2010 BSB rules debate: Colin Wright

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The big debate on the future of the BSB technical regulations is on. BSB Race Director Stuart Higgs has stated his opinion. Now MCN opens the debate to the team bosses.

BSB ran FIM regs in 2007, went to a more restrictive supersport-tune engine format last year and is now back to FIM spec again. The talk is now about how to cut costs. Here’s what Airwaves Yamaha team manager Colin Wright says:

“I think it’s true to say that there’s no one team in the BSB that is not struggling financially. These are hard times and they are going to get harder in 2010.

“I’ve already had discussions with Stuart (Higgs – BSB Race Director) and said that having superstock engines and ideas like that will not keep teams in the championship.

“It would be cheaper but changing the rules three times in three years is not good for the championship.

“You could reduce costs by having a controlled ECU. The savings would be in reduced staffing levels. But we’ve already got the equipment- and so have all the other teams.

“The question before you implement any change should be: is this going to help teams (continue to) compete?

“We need to face up to reality. We are in a desperate situation and people will stop racing. MSVR cannot do anything about them falling out of bed.

“There’s talk of a one bike rule. That’s fine, but all you do then is have the second bike in the truck in spares anyway.

“But there’s bigger issues with the one-bike theory. And it’s this: Sponsorship is good because it gives a return on investment. If we only have one bike and we don’t make the race, then we can’t give that return on investment.

“We can reduce staff but some teams have done that and then have to bring in less-experienced staff to help at weekends. That’s not ideal.

“You could limit testing. In the past we’ve gone to Spain testing. This year though we didn’t even test but the reason we were able to go out and win in the first round is; 1) the R1 is an exceptional motorcycle and 2) Yamaha Italy had done their homework (and fed their data to Airwaves). Messing with the rules will not help.

“The big thing for me is that people have said this is not a recession, it’s a correction. Riders wages have gone down in the last 12 months and will potentially drop a lot more this winter.”


Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin