the Tech III model as an illustration. Even with Monster money, the team struggles to buy front-line brakes, and the riders complain that they can't make a living. If Yamaha leaves and you go to a CRT, you might save a few bucks on the bike - although the price of a CRT will increase as it gets closer to the front of the grid. But is Monster interested in paying $$$ to have its name on the side of a Kymco-engined Suter?

p.s. Every motorsporting series caters to its participants with its rulebook. If you don't, no one shows up to race.

Total votes: 77

Thanks for that..

..and really, I get your drift but, it's negative without offering solutions.

I'd bet that everybody in the States who runs a bike has two cars/ute's in the garage. It's not a great example.

Expanding into markets where bikes, albeit utilitarian, are predominant and their domestic economy is healthy..comparitively, has got to be worth a shot. What have you got to lose?

"Every motorsporting series caters to its participants with its rulebook. If you don't, no one shows up to race."..12 bike grids? C'mon..

Total votes: 101

I try not to be negative, but

I try not to be negative, but realistic. Expanding into markets where everyone rides is a great idea - better than most. Based on the past 20 years or so of sponsorship patterns, I'm just not holding my breath and praying that an influx of outside-the-industry dollars is suddenly going to replace the money that the factories would have spent.

History also has shown grids like this in the past - matter of fact, I'd be willing to bet that throughout most of 500/MotoGP history, there have been four-six bikes with a realistic shot at winning and then no-hope grid-fillers. Think about it: Honda, Yamaha and Ducati all leave. There's pretty much only the Aprilias at the front of the CRT field. You're in the same position, competition-wise.

Best bet for MotoGP in my opinion (you asked!):

Talk to Yamaha, Honda and Ducati. Between them, there's nearly 70 years of top-class GP experience there. Find out what they want in exchange for their participation. Then say, if you want that, we want you to put more bikes on the grid.

Now, WHAT those bikes are can be open to a wide range of negotiations.

Unbelieveably, it appears that that discussion never has taken place. Dorna has just sort of accepted a handshake deal or some informal representation from IRTA that it would fill the grid, but there's apparently been little discussion on what it would fill the grid with.

Honda has, in the past, sold motors to private concerns and built production racers. Yamaha has sold motors to private concerns. I don't expect them to sell their top-line engine technology.

But had Dorna gone to Honda, Yamaha and Ducati and said, we will allow you to run unlimited machines on the condition that you build an affordable racer and sell/lease it to satellite teams so we can have a decent grid, I suspect Dorna might have been met with at least a willingness to talk.

Honda/Yamaha/Ducati have shown no willingness to talk about CRT racers, I think, because they fear Dorna will use them as a tool to eliminate the prototypes. You LINK the two, explain that you need the factories to help the series survive, and it's a different chat.

That would be my approach.

p.s. Seriously, do you think F1 would adopt rules that Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull all objected to?

p.p.s. The new issue of Roadracing World went live today. The review of the BMW H4 provides an extremely clear illustration of the reason factories want to use racing to test and develop electronics.

Total votes: 93


>Malfunction. please delete.

Total votes: 97

Grid presence? that it?

>> "Please spare me all the 'well Honda writes the rules' BS. Dorna had veto power over anything and everything and if they didn't exercise the power they had in the face of contractual violations of grid presence then they are responsible for the mess we're in."

A throw away statement. Flippant and merely underlining bias.

Dorna entrusted the Honda led MSMA to look after the sport. They had responsibility and chose to abuse their position of power. To tip the balance in their favour. To make false promises and lie. To lease at exhorbitant cost.

Why do they send last years bikes to the crusher?

You talk as if the insidious shift of favour towards them and dwindling lack of cpmpetition was a one off incident that Ezpeleta was personally responsible for. It didn't happen like that and I think you know it..more the straw that broke the camel's back.

What exactly were Dorna supposed to do? Fine the MSMA? Ban them from competing with a Yellow card?

