Can Claiming Rule Teams solve the poor grid issues in MotoGP?
MOTOGP'S grid looks set to increase next season thanks in part to the addition of the new Claiming Rule Teams.
Dorna are looking at the production-based CRT bikes as the future of the sport, which is something the 1987 500GP champion, Waybe Gardner agrees upon. Harking back to days when the GP grid was filled with factory entries alongside numerous privateer outfits.
“Dorna have said CRT is the future of the sport and, although I’m not quite sure how it will all play out, I think I have to agree.” said Gardner in his website column. “If it means reducing the power of the manufacturers in the process, so be it. MotoGP needs an idea that will put more affordable bikes on the grid and improve the entertainment value of the package.”
He revealed that one manufacter strongly opposes Dorna on the introduction of the new rules, but realised that MotoGP needs smart marketing to boost grid numbers - especially considering the sorry state of only 10 finishers at Phillip Island, questioning why any potential sponsors could get excited about that.
“In reality, it’s the factories that instigated the move to four-strokes, massively increasing the costs for everybody involved. And it’s the factories that are imposing massive leasing prices on satellite teams, which is a major factor in declining grid numbers. As a result, MotoGP is now unaffordable for just about everyone.”
“The problem is that for many years, it’s been engineers, not marketing people, making all the key decisions. Engineers don’t care if racing is entertaining or not. They don’t care if it’s boring, or if no one tunes in to watch on TV. They just want to develop their technology and win races.”
Gardner also ponders on whether the introduction of CRTs will bring around a return of the GP fields from the 80s, using the example of 1985 when Honda ran one factory NSR500 for Freddie Spencer and Yamaha two YZRs for Eddie Lawson and Raymond Roche – whereas the rest of the grid were made up of competitive privateer machines like the Honda triples and Suzuki RGs.
Carmelo Ezpeleta has envisioned that in years to come, the production-based CRT machines will make up the majority of the grid.
Posted: 28/10/2011 at 15:10
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