Below is the transcript of a press conference held by Infront Motor Sports at the Brno World Superbike round in 2010. Speaking is Maurizio Flammini, President of Infront Motor Sports, and the subject at hand is the proposal to allow production engines in the MotoGP series, as part of the 2012 rules package.
MAURIZIO FLAMMINI (PRESIDENT, INFRONT MOTOR SPORTS)
I am very happy to be here, Superbike is always in our hearts. In our company we have split the responsibilities of our businesses between Paolo and myself and Paolo is really doing a fantastic job for World Superbike.
Paolo told me about the needs to clarify the relationship between MotoGP and SBK and this is a very good opportunity, so we decided that today was the right time to give you our clear position.
First of all, we always had one idea since the beginning: two championships are better than one so the cooperation between SBK and MotoGP has been always very good. Paolo and myself are very good friends with Carmelo so there is nothing wrong between ourselves, MotoGP and the FIM, it's a very good relationship.
But we heard about all these rumours, about MotoGP against SBK because they are going to use those engines or motorcycles derived from the series, and those rumours are becoming in some way more and more frequent.
Therefore we called the FIM and also wrote an official letter, asking them what is happening, and about the rumours. The answer was that they are only rumours and that this will never happen. This statement was not only said but also written by the lawyers of the FIM. They said ‘no way', those are only rumours and it will never happen that engines or motorcycles derived from the series will race in MotoGP.
They said that, in their opinion, it was not necessary to clarify the rumours in public, but we are not of this opinion, so this is why I came here to officially tell you that the FIM wrote to us saying that this will never happen.
Furthermore another aspect is that if, by any chance this will happen (but I am sure it will not), you should know that we have a very strong contract so we have the possibility (we will never do it because the relationship with the FIM is absolutely perfect, but obviously will have to do if there is any infringement in the future), we will have the possibility (the contract is very thick…), to protect the SBK as we did in the past.
Some of you remember that in 2003 it happened to see a motorcycle derived from the series entered in MotoGP: the WCM was practically a superbike engine on a prototype chassis and we immediately made our case and the bike was immediately stopped from the FIM. This already happened in 2003 so this was the demonstration that our contract is strong and that the FIM is really a reliable partner, this is just to say now that the rumours are coming out again….
Now also some words about Moto2. This is a case that demonstrates once again our cooperation with the other partners. MotoGP had a big problem with the 250 class and they had to make one new class to prepare riders for their future. They wanted to have a class that was not going to cost a fortune and we agreed. You know that our philosophy is that SBK costs are really controlled, and Supersport costs also: you know today you can manage a season with a Superstock 600 for less than 100,000 Euros, which is really something unbelievable in motorsport.
So Carmelo came to us and said what we can do because we want maybe to use some engines that comes from the series, and we said you know we want to help, we are in collaboration. We said if it is a one brand, mono-brand engine and unbranded, (if it is not a Honda or a Ducati engine but it is just an engine, unbranded), we said OK we can accept it, because it is something that is not a competition between manufacturers and nobody knows what the engine is. So this cannot be a problem for the image.
But obviously if you have the engine branded and you have more than one manufacturer, then you have a problem only because that creates a lot of confusion. So this will not happen, you can be sure about it, but also it demonstrated our will to cooperate to solve a problem.
So we just wanted to clarify with you that if somebody is going to produce a prototype bike with a superbike engine, they will just lose their money, because they will never make it to the grid of MotoGP.
Finally I want to tell you that we created Superbike more than 20 years ago, we have so many friends here, everybody really supports SBK, so be sure that we are going to support Superbike until the last Euro. Now we also have a big company behind us, which is Infront Sports and Media: it is a very strong international company and it will be a difficult exercise to make a fight against them….
This is what Paolo and myself wanted to clarify today.