They are not a technical organisation and were led down the garden path to 12 bike grids.
They were forced to hire Corrado Cecchinelli to advise them in their bid to argue position with the manufacturers.

The simple fact is..Honda have spat the dummy at losing the power they had to influence the series. They did the same thing to World Superbike and will now have to swallow their pride..or go back to racing on their own in Japan.

Total votes: 115

One or maybe even two sentence man

Wosideg, try to focus on the whole post, not just on one or two sentence! Besides, Honda has the last word in the MSMA because is the largest manufacturer, not because Dorna entrusted the Honda to led MSMA and to look after the sport.

Total votes: 102

Seemingly so

Seeing what lengths CE has gone to hav a full grid at the starting line.

>A throw away statement. Flippant and merely underlining bias.

How so? CE and VI together have veto power over any MSMA proposal, unanimous MSMA vote or not. If Dorna was against any of the MSMA proposals they could have voted against them (they didn't) or used the veto, (also never used) so to me it means that Dorna was not against the proposals.

>Dorna entrusted the Honda led MSMA to look after the sport.

No, according to what we know of the contract that Dorna wrote the MSMA made the technical rules and provided the bikes.

>You talk as if the insidious shift of favour towards them and dwindling lack of
>cpmpetition was a one off incident that Ezpeleta was personally responsible
>for. It didn't happen like that and I think you know it..more the straw that
>broke the camel's back.

No it happened over years while Dorna reaped the benefits of the manufacturer investment in the 990s and Rossi's charismatic domination but did not lay the groundwork for future growth.

>They were forced to hire Corrado Cecchinelli to advise them in their
>bid to argue position with the manufacturers.

The fact that for 10 years they did not have any in-house technical assistance in reviewing MSMA proposals only underlines how poorly prepared they are to be in control of the series. Letting the MSMA have their uncontested say is like you giving children the keys to the candy store. The kids will end up with a stomach ache but it will be your fault. The manufacturers want to develop relevant production technology. They have never represented themselves as doing anything but. Properly harnessed they are a good ally. Left free to roam they go overboard, no suprise. And when antognized they throw the toys out of the pram. In essence they behave like most anyone else.


Total votes: 100

Over and over about this veto

Over and over about this veto power. The reason Dorna didn't veto the technical regulations is because they didn't care about them, Ezpeleta has said many times that they had an understanding that MSMA would make the rules as they pleased in exchange for keeping the grids full, Kawazaki left, Suzuki put a 1 bike team, Yamaha refuses to put more than 2 satellite bikes and Honda kicked Dovizioso out because they didn't wanted a 3 bike team.
Given your final analogy I don't understand your complains, the factories were given the keys to the candy store and maid a mess of it. Now its time to do 2 things; accepting that it was ultimately your fault and let them keep eating candy until they drop dead or put them in line, save the series and never EVER do it again.
Its beyond me how people can attack Ezpeleta for what he's doing and use F1 as an example. F1 faced boring races and subsequent extinction and did exactly what Dorna is trying to do, what ever it took to bring the "spectacle" back, they are now limiting the electronics even more and they tweak the rules every other weekend to even the field. They are living a new golden era thanks to that by the way.
And what you and others call "entertainment" is what the rest of us who understand MotoGP for what it is (a racing series, thus a sport) call human competition.
One last thing, R&D is by far the second reason factories race, they race for the advertising. If this cheapens your romantic idea of racing for the greater good too bad.

Total votes: 101


Though I rail against the MSMA, I don't particularly want Ezpeleta's vision to become a reality. Avoiding Ezpeleta's heavy-handed NASCAR vision for the future is the responsibility of the MSMA. Instead of showing us their technical brilliance, they dare Ezpeleta to sully the prototype racing concept by introducing more superfluous rules.

Whatever ill happens to MotoGP is the fault of the MSMA, and any good that comes from Ezpeleta's rules is to the credit of Dorna. The MSMA have wedged themselves into a lose-lose situation, and only their most ardent fanboys continue to cheer lead from the safe haven of complete denial.

Total votes: 100

The Veto

The Permanent Bureau does, as you say, have the right to veto any proposal. However, the contract concluded with the MSMA (as a whole, not individually) was that the Permanent Bureau would not use their veto, and would allow the MSMA to draw up the technical regulations. In return, the MSMA would fill the grid.

If the Permanent Bureau had exercised their veto, Dorna would have been in breach of their contract and the manufacturers would have left. The MSMA had Dorna over a barrel.

The manufacturers made the rules which made the sport unsustainably expensive. Dorna's fault was to allow themselves to be maneuvered into this position in the first place. Once Dorna was over a barrel, however, all they could do was hold on and take the punishment.

Total votes: 100

I don't buy that argument

As if we'll ever know what is actually in the contract but in the first place this problem started with dwindling grid numbers. So the MSMA breached the contract first by not filling the grid thereby freeing the veto to be used.

And again, you fail to mention the lack of any concerted affort to increase sponsorship to the grid. The blame is placed on the manufacturers because of their expensive machinery. However without sponsorship money even CRTs and Moto2 bikes are struggling to pay the bills. Dorna was happy to coast along first using tobacco money and then with the Rossi years without any plans for future growth. 4 races in Spain is mentioned many times on this site and a main reason why more multinationals are not interested in writing a check. The series is nearly 1/2 run in 2 Eurpoean countries with small populations and sluggish economies. Both cultures are relatively static and not considered growth areas. Why would anyone not headquartered there want to advertise there?

As I said elsewhere, all racing gets more expensive as time goes by, GPs are not an anomoly. Cost increases are easily predicted, as everyone was saying during the transition to the 4 stroke era. Now Moto3 bikes have $2000 pistons and the wristpin is extra. It is the nature of things to get more expensive.

Any way I look at the situation either Dorna failed in planning ahead and growing sponsorship and/or was not up to negotiating a contract as complex as this one and are in over their heads. Either choice does not bode well for the future, especially now that they seem to be in charge of WSB too.


Total votes: 91


I agree 100% with your points about the failure of Dorna to raise sponsorship. That is their job, and where they have fallen down. But in the space of 10 years, lease prices have gone from around 1 million a year to 4.5 million a year, due to the technology changes forced on the series by MSMA rule changes. Hard to keep up with that kind of inflation.

Total votes: 96

Peter Clifford and the Harris

Peter Clifford and the Harris WCM crew must be laughing their asses off at MotoGP about now.

One thing that the CRT concept has made clear - a much less expensive bike could have been made for MotoGP. It's also clear that the last time someone tried to make one prior to CRTs, the FIM kicked them out. Based on that ruling, it would have been reasonable to assume that no part whatsoever on your prototype bike could have come from a production machine or design. That ruling helped guarantee that future MotoGP machines would be wicked-expensive.

It's funny, in hindsight, how small bad decisions can come back to bite you.

p.s. Colin's now ridden all four CRT machines. Not surprisingly, the most expensive one with the factory backing is the fastest and best, he says.

Total votes: 100

That is the crux of the disaster....

" No, it is a combination of Dorna's failure to expand financial oppoturnity and a global recession. In the face of these problems having Dorna execute a power grab to remove barriers from their grand plan to limit technology and factory involvement is missing the forest for the trees.Please spare me all the 'well Honda writes the rules' BS. Dorna had veto power over anything and everything and if they didn't exercise the power they had in the face of contractual violations of grid presence then they are responsible for the mess we're in. "

Spot on.Until the FIM grow some cajones and tell Dorna " adios ", take control of the technical regs and create a professional F1 style body for promotion,etc, both Moto GP and now WSB, will lurch from crisis to crisis.

Just watch the coverage on Sport 1 in Germany and ask why would a German company want to spend €€€ on sponsoring a team ; e.g. the Moto 2 race at Aragon was not shown in its entirety., 5+ minute ad breaks,

IRTA should insist that Dornas books are open to inspection, re distribution of funds to the teams. That alone should precipitate a revolt.............

Surprised if the EU Monopolies Commission doesn't take a second look at Dornas position, as it is in conflict with their initial approval of Bridgepoint's purchase of WSB. Circuit owners take note.

Total votes: 96


re: "For example Moto2, a class where there is no cost or technology barrier to entry, has a revolving door of riders and teams who cannot addord to race."

exactly. never mind the so-called "high cost" of electronics (pfft, as if)...? these effenbert types are people who simply can't afford to be racing in any WAY, SHAPE, or FORM...!?!? there's a stoner quote in here somewhere's.

Total votes: 102

on a positive note...

... maybe here in the states the SBK broadcast can now feature more "pit lane" interviews and hard hitting in depth reporting from people wearing flame retardant NASCAR suits and over-sized ear phones explaining what a clutch does or how a brake lever works while the #@&! sprint race is running.

Total votes: 84



Total votes: 98

Welcome to 5 years ago

The pundits started complaining 5 years ago that the new 21L 800cc MotoGP formula would bring the sport to its knees, and push the sport towards superfluous regulations and political discord. The economic woes around the world have merely magnified the problems.

If you're just now realizing the problems, and you're blaming Dorna for MotoGP's current lowpoint, you are desperately out of touch.

The MSMA spend hundreds of millions on marketing and branding. It is your responsibility to maintain some degree of skepticism, and to assign blame appropriate (if you must assign blame at all). Furthermore, you have to figure out why Dorna are proposing the changes they are proposing.

Why do you think Dorna is pushing for a spec-ECU, even though it's a pain in their ass to enforce new rules?

Total votes: 94


re: "I guess the world really is changing and the idea of entertaining people with a contrived show is more important than true skill and accomplishment."

guess it's time for me to start watching these stupid talent shows that are now passing for "television".

Total votes: 94

Racing is racing

Whether it's racing beat-up old cars or MotoGP bikes the guy crossing the line first will 'punch the air' or whatever in a similar way.
Sure ,the likes of top MGP riders want stuff to test themselves against, gain an edge on the competition, or anything else that makes them go faster/enjoy what they are doing (such as the relaxing/energising comfort of a $150k motorhome, a helicopter, or aeroplane etc.).
The fact is there is no point (from my perspective) having someone like Stoner tear around a circuit on his own, however spectacular and awe inspring he may be. Sure, some people will love that, but millions will not.
The trick Dorna/BP need to conjure is the logical progression/separation of series to provide 'feeder' series to MGP/WSB.
BSB has already proven (after much doomsaying) that 'dumbing down'
produces larger grids, greater competition that is less dependant upon the size of the bank balance, and some of the best racing - through the field - that we have seen for years in a series that had already been very successful.
MGP is not F1 - it has a long way to go. The way to get there is to draw larger audiences, and that is going to need an AFFORDABLE recipe of bikes and technology.
The only dumb thing here is to try and kid yourself that the past was better and if you make the series as expensive as possible more people will come and race.
That particular theory has been shown to be well and truly failed.
I have no wish to see 'heroes' killing and maiming themselves every weekend either.Calculated risk is OK as long as the person carrying the risk can make their own decision.

Perhaps a more equal technical specification in each class would also see good riders more valued and paid accordingly.

For me, variety is also important. Ducati bring much to the series they race in and the sound of those twins in WSB/BSB etc is a sound I wouldn't wish to lose.Rules that encourage and support those differences are important. At least until the roar becomes a whir and we go electric......and that will be great racing too.

