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 171
19 GPWEEK.com // 19 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: When Dorna chief Carmelo Ezpeleta hosted a press briefing at Motegi on the weekend, fielding questions on his new role as emperor-in-chief in both MotoGP and Superbikes, he looked, said one observer, “like the cat who’d got the canary”. This was quite unsurprising. So was everything he said. Asked what he was going to do with the canary now it was in his paws, he avoided licking his lips, and made the expected corporate noises. Dorna would develop each series, each with its own identity, to complement one another. Obviously. He deflected questions of his modus operandi, about the technical future. This would be debated as before with the factories over the coming year. And especially he ducked the one about whether – having spiked Honda’s threat of deserting MotoGP for SBK – he would find it easier to talk to the combative HRC head honcho Shuhei Nakamoto. “With Honda, it is always easy to talk,” he responded. Conjuring (even though he specifically spoke against it) a cosy mental picture of a forum of smiling manufacturers’ reps sitting at a long polished table, all nodding and agreeing with him. Everybody knows about Honda’s threat to walk to World Superbikes if a control ECU/rev limit is imposed in MotoGP for 2014, because Nakamoto made himself widely clear on that point. With Ezpeleta in charge of Superbikes, that option has gone. It is interesting, among all the other speculation, to wonder what will now happen to him. Honda insiders believe his threats came with the backing of those above him. The ground has been cut away from under him. Will he now be cast as company scapegoat? Depends on how much bluff was involved. A thoroughly disaffected Honda might yet withdraw factory backing from MotoGP; it is entirely possible that Yamaha would follow suit in sympathy (and to save a bomb from their battered balance sheet), leaving Ducati with nobody to race against except a bunch of CRT bikes. Some of them, doubtless, with covert backing from above factories. Nothing short of the end of racing as we know it ... the abandonment of excellence for the elite class ... more NASCAR than F-One. The lost prestige would be very hard to regain, but Ezpeleta has repeatedly declared himself prepared to go there, if necessary. He too could be bluffing. Which would leave acres of room for a continuation of the pattern of stand-offs and delays that have marked the confrontation so far ... if only Ezpeleta was not running out of time. 2014 is, in design and technical terms, already on the doorstep. No matter which side prevails, and at present it looks as though Ezpeleta has the stronger hand, everything hangs on the outcome. But, either way, it will be the end of racing as we know it. Again. OPINION MICHAEL SCOTT MotoGP Editor THE END OF RACING AS WE KNOW IT. AGAIN. OPINION