Ezpeleta: MotoGP must change now

autosport.com

Wed, 16 Nov 14:00:17 2011

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta believes MotoGP cannot continue in its current state, saying that change is needed right now and that an era is over.

The championship has struggled to fill the grid properly this year, with just 17 bikes competing regularly.

In contrast, the Moto2 championship has a 32-rider field, with 125cc also fielding over 30 bikes in each race.

Ezpeleta believes that the spectacle offered by MotoGP is unsatisfactory at the moment and that the sport must react immediately.

"I don't like the way things are going," Ezpeleta told Motosprint magazine. "I don't like MotoGP these days. We have a series where the Hondas go very quick, some others a bit less, and others even worse. This way there is little fighting, so the spectacle is unsatisfactory.

"This isn't just a technological challenge, it's also a sport and entertainment. I don't like this situation, so things won't go on this way for much longer."

Dorna has been pushing the new Claiming Rule Teams system, which will allow elements of modified production machinery, although riders like world champion Casey Stoner had threatened to walk out if the rules are steered towards production-based bikes.

Ezpeleta insisted, however, that the current system is simply not working, as it is making the sport too expensive.

"It's clear by now that the way the bikes are built doesn't work anymore," he said. "It's not suited to the world's economic situation anymore. If we carry on this way, with the teams lacking the budget to have the bike leased, in 2013 we'll only have two Hondas on the grid! This sport is not supposed to go this way.

"I've decided I won't help anymore, from a financial point of view, any team that gets MotoGP bikes leased. Dorna will only help teams that use CRTs. If we get to the situation where three constructors field six bikes in total, we'll carry on supporting and helping financially only the CRT teams. This way we'll manage to have the other 16 bikes we need."

He added: "It's paradoxical that Moto2, a once heavily-criticised series, is the one that offers the best spectacle at the moment, despite having, in theory, riders of a much lower level compared to MotoGP. We've reached the point where there are MotoGP riders that can't do anything because they don't have adequate technical means, because to race you need five millions...

"We've reached the point where private teams can't have MotoGP bikes to race anymore: Aspar's case, like many others too, is exemplary.

"It's ridiculous that a rider like [Moto2 champion Stefan] Bradl is asked four or five millions to race in MotoGP. How the hell is it possible that you need such an amount? How can we go on with the manufacturers asking for four millions for a leased bike, that is to use a bike that can't become the team's property? That's enough, this story has to end, and quickly too. This era is over.

"The constructors may say and act the way they want, but they can't change reality. This is reality: there's no more money, we need to spend less. We can't keep on watching anymore, we must act now."

 

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