Performance Technical Racing, the organization behind the PTR Honda World Supersport team, issued the following press release today, containing an article by team manager Simon Buckmaster. In the article, Buckmaster, in typically forthright style, talks about the meeting which the World Superbike and World Supersport teams had with Dorna last month to discuss the future of the World Superbike championship. Buckmaster covers the danger of relying on a spec ECU for cost-cutting, highlights that the real costs of the championship are in logistics, and the need to work on expanding sponsorship. Buckmaster's views offer an interesting perspective on the needs of the championship from a current team owner.
Below is the press release in full:
Meeting with Dorna
Simon Says in conjunction with www.thepropertyinsurer.co.uk.
We recently had a meeting in Geneva with Dorna and all teams to discuss the way forward for Superbike and Supersport now Dorna runs both WSB and MotoGP. Obviously everyone was eager to hear what Dorna had to say with all the rumour of what they may or may not have in mind.
It appears Dorna want our opinions before making any decisions. We all know that they are in a difficult position here as we all have our own agendas and you cannot please everyone.
I think we all know we will be going to a control ECU; how can we not when Moto 2 already run under this and MotoGP seems to be going that way, albeit with some compromise from Dorna for the big manufactures. BSB does this very well though, with Motec for both Superbike and Supersport. If Motec were the chosen control ECU it would be a good choice as many Supersport teams already run Motec and the desire to have a more common rule for Superbike across the world would at least match BSB and WSB, making the wild card rides that have been such a positive feature over the years and produced such thrilling races a more realistic possibility for the BSB teams and even world teams in BSB races.
What we do all need to be aware of is this is not the massive cost saving some people think, well not in Supersport anyway. For instance if it went the way of the fashionable Magnetti Morelli it may indeed be a higher cost, something none of us need. In reality we will still need a data technician to make sure we get the best out of the rules whatever they end up being.
The biggest cost is actually the logistics of racing, I.E. freight, staff and travel. Anything that reduces this would be a very good way forward. In our case restricting staff would not help us because with five riders we only run two mechanics per rider which works well if you work as a team unit. In this case we did our own cost cutting.
However teams with big staff would gain if they were only allowed a given number of mechanics. It would also make it harder for the Italians as it seems to take more of them to do the job if you look at the fully Italian teams...Only joking so please do not get offended.
In the 90's we were allowed a certain number of flight tickets and hotel rooms for the flyaway races and restoring this if possible would be a positive investment by Dorna in the championship as a whole.
In BSS and even MotoGP we have seen the organisers working with the teams to place sponsors and this has been lacking in WSB so this would be another way to benefit all parties.
Engine rules for me are good as they are as they allow all makes to be competitive and in the case of Supersport is only really cylinder head tuning so not an expensive part of racing. In Superbike you will hear teams saying that standard parts are less reliable; but it works well in Supersport and with a control ECU we can restrict revs as high revs are a major part of shorter engine life.
Pirelli have done a great job as control tyre supplier but restricting the amount of tyres we all use per event I believe would not affect the results at all but could reduce the tyre fee for the season. In fact it would force teams to work more on race set up which would be a good thing. We all like the one fast lap achieved in qualifying by throwing new tyres at it but at the end of the day there are no points for this.
We all are wary of change but as we have seen with the one bike rule, it reduced the cost of racing and made it possible for teams like us to run more riders out of one truck and allowed more teams in and rejuvenated the grid in Supersport.
As you all know now we have a completely new rider line up for 2013. It will be hard to repeat the fantastic job we all did as a team with Cluzel and Lowes but I sincerely believe that Sheridan Morais will be a major player and young matt Davies will go from strength to strength. Luca Marconi will take a big step forward in our team and David Linortner after his impressive wild card 8th at the Nurburgring will be working hard to carry that type of performance to all the circuits this year. Nacho Perez was running very well in Stock 600 last year until injury set him back and we will all be right behind him as he makes his debut in WSS. There will be no pressure on him so we will target points to start with and build form there.
Here is to another great year of racing in 2013.
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