Ducati: Lease price limit means lower spec machinery
09 March 2012 16:43
A 1m Euro (£830,000) cap on the cost of leasing a MotoGP bike in the future will make it impossible for Ducati to deliver the same high level of technology featured on its existing customer bikes.
To ensure MotoGP is more affordable in the future for independent teams like Tech 3, Gresini, LCR and potential new entries, factories could be forced to charge no more than 1m Euros for their bikes under radical proposals currently under discussion.
But Ducati boss Filippo Preziosi said it would be impossible to lease a current GP12 for that price and he told MCN: “That bike with all the technology, no we couldn’t lease for that price. It is necessary to be very clear about what the fee includes.
Does it mean just the bike or the bike plus all the engines or does it include all the spare parts for maintenance? And there is crash damage parts. For these reasons you have to be clear what would be supplied for 1m Euros.”
All factories are nervous that sweeping rule changes like a controlled ECU or 16,000rpm rev limit will deny them of a key reason why they race in the first place.
Technology development is a fundamental aspect of MotoGP for the factories and Ducati and Honda have already said that too much dumbing down of the rules could see them quit.
But restrictions like a controlled ECU are being discussed by the factories, as Dorna seeks to lower costs and bridge the gap between factory prototypes and new CRT machinery.
Preziosi added: “Ducati joined MotoGP because of the chance to develop technology and the Panigale would never have been born without the experience of MotoGP. If you freeze everything you lose the interest of the companies but if you allow everything then our company is too small to compete when you need 100m Euros.
"There has to be a compromise. Things like a single ECU is interesting from a cost side and for having more balanced performance between the bikes. On the other side you lose a lot of interest because all the strategies developed in MotoGP are available for production bikes.
"We are trying to make a compromise between cost and the interest of the championship. Having no rev limit and free electronics are two really important items but we also have to keep the costs under control. Each choice will mean everybody will have to compromise.
"Our idea is to keep our product at a certain level so we are open to lease the bike. It is important to understand what the satellite teams are asking for. If they want a factory spec then it is factory costs. If they are happy with a different spec, maybe last year’s bike, it could be less expensive.”
Dorna bosses will meet Ducati, Honda and Yamaha management during the forthcoming IRTA test in Jerez to thrash out firm proposals to implement new rules for 2013.