Total votes: 105


re: "At least until the roar becomes a whir and we go electric......and that will be great racing too."

no, that's going to suck even more. that's bordering on the antithesis of motorcycling... certainly the "entertainment spectacle" that racing fundamentally represents.

re: "MGP is not F1 - it has a long way to go."

you got that right F1 SPENDS, but at the same time EARNS 100's upon 100's of millions. moto side complains (waaah) that $3 mil for a whole prototype is too much, meanwhile the smallest/least funded team in F1 spends that on just WINDTUNNEL TIME...?!?! skinflints by definition don't know from expensive.

Total votes: 104

I think that you will find

that those 'European' engines are designed and built in the UK too.

F1 is a good of example of where most do not want MGP to go. It's simply not affordable either.

Learning from the past is what is needed, not going back to it.However, if 2 strokes become viable machines that aren't going to poison the planet (e.g. Lotus) then bring it back. MGP should allow that.

Changing rules 3 times in 7 years doesn't sound much like a 'space race' to me though, if that's correct.Todays world runs faster than that. The racing must reflect reality, and engineering is more about learning from mistakes than knowing how to get it right all the time. If that was remembered by more people there would be less moaning and more encouragement/acceptance.

As the saying goes - the guy who never made a mistake never did anything.

If we celebrated people who learnt lessons and moved on, rather than not making mistakes or giving up, a whole lot else in this world would be better too.

Total votes: 107

It was about 12 years ago

It was about 12 years ago that Warren Willing was saying, you think racing two-strokes is expensive, wait until everyone shifts to four-strokes. The shift to 800s isn't to blame for increased costs. I think it's more accurate to view the perceived problem as a disparity between the profitability of companies and the cost of GP racing. What was acceptable a decade ago is unacceptable now.

I'll agree that I'd hate to see MotoGP follow the F1 route. It still saddens me to see that stupid DRS thing; Lauda must gag every time he hears that acronym. But Cos is spot-on about the tech factor: F1 still allows a remarkable amount of innovation. Cars have new bits every friggin' race. Overall, there's a lot of room for new ideas to be tried in F1, from aero to energy recovery systems - and that's technology that moves straight to even the humblest production cars.

For me, the spectacle of the race isn't the entire enchilada at the GP level. I can watch better racing at any of my local tracks; every weekend, I can see 16-year-olds on 600s engage in battles that look just like the fight in Moto2. But I love MotoGP not for just what happens between the green and checkered flags, but because I can appreciate everything that goes on before and after.

As someone once said, the race starts once you open the rulebook. Auto-race in Japan is racing spectacle. I have no desire to watch it. I lost all interest in IndyCar racing when the series was left with a spec engine supplier. NASCAR lost me when they put fences on the roof of the cars to - shit, I can't even remember why they did that.

MotoGP isn't just a battle between riders; right now, we're seeing two major manufacturers in an all-out war for supremacy, and the result is the most amazing racing motorcycles ever built. That's what gets lost when you "dumb down" the machines. There are plenty of other ways to slow the machines or reduce their cost or build a grid.

Back in the early 1970s, almost by accident, the FIA issued a set of rules that led Porsche and Ferrari to build stacks of their front-line sports cars. The two companies would grid 15 cars between themselves at Le Mans. They were the most technically advanced racing cars on the planet, as fast or faster than F1 cars. In their wisdom, the FIA banned the 917s and 512s. And honestly, sports car racing never has been the same. I'd hate to see that happen with MotoGP.

p.s. Not to be a smart-ass, but it's worth noting that in this third year of Moto2, with spec engines, spec electronics, and dramatically lower costs than in MotoGP, there have been four race winners - exactly one more than in MotoGP.

Total votes: 108

Can you say...

... sayonara HRC?

2014 is shaping up to look a lot like 1968.


Total votes: 99


re: "Can you say... sayonara HRC?"

perhaps even "adios" to the forthcoming RVF...? if they didn't bother to build it in the past 10 years... now what's their motivation...? :(

Total votes: 101

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