Valentino Rossi fears engine restrictions will hurt MotoGP

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Valentino Rossi fears cost-cutting engine restrictions in 2010 will further damage MotoGP as a spectacle.

Rossi and his MotoGP rivals will only be able to use six engines for the entire 18-race world championship next year, and the Italian has voiced major concerns about the restrictions.

His first worry is that Yamaha will have to sacrifice performance to gain durability, with Rossi’s YZR-M1 down on power after restrictions limited riders to five engines for the final seven races in 2009.

But Rossi’s biggest fear is that fans will suffer, with riders opting to spend time sat in the pits to conserve engine life.

MotoGP has already been labelled boring since the introduction of the 800cc four-strokes in 2007, and extortionate costs mean only 17 bikes are currently on the grid for next season.

“Maybe next year a lot of bikes are waiting in the pits in practice to save the engine, and already there are not a lot of bikes. Also is a big problem is crashes. In a normal season you make a minimum of five crashes. And when you crash 80 per cent of time the engine is finished because of stones or the throttle stays open. Sometimes we’ll be riding not to crash rather than going fast. The biggest problem is a crash. Crash and you’re finished and it will be very tricky, “said Rossi.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt