MotoGP boss wants imminent decision on 2014 rules

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MotoGP boss Carmelo Ezpeleta says he will push through his controversial plans for a controlled ECU and rev limit unless the factories can propose viable alternative options to help achieve his objectives of cutting costs and making racing more entertaining.

Ezpeleta said he is willing to compromise on implementing radical rule changes like a single ECU if Honda, Yamaha and Ducati can offer up a different solution to meet his targets for the future of racing in the premier class.

But he said won’t accept the factories dithering and stalling over future regulation changes and if there is no counter proposal from the Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association (MSMA), he won’t hesitate to introduce a controlled ECU and rev limit, despite the risk of alienating Honda, Yamaha and Ducati.

It is almost one year ago since Ezpeleta chaired crisis talks at Valencia with representatives from HRC, Yamaha and Ducati, warning them that costs had to be reduced to ensure MotoGP could ride out the economic storm created by the global financial meltdown.

But almost 12 months on and there are no concrete plans in place for how MotoGP will tackle the cost reduction issue, while also looking to tweak the rulebook to make the racing less boring and processional.

Speaking exclusively to MCN in Japan last weekend, Ezpeleta insisted he was not at war with the factories and he said: “My philosophy is to reach a consensus and I don’t want to impose anything on anybody. This is not a war. We are more than happy to continue discussions.

“We think that the controlled ECU and a limit on the revs is the easiest way to reduce the costs and control performance.

“If somebody shows us something that can close the gap between the factory prototypes and CRT without changing the rev limit or the ECU then let them propose that.

“But time is passing and it is not a case that they can just say no to the single ECU or rev limit. We want to apply these rules for 2014 and if by January or February they say nothing then we will say sorry, if the only proposals are from us then so be it.

“We have some technical regulations to propose to everybody that for sure will obtain what we want. The only thing I won’t accept is them (MSMA) saying this is not valid, but they don’t come up with anything different. To answer no is not enough.

“We have been discussing how to reduce the costs and make the spectacle better since Valencia last year but until now there has been no proposal.”

Honda has been the most vocal opponent of the controlled ECU plan, but most believe it won’t push through with its threat to quit MotoGP in protest.

Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis said until it was clear what the restrictions of the new ECU would be and what if any changes factories were allowed to make, it was hard to make a judgement.

He told MCN: “We have to understand what it involves because so far the concept of the single ECU depends on which ECU and it depends on the software modifications you are allowed to make.

“We use Magneti Marelli already, so probably the hardware is very similar to what we are using already. Until we know exactly what the definition of the restrictions are it is difficult to give a comment.”

Ducati is understood to have been the most receptive to the changes so far, but technical boss Filippo Preziosi said he wants to understand more about how the single ECU concept will work.

He told MCN: “It is just a trade off between keeping the costs under control and keeping the technical interest for the factories. It depends on the final rules and then we will reach our decision.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt