MotoGP calendar cut not answer to cost saving

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MotoGP team bosses believe a reduction in the number of MotoGP races would have little or no impact on slashing costs.

With the global credit crunch forcing the likes of Honda, Yamaha and Ducati to consider cost-cutting measures after Kawasaki’s shock intent to quit with immediate effect, one option touted was cutting the world championship calendar down from its current 18-race format.

The expansion of the MotoGP calendar to 18 races has tested resources, but most agree that a reduction would be a detrimental move.

Tech 3 Yamaha team boss Herve Poncharal, who also acts as International Race Teams Association president, would prefer the season to be extended further. He said: “For me 18 races is not too much.

"I would prefer to have one more race than another two tests. When you go to test in Sepang, Qatar or Australia you don’t get paid. One hundred per cent of the cost is yours. When we race in Malaysia or Australia we are paid.”

Factory Ducati team boss Livio Suppo also said that the current format was crucial to help Dorna retain it level of financial investment in the teams, with the Spanish rights owners heavily subsidising some of the non-factory efforts.

“The Dorna contribution to the teams and manufacturers is growing and to do this they need to have revenue, and one way of doing that is to have more races. So this a compromise between how much Dorna contributes and how much we spend to go racing, “said Suppo.

Suzuki boss Paul Denning though believes the savings made by cutting at least three races would have a benefit.

“The most obvious way to reduce costs would be to reduce the quantity of races. I think a reduction to 15 races would see a reasonable cost saving for everybody involved and it would not negatively affect sponsorship revenues that a team can offer. If you are offering a global marketing proposition based across 15 races I don’t think it will make a significant difference to those revenues compared to 18 races, “Denning told MCN.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt