A changing world leads to aggressive action by Dorna
The future of MotoGP looks much secure following confirmation from Carmelo Ezpeleta that from 2017 Dorna will take measures to safeguard the future of the series. Speaking in Argentina he announced that regulations are in the pipeline to ensure that privateer teams will be consistently supplied with satellite bikes with Dorna picking up the tab.
"We hope there will be an agreement in principal to our proposal for commercial arrangements between the championships, manufacturers and private teams from 2017 to 2021," said Ezpeleta. "We are discussing the principles for the technical aspects and for these regulations to be fixed and not change without the teams all agreeing to a change.
"Secondly, will say to the six manufacturers who are to participate in 2017, this will exclude KTM they can participate with two bikes, that they will have a obligation to lease bikes to a satellite team for a maximum price, we will pay practically all the cost of this leases. This means the teams will be safe economically and the competitiveness of the championship with the same ECU will be sure."
Having tried to ensure high grid sizes with the CRT subclass Dorna's latest attempt will at least ensure that there will be plenty of competitive bikes on the grid. The move should be applauded by the Spanish organisation for taking incredibly progressive steps to ensure that the quality of the grid, and the strength of the product that they can sell to TV companies, will be high for the foreseeable future.
Livio Suppo offered the perspective of a manufacturer with the HRC commercial manager saying that in a changing world where sponsorship is harder to find it becomes increasingly important that teams are supported by the income generated by the sport.
"The world has changed compared to a few years ago," said the Italian. "During the tobacco sponsorship days and there was more big sponsors than there were big teams...now it's the opposite. This sport, and all sports, has to rethink the business model because the world has changed. It's a good idea for the organiser to support satellite teams because we have a lot of manufacturer interest right now and we need satellite bikes to fill the grid. The business model needs to change because it's easier to get money from satellite TV rather than from sponsors."