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GP Week : Issue 157
With the GP Commission pushing to accelerate the introduction of major new technical restrictions as soon as 2014 rather than 2015, HRC vice- president Shuhei Nakamoto has responded with a clear threat to quit MotoGP. “(There is) no way to accept the change from 2014. If so, we will not support the championship,” he said; adding: “Also we don’t want a big change.” Nakamoto, who took over the MotoGP team after heading Honda’s Formula One effort, was speaking in a frank inter view with Japanese journalist Yoko Togashi, published in GPOne.com. He also told his compatriot that if Dorna tried to impose CRT rules on the whole class, “we will quit. We have made that clear to Dorna.” Nakamoto’s forthright comments contradict soothing suggestions from within Dorna and IRTA that the meeting at the Catalunya GP between the MSMA (manufacturers’ association) and the GP Commission had been a breakthrough in understanding, and in commitment to seeking a common goal. The target is to reduce costs, and put private CRT teams and the factories on a more equal footing. A rev limit and a control ECU are the favoured instruments, with other proposals including one-bike- per-rider and the banning of carbon brakes. The one-bike rule is possible for next year, but the main agreement to come out of Catalunya was minimal technical changes for 2013. But Race and Technical Director Mike Webb, although not a member of the GP Commission, reflected its views. “I’m very happy I can see a clear path we’re following. We know the target. Up until a few weeks ago it was impossible: we were never going to agree. So the minor cost-saving things – like one-bike and carbon brakes – were all we had in our hand. So we concentrated on getting them done. “But recently it appears we may be closing on the big cost-saving, then those other things become minor side issues. They can be talked about.” To Webb, the rev limit was crucial. “The real thing I want is to stop them revving, because that’s expensive.” “CHANGE THE DATE, AND HONDA WILL QUIT” No new rules before 2015, or HRC will leave, says big chief Nakamoto 10 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> NEWS