[email protected] al nuevo foro de motos.net. ¡Esperamos que os guste! :)
Si tenéis algún problema o sugerencia podéis comentarlo en este post
Guia de motogp para tontos 2, como incrementar costes y perder velocidad
THE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO MOTOGP: How to increase costs and decrease speed (Part II)
Written by: Dennis Noyes Borrego Springs, Calif. – 1/3/2006
It had never been completely satisfactory for Japanese competition engineers to throw all their effort into hot-rodding big street bikes because Superbike regulations required bothersome homologations and meant that in order to introduce any major innovations to either the rolling chassis or the engine, homologation of a new model for sale to the general public was required.
The move to four strokes meant that Japanese R & D departments could finally get back to blue sky engineering, building racing prototypes for the sole purpose of racing. It meant that costs of leased machines increased exponentially too. When the new rules were first adopted teams were told to expect modest increases in lease costs of 25% to 33%. Add a zero and you have the real increase…the days of the $800,000 to 1.2 million dollar lease have given way to a price tag of somewhere between 3 and 3.5 million (depending upon the level of machine and the amount of spares and maintenance included) for a couple of RC211V for a single rider.
But when the old GPMA (Grand Prix Manufacturers’ Association) finished its rule making and dissolved itself to become the MSMA (Motorcycle Sports Manufacturers’ Association), adding Kawasaki and Ducati, the factories no longer saw Grand Prix racing as a pointless exercise in revamping old, obsolete two-strokes with no commercial relevancy. Instead they were able to fly the banner of “racing improves the breed,” and suddenly the budgets from Superbike development were switched to Grand Prix and increased.
With the buzz from the new class combined with the blossoming of Valentino Rossi into a huge superstar, the racing became more intense and factories, especially Honda, were increasingly annoyed at having their racing plans impacted by sponsor’s preferences for riders of a specific nationality. They were now spending three times more, maybe four times more, and the increased TV audience and growing impact of the sport in major markets meant that racing directors wanted to be free to hire the rider of their choice unhindered by commercial considerations.
Cost increases were absorbed by the factories, but sponsors were also asked to increase their spending. As they did so the big sponsors, accustomed to have significant input in rider choice, expected their clout to grow
For years certain sponsors had insisted on riders from their market, a galling restriction for race bosses who cared only about lap times and results.
On the one hand the manufactures, who now control the rule-making and therefore control the future of the series, understood Dorna’s reasons for needing a “token Brit” like Jeremy McWillliams or Shane Byrne to bolster British market and mollify the BBC, or a German like Alex Hofmann to add interest in the German Market. 2003 World Superbike Champion Neil Hodgson learned the hard way that becoming a “token Brit” on an uncompetitive machine is not a career move.
Weaker teams and beginning teams accepted subventions from Dorna to sign riders of the required nationalities, but the competitive factories, especially Yamaha and Honda, resented any influences from sponsors OR Dorna on their choices.
For Honda one of the biggest frustrations of 2005 was being unable to bring their two top riders together on a single team. That team would have included Nicky Hayden and Sete Gibernau, but Gibernau was contracted to Telefonica Movistar, the title sponsor of the Gresini Honda team.
With Gibernau on a notional “satellite” team, HRC turned to Max Biaggi and soon ran into trouble with the exigent and persnickety Italian…problems that ended in HRC firing Max and placing a virtual veto on his entry in any other Honda team.
We have discussed how Gauloises, Telefonica-Movistar and Camel were all three jilted when Yamaha, in the case of Rossi, and Honda, in the very different cases of Pedrosa and Biaggi, made factory riders unavailable to the sponsors prepared to sign big checks.
And this comes at a time when factory development costs are rising fast. Any factory team that truly has aspirations of winning must develop not one but two prototypes in 2006…first they must work to extract final and full potential from the lame duck 990cc bikes they will campaign in 2006 and, at the same time, they must develop complete new 800cc prototypes for the 2007 season…bikes that will, ironically, be slower and more expensive.
So, just when Yamaha could most use an extra twenty million, and when all the private teams and half the factory teams are virtually un-sponsored, Yamaha and Honda find themselves unable to accommodate Gauloises, Telefonica-Movistar and Camel.
Tomorrow we’ll revisit these three situations in a little more detail and also look to the future of the MotoGP riders moving to World Superbike in a Diaspora that could just make watching Superbikes more exciting in 2006 than watching Rossi run away with his sixth straight title in the premier class of Grand Prix racing.
The opinions reflected herein are solely those of the above commentator and are not necessarily those of SpeedTV.com, FOX, NewsCorp, or Speed Channel