Dorna moves to cap price of World Superbike machinery

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Dorna’s crusade to drive down costs in MotoGP will be mirrored in World Superbikes, with a price cap on machinery certain to be introduced for 2014.

Now that Dorna controls both MotoGP and World Superbikes, CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta is spearheading a cost-cutting drive in both to counter the on-going impact of the global financial crisis.

The Spaniard is also keen to return World Superbikes to its production-based ethos as the series has continually encroached on MotoGP, which has always been a full-blown prototype category.

The solution will be any manufacturer wishing to participate in World Superbikes in 2014 will need to supply a minimum of six riders with machinery, all at cost of no more than 250,000 Euros (£210,000) per rider.

The fee doesn’t include crash damage costs but Ezpeleta said the proposals were well received when he met with all World Superbike teams at the FIM headquarters in Geneva on December 4.

And in an interview with MCN during this week’s Ducati MotoGP launch at the Madonna di Campiglio ski resort in Italy, he said he hoped to be able to confirm the new cost-cutting measures for WSB in May.

He seemed adamant though that the proposals would go through when he told MCN: “This is a proposal that will be a rule.”

Ezpeleta added: “We had a meeting on December 4 with the teams and the factories involved in World Superbike in the FIM headquarters in Geneva. The meeting was very good and everybody agreed that changes have to be made.

There was not one single team that were not happy with this. I think they thought I was going to arrive in the meeting and say we are cancelling World Superbikes. We told them that 2013 will remain as planned and everybody agreed that the cost now is unacceptable.

In principle we told them that a big target was to reduce the costs but they we were worried that the bikes would become almost stock. But we need to clear the mind and realise that World Superbike and MotoGP are no longer enemies.

In my opinion they never were enemies but at least now we are not competing and we need to separate the two. One is for bikes derived from production bikes and one is for prototypes. In principle it is a question of performance and cost. My opinion is that the existing rules in World Superbike meant it was like a prototype series.

The chassis was free, the front and rear suspension is free, the number of engines you can use is free, fuel is free and the ECU is free. This leads to enormous costs. For me it is very easy and I have my own ideas on what to do but I am completely open to the proposals coming from the factories  in World Superbikes with two conditions.

One is the cost for one rider with the full equipment for a season including all parts apart from crash parts, must be a maximum of 250,000 Euros. Secondly, because I don’t want them to sell just one and those that have a bike homologated must supply at least six bikes if required at that price.

Everybody more or less agreed and now I want the MSMA people to join the Superbike Commission and make a proposal and I want it by May to be able to set everything up for 2014.

Everybody involved in World Superbikes agreed that the price, with everything included for one season, is correct. To avoid them saying this bike costs 250,000 Euros but I will only make two, they must provide a minimum of six bikes if there is the demand.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt