Yamaha ready to embrace lease price cap in MotoGP
Yamaha believes it wouldn’t have to drastically reduce the technical specification of its YZR-M1 1000cc machine if new MotoGP rules mean factories can only lease machinery for a maximum price of between one and 1.2m Euros.
Putting a maximum limit on the price that the likes of Yamaha, Honda and Ducati can charge independent teams to lease prototype machinery is one of several new rule proposals under discussion by Dorna and the Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association.
Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta is hoping a limit on lease prices will make it more affordable for independent teams to continue leasing prototype machinery.
Honda is understood to be charging around 3m Euros for a pair of lease RC213V 1000cc bikes in 2012 and that figure simply isn’t sustainable, with Fausto Gresini only having enough budget in place to lease one instead of the two bikes he planned.
As an alternative to maintain his two-rider presence in MotoGP, the Italian will run a new CRT project using a British-built FTR frame and Honda CBR1000RR motor prepped by Dutch tuning experts Ten Kate.
The high-profile Aspar squad also had to pull out of a deal with Ducati to run two Desmosedici GP12 machines this season because of budget constraints.
Further talks will be head during next week’s official MotoGP test at the Jerez circuit in Spain, but Ducati boss Filippo Preziosi recently told MCN that a lease price limit of around 1m Euros would make it impossible for the Bologna factory to maintain the current level of technology on the GP12 it currently supplies to Karel Abraham and Hector Barbera’s satellite teams.
But Yamaha management have said that the YZR-M1 machines supplied to Cal Crutchlow’s Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team could maintain its current level of technology in 2013 and beyond if a lease price cap was introduced.
Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis told MCN: “I think one million Euros for a season is a realistic target. But at this level it will cost all of the manufacturers money to subsidise the satellite teams to reach that figure with similar spec bikes to what we have now.
"If you want to break even or make money then you should come down significantly on the machine spec, but I think Yamaha could provide a similar spec bike to what we are doing now by significantly subsidising, but we are ready to do that.
"Of all the manufacturers we are the closest to that mark (1m Euros), so I would say Yamaha would need to make less changes in our deal to meet that target figure. It depends what is included in the package for 1m Euros.
"For instance does that include crash parts? We need to define that. Once the specification of what is included is done then it is matter of how it is policed.
"But it is not complicated because at the end of the day there are three or four teams and Herve Poncharal (Tech 3 boss) and Carmelo talk a lot, so it is easy to find out the price. The same applies with Honda and Ducati so it won't be difficult to control."
Yamaha and Poncharal’s Tech 3 Yamaha squad have a new two-year agreement in place for 2012 and ’13.
But Jarvis said the contract for 2013 would not need to be significantly re-negotiated if the lease price was capped.
He added: “I'd have to read the contract to be precise but I don't believe so. Herve’s commitment to Yamaha is to run a two-rider team for two years and the price of the lease of bikes is fixed annually, so I don't see a change except maybe the price."