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GP Week : Issue 169
22 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: To Dorna, the show is everything. That’s why we have CRT bikes, to boost grid numbers, make it look better – even if they make no difference to the racing. That’s why – or certainly a big part of why – they want to introduced a control ECU; to make the racing closer. You can imagine the dismay in the management suites at Aragon, when iffy conditions meant hardly any bikes on the track for a full practice session. Watching an empty track is not much of a show for the fans. Especially since the same thing happened for two out of four sessions at Misano two weeks ago. And at Jerez at the start of the year. The reason is another Dorna rule, introduced ostensibly to save costs, but also to close up the competition. Control tyres. There just aren’t enough wet tyres to cope. The first time this year was at Jerez, with just eight riders out in the first free practice, almost all CRT riders and most running only a handful of laps while Stoner, Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Rossi etc – the people the fans want to see – sat in their garages looking glum. It happened again at Misano first and even second free practices: nine and 11 riders respectively. And again at Aragon last weekend – nine riders, and certainly not all at the same time. Often as not, there were only one or two running, and sometimes none. And again no factory bikes except the two Ducatis. Partly it’s because it wasn’t fully wet. Certainly too wet for slicks, but dry enough to tear up wet tyres. How about giving them some cut slicks or intermediates when it’s like that? Pointless, the riders agreed. You’d never race on them, given flag-to-flag rules. The only point, as Dovizioso said, would be to run qualifying laps, in those particular conditions. But to a man they hate losing track time. Give them more wet tyres and they’d happily tear them up, then come and get some more. All track time is valuable, especially when they only get a little more than three-and-a- half hours before each race. Tyre allocation at present is ten rear and nine front slicks per weekend, plus five wets, with just one extra if all sessions are wet. New this year there is a choice of two wet compounds, under certain circumstances. But the spectators have no choice, but to watch an empty track. Time, methinks, for Dorna to do something about it. Control weather, perhaps. OPINION MICHAEL SCOTT MotoGP Editor WHEN THE SHOW WON'T GO OPINION