Valentino Rossi: World Superbikes now too close to MotoGP

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 16 October 2012 17:52

Valentino Rossi believes World Superbikes needs a major technical revamp to use more production-based machinery in the future.

But the nine-times world champion has urged Dorna, which now controls World Superbikes after the recent acquisition of Infront Motor Sports, not to dumb down the technical rules too much to take away the skill and fascination of riding in WSB.

Now that Dorna has control of World Superbikes, CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta will implement rule changes that will help reduce costss in WSB, but also help create more room for him to manoeuvre in MotoGP.

Ezpeleta has two main objectives to help MotoGP prosper in the future. The first is to reduce costs, which is why he is threatening to introduce a controversial controlled ECU and rev limit for 2014.

And his second goal is to improve the show in MotoGP, with too many races in recent history being boring and processional.

World Superbikes has edged closer and closer to the full blown prototype category that MotoGP is, and Ezpeleta believes WSB should adopt rules similar to the current Superstock format, where slightly modified production bikes race.

Rossi said he supports the move to reduce the level of technology in World Superbikes. And he said Dorna now controlling WSB was a positive move that should help both prosper and compliment each other in the future.

The factory Ducati rider told MCN: “I like World Superbikes a lot and I am a fan. When I am at home I always follow it, but I’ve been doing this for 10 years now. For me it is important that the two are different with prototype in MotoGP and the normal bikes in World Superbikes.

"Maybe now the problem is that both are too close and they have to make a step back with World Superbikes and race more with the stock bike. For World Superbike they have to understand the right level between a stock bike and now.

"The bike has to remain fascinating and with a good performance and not just be a street bike. This is the balance.

"Now Carmelo has more power with the manufacturers in MotoGP. But I think it is a positive thing. Who is in charge of deciding the rules doesn’t have to have so much pressure from the manufacturers.”

Rossi’s view is an opinion shared by International Race Teams Association boss Mike Trimby.

Speaking to MCN in Japan, Trimby said: “We have always been of the opinion that there should be a clear distinction between MotoGP and World Superbikes. And what’s happened is that World Superbikes has moved closer to MotoGP by effectively running prototypes and that makes it difficult for us to make positive plans to reduce the costs in MotoGP.

"Unless costs are reduced in World Superbike as well and the technical specifications are more closely aligned with an evolution from street bikes, then we were going nowhere.

"That’s where we feel MotoGP should go and to do that World Superbikes has to also get its act together and return to what it was supposed to be, which is a street bike series.”