MotoGP decision looming for Marc VDS Racing

Marc VDS Racing– one of the highest profile teams outside of MotoGP – could be thwarted in its bid to move to the premier class in 2015.

The Belgian-based squad, which has dominated Moto2 this season with Tito Rabat and Mika Kallio, has again launched ambitious plans to move into MotoGP after a failed attempt last season.

Marc VDS boss Michael Bartholemy has already entered lengthy negotiations with Yamaha about a YZR-M1 engine lease deal with a Kalex chassis. But the issue remains a grid slot for Marc VDS, which came close to winning the Moto2 title in 2013 with British rider Scott Redding.

Dorna is reluctant to expand the grid beyond the current entry of 24 bikes, and Suzuki’s return in 2015 already potentially swells the field to 26.

Another dilemma for Marc VDS is any new MotoGP entry next season has to forfeit the considerable financial assistance offered by Dorna to compete.

Bartholemy has given himself a deadline of the Assen round in Holland later this month to understand if Marc VDS Racing can make the jump to MotoGP.

He told MCN during the recent Mugello round in Italy: “We are talking to see what the possibilities are but the main question mark is the starting place. You can’t just say we are going to MotoGP, so make some space. Dorna is very loyal and we have to respect the teams that started before us. They have invested a lot of time and money and Dorna isn’t going to say you have to move so we can find a place for Marc VDS. We then need to understand what Marc (van der Straten) thinks about it and understand which material we will use and how much it will cost. We know where we are with Yamaha and by Assen we have to decide what the situation is.

The final decision will come from Marc. We can only present the possibilities and then it is up to him to say we can or can’t do it.”

Bartholemy though said he would not push van der Straten to make a MotoGP move unless he was convinced the team could be successful and not just be in the premier class to make up the numbers.

He added: “I would never ask Marc to go into a stupid project. We would have to have the correct package and if I have any doubt in the results and potential then I am a very happy man in Moto2 and we could stay there. I would never go into a project that we know we could fail. We need to be very clear what we can achieve before we make it.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt