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GP Week : Issue 149
a production racer, which we certainly hope they do, it would be, honestly, what races in that other series, with a four- cylinder engine and a chassis that looks similar. We’d be quite happy because it’s a production racer that is not homologated for that series. Do you anticipate possible complaints about the Aprilia, and how would you deal with them? Yes, it’s a possibility. Race direction would sit together and say: “We’ve had a number of inputs from fellow competitors and we’re taking it seriously. The mechanism has not been established, but it is a GP Commission decision, so a proposal has to be tabled to the commission from a member of the commission: Dorna, the FIM, IRTA or the MSMA. As you can imagine it is more likely to come from the MSMA. They’re called ‘Claiming Rule Teams’, but everyone agrees the likelihood of a factory claiming an engine is negligible. What do you think? I’ve lobbied hard to get rid of the name, to be honest with you. Constructor Racing Team, if you want to keep the initials, or Evolution Bike. This is an evolution time, and the Claiming Rule was like a safety net that kept the manufacturers happy. In a very short time I think we will have no need for it. Will there be a price cap for CRT, as in Moto3? It’s one of the things Carmelo is talking about: factories will always R&D themselves to whatever level they can, but the price of a team’s participation, whether they choose a factory satellite bike or a CRT, it should be one million Euros a season. That’s the target. How would you police this? Sounds difficult. Absolutely, it is. It also has to be agreed: what does that include? Is that only the motorbike; is it with support? It is going to be extremely hard to police, but it is like a statement of intent about where we’re aiming. How we go about the details of policing it is ... yet to be worked out. Another proposal is for a control ECU, possibly only for CRT teams? Is that still on the cards? I’m not directly involved, but the way I see it, if there is not yet agreement between the manufacturers and Dorna for factory bikes, a good quality high-spec ECU available to CRTs is actually a step up for them. That’s helping them, which Ithinkisagoodwaytogo.Thatinthe future could become a model for a single ECU series. Not all CRT teams would necessarily agree: the Ten Kate Honda and Aprilia electronics are already highly developed; they’d have to start again from scratch. From the cost point of view there’s arguments both ways. Because of the for-and-against, I’d be much happier to see a rev limit, which seriously saves some money, and allow them to continue with their own ECUs. It would be nice to have the rider more in control of everything, but we do need some level of electronics. Where you draw the line – well, that’s still being debated. But I think the rev limit is an absolute must. How do you apply a rev limit ... through the control ECU? You can do it quite cheaply with a stand-alone device. It would be supplied by the organisers. You’d measure crankshaft speed, with no input from the bike – a proper one-to-one measurement, with a secure device. It can be done. This raft of rules is to be finalised by the end of May – do you anticipate smooth progress in such a short time? The target was always May, then there is a manufacturers’ lead time of June. It was never going to be smooth, while you’ve got parties wanting different things, but it will be agreed. They’ve all nodded to the one-million cost cap. There are big chunks of principle agreed. There are still some details to be sorted, and like any negotiation I would expect that by the due date new regulations will be announced, with most of the things we were aiming for, with some things put off for another year. Finally, you have two jobs now – race directing as well as technical chief. When do you sleep? (Laughs) I can explain – the title Technical Director still exists solely because I have the responsibility for writing the regulations. That part of the job, that’s winter ... getting ready for the season. From here onwards, assistant technical director Danny Aldridge and his team are doing the role I used to fill, and I am purely Race Director. If Danny and the team come up with a technical problem they want some advice or a ruling on, I am the final arbiter. Moto3 – the latest in a series of radical changes on MotoGP that have happened on Mike Webb's watch 36 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> FEATURE