Dorna Gets More Help: Former Bridgestone Chief To Advise Carmelo Ezpeleta

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.

Hiroshi Yasukawa:

"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".

Carmelo Ezpeleta:

"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".

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doesn't do a Pirelli (F1) and demand tyres to never last the distance in acceptable shape, I'm okay with it.

I'm cautiously optimistic (very cautious) that Dorna might be looking to restore the tire war. I tend to believe that Michelin and Bridgestone brokered some kind of a deal for the 2008 season to keep the tire war. The manufacturers were unanimously opposed to the control tire, but no solution presented itself after Michelin lost Honda and fell below the 40% (or whatever it was) threshold that the GPC had agreed upon.

If they brokered a deal for 2008 to control cornerspeeds and costs while maintaining the tire war, the agreement failed. Whatever went wrong (imo, it was the new Rossi/Stoner front tire with the ridiculously squishy edges) Dorna have perhaps hired Yasukawa to get it under control.

Can we be cautiously optimistic about a tire war (something Bridgestone really wants)? or am I clutching at straws?

Ducati and Kawasaki switching to Michelin, 3 Kawasaki MotoGP bikes in 2009 with the third one run by Aspar and Ezpelata throwing a rule out of his hat with a random 40%...
This 40% rule never was in the rule book, that was MotoGP nonsense at its best...

I understand that the current negotiations make a tire war appear very unlikely, but what motivation is there to continue the tire war? The MSMA and Bridgestone are adamant that a tire war is not a good long term direction for the sport. Dorna only wanted a control tire as a means to cut IRTA costs during a collapsing global economy, but I suspect Bridgestone's ability to supply will be the limiting factor for grid size in the 1000cc era (22-24 maximum). IRTA are probably the only people who are interested in the tire war, but it is a bit difficult for IRTA to defy the MSMA.

Furthermore, when Rossi talks about tires, my ears perk up. In 2007 he said that a control tire would be best for MotoGP. Turns out his remarks were a reflection of Dorna's desires at the time. A few months ago, Rossi said a tire war was the best thing for MotoGP in the long run. Bridgestone just signed him as a brand ambassador, and now Dorna have hired Yasukawa.

When Dorna got burned with a terrible formula, they decided to hire Cecchinelli to help design a new formula. Imo, Dorna got burned by a poorly executed tire war arrangement in 2008, and now they have hired Yasukawa. Dorna hired Cecchinelli to consult on engineering matters. Dorna hired Yasukawa, a racing tire guru, to consult on matters concerning.........

Water flows downhill. Why else would they hire this guy? Hundreds of Japanese industrialists could communicate with the MSMA, why hire Yasukawa? He was surely not the cheapest.

Add Visor. Add a tear off. Unclear at best. Too many conspiracy theories spinning in my head following this announcement.
Was Valentino Rossi not announced as one of Bridgestone's whatever's a while back for future tire development within Bridgestone ?
Let's analyse this. Dorna/Ducati/Bridgestone.It don't take a genius to figure it out.
All in the name of the spectacle of GP Racing.
I think not. A spectacle based on season's past heading to paradise lost.