Ezpeleta Says Friday Practice Likely To Go In 2010

MotoGP is right in the middle of team launch season, and most of these are fairly meaningless events - Yamaha's launch was "virtual" which turned out to mean they posted some stuff up on the website, while Repsol Honda's launch was virtual for Dani Pedrosa, as the injured Spaniard had to attend by satellite link. And if the factory team launches are fatuous, then satellite team launches, tragically, would seem to be almost entirely irrelevant.

Except for the launch of Fausto Gresini's San Carlo Gresini Honda team, that is. For while the rider interviews consisted of the usual platitudes - Toni Elias feeling like he is coming home, Alex de Angelis believing he is stronger than last year - the team had a special guest present at the launch. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta was also present, and the enquiring minds over at Italian site GPOne.com seized the opportunity to grill the Spanish MotoGP boss

Their time was well spent, as Ezpeleta once again laid out his view of where MotoGP will be heading in the years to come. For Ezpeleta, the chief issue facing MotoGP was to cut costs. "We have introduced measures to cut costs. The only problem facing MotoGP is one of costs," Ezpeleta said. The Dorna CEO told GPOne that the Grand Prix Commission will be meeting after the IRTA tests at Jerez to discuss more dramatic cost-cutting measures. 

These measures will once again drastically cut the amount of time the bikes spend on the track. "In 2010, it's almost certain that the bikes will be on track for only two days," Ezpeleta said. "On Friday, we'll have an open paddock, but the bikes will only hit the track on Saturday and Sunday." The objective is "Maximum spectacle, while reducing costs. In 2008, some engines could only last for 600 km at a Grand Prix. This is a huge cost, and unnecessary. At first we could afford this, but not any more."

But Ezpeleta has the electronics in his sight too. "We agree with the FIM that the technological proposals belong to the constructors. They want to reduce the electronics themselves, above all, they want to halt the increasing role of electronics in the future. But I have to repeat, this is MotoGP, this is the pinnacle of motorcycle racing. We can't go backwards, but we need to find a balance between costs and motorcycle development."

Ezpeleta remains optimistic that the measures taken will have effect. The Spaniard is convinced than in 2010, there will be at least 20 bikes on the grid. Just where the extra bikes would come from is a bit of a mystery, as Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki have all said that they do not intend to field more bikes next year. Which, as GPOne points out, leaves only Ducati ...

For Italian speakers, GPOne.com has an audio file of the interview with Ezpeleta.

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"We don't need no stinking practice."

Once again, he tells us there will be more bikes and more riders, but no practice time for them to become acclimated to the circuits, the bikes, or their own teams; never mind actual development. 

Who would believe that?  Who, with money to spend, thinks that would work?

Maybe he means a virtual grid of 20 bikes...?

they should ban GPS and gyroscopes and angle/position sensors. those have been critical to the continuing sophistication in the electronic aids, and all are COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT to roadgoing motorcycling.

the result is that the traction control will go back to simpler approaches, purely a function of sensing wheelspin w/o inputs of lean angle or custom mapping for each corner -- exactly as it's done on the road. really, i think all traction control should be banned...the technology is ALREADY DEVELOPED and available on roadgoing bikes, so doesnt need motogp involvement for development.

likewise they should also pre-emptively ban ABS systems. while eminently useful on the road, honda has already developed world-class sport-bike ABS and offered for sale w/o motogp input. given how small the opportunities for overtaking under braking in motogp are now, can you imagine how much more impossible it would be on a field full of ABS equipped bikes?!

wamanning - I could not disagree with you more (i.e. I adamantly disagree with you). Some modern motorcycles use several of the items you mention and will be using them more in the future.

GPS is actually required for motorcycle sales in Brazil to help recover stolen bikes. In addition, GPS as a navigation tool is popular on all sorts of touring motorcycles. Some active / movable headlight systems use GPS in conjunction to steering angle to light the road.

Gyroscopes and accelerometers are used in many, many products – the Apple iTouch being a prime example. On motorcycles, semi-active and active suspension systems use these tools. Also, active and passive safety systems (see Honda Goldwing’s airbag system) use these tools.

Angle / positions sensors are currently found on production motorcycles and used for a variety of reasons by product development. Some production traction control systems use angle sensors since limiting or controlling rear-wheel rotation is somewhat dependent on what the bike is doing at that time (wheelspin while upright and traveling in a straight line, cornering with the rear-end starting to slide, etcetera).

To your comment about ABS already being developed and available on production motorcycles – further development and progress can only benefit retail customers. Manufacturers should offer a deactivate option (for traction control too), as some automobile manufacturers already offer.

"really, i think all traction control should be banned...the technology is ALREADY DEVELOPED and available on roadgoing bikes, so doesnt need motogp involvement for development."

So anything that is already developed should not be on a GP bike? What about the internal combustion engine? Developed for over 100 years and available on the road... IT MUST GO! In 2010 all GP bikes should be powered by micro fusion power plants! Two wheels are so last century too... lets make them all fusion powered unicycles! Yeah that's really a great idea.

Cutting electronics is something that riders as well as many fans have asked for for a long time, so it is probably a good idea to finally do so.
But cutting practice time? How are new riders and the new teams that Ezzy so frantically believes in supposed to get used to to the bikes? What that will most likely lead to is new teams and rookies needing at least one season to get fully used to the the bikes and the tracks and do anything about competing with the top guys. No performance like Ducati in 2003 anymore and no rookie performances like Lorenzo and Dovizioso last season anymore. This stinks.

The reason the "electronics" are so intrusive is the fuel load is too small, and so is the engine formula.

ABS is already effectively "banned" because the teams don't use it (though some should probably consider it in the rain).