by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 55
Production-engine future proposed for two-tier MotoGP DORNA has proposed a two-tier future for MotoGP, with factory teams sticking with 800cc prototype engines as at present, but independent privateers using production-based 1000cc engines in full prototype chassis. This was confirmed by Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta, who explained that the engines would be tuned, but would then be restricted, if they posed any threat of beating the factory 800s. “It’s just an idea,”he said. “We proposed it at the GP Commission meeting at Assen. The MSMA”(manufacturers’association) “are studying the idea now, but they also have another idea they are looking at: to lease 800cc engines to teams at a lower cost, rather than leasing whole bikes.” The cost of a pair of lease Hondas is 1.8-million Euros per annum, and the teams have nothing to show for this investment when they hand the bikes back at the end of the season. “With this idea, they would own the machines themselves,”said Ezpeleta. The plan is aimed at cutting costs for independent teams, making it easier for them to find sponsorship; and at increasing grid numbers. At present, after the withdrawal of Sete Gibernau’s GFH team, there are just 17 bikes on the grid. “My idea is to have plus or minus 20 bikes,”said Ezpeleta. The new plan could be in place in 2011, and he expected to have a firm proposal from the MSMA by the end of August this year. Reaction to the plan from teams was mainly surprise. “For Ducati, it is too soon to respond. From my personal view, it is crazy,”said Marlboro Ducati team director Livio Suppo. Ezpeleta told GPWeek that he had suggested to the factories they should sell 800cc engines, “but they don’t want that, because their engines have a lot of technology they don’t want to share with anybody else.” Gibernau’s comeback collapses FORMER Rossi rival Sete Gibernau’s much-vaunted MotoGP comeback after two years absence has come to a premature end, after his independent Gruppo Francesco Hernandez team collapsed in the week before the German GP. The abrupt withdrawal is the consequence of the financial downturn and a collapse of property prices in Spain, where team owner Hernandez is a billionaire property developer. Gibernau, who did not attend the Sachsenring, said: “Nobody is more surprised by this than me;”but team manager Pablo Nieto said they had suspected problems over the previous weeks. Ducati had been paid for the bikes, he said, but team wages had been lagging. “We need 1.2-million Euros to finish the season,”he said. With no prospect of getting it, he said they would have to sell the team trucks and equipment to pay the debts. Hernandez is famous in Spain, where he started as a sewer worker but has built up a vast property- development empire. Known as “El Pocero”(Mr Ditch), he has suffered several major financial reversals. In April he abandoned half-completed an enormous development outside Madrid, with rumoured debts of 18-million Euros. Another project, to build 36,000 apartments in Equatorial Guinea, has also stalled since the start of the financial crisis. ADVERTISE in GPWEEK to access a HUGE global audience 1