It is becoming increasingly clear that the new MotoGP rules due to take effect from 2012 are just the start of more major changes coming further in the future. The hiring of Corrado Cecchinelli - formerly of Ducati Corse - as Director of Technology was one part of this puzzle, and today another piece fell into place, with the signing of the former Director of Bridgestone Motorsports, Hiroshi Yasukawa, as an advisor to Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta.
Yasukawa's exact role is unclear; the press release merely says that the former Bridgestone executive will be "providing his insight on the further development of the sport." Given Yasukawa's previous job, it seems likely that his input will focus mainly on the role that tires play in the series, and ways of affecting the series through the use of a spec supplier.
Dorna has now hired two former poachers-turned-gamekeepers, in Yasukawa and Cecchinlli, both men with previous experience inside the industry, rather than from a purely racing background. The move seems aimed at getting more insight into - and control over - the manufacturing side of racing. Coupled with the introduction of the CRT class, production-based engines in prototype chassis, and the switch by Dorna of signing contracts with individual manufacturers rather than collectively with the MSMA, the manufacturers' association, it would suggest that Dorna is determined to get more of a grip over the technical regulations.
Below is the press release announcing the appointment:
Thursday, 28 April 2011
Dorna Sports appoints Hiroshi Yasukawa as CEO advisor
Hiroshi Yasukawa has been appointed by Dorna Sports as an advisor to company CEO, Carmelo Ezpeleta. Yasukawa will bring a wealth of motorsport experience to the MotoGP rights holder and will provide his insight on the further development of the sport. A Bridgestone stalwart with a career that has already spanned four decades in motorsport, Yasukawa has most recently been the Director of Bridgestone Motorsport, a post he held from 1997 to 2011 and one in which he oversaw the worldwide racing activities of the Japanese tyre manufacturer.
"It's a great honour to continue my career in this fantastic environment thanks to Dorna. Our relationship was always great throughout the time that I was working with Bridgestone, and I think I can help the continued development of the Championship. MotoGP has great potential lying ahead, and in the coming years we'll have to tackle new challenges and bring into existence the most appropriate changes to make the MotoGP World Championship even more thrilling and spectacular".
"I'm very proud that we can now count on the experience of Hiroshi Yasukawa who has had close ties with the sport for many years. He is an important and respected man who can bring a lot to the FIM MotoGP World Championship as we continue looking for ways to improve it. We're pleased with the fact that MotoGP will continue to benefit from his knowledge".