For months there have been ongoing discussions, arguments, flaps, and fights about how to cut costs in Moto GP, especially since Kawasaki announced it was leaving the sandbox to the other kids in order to save money.
Ideas from banning carbon brakes (easy-ish) to using a spec engine or ECU (not about to happen), have been floating around, mostly with a time-frame for the 2010 season. And of course, the series has already gone to a spec tire with Bridgestone.
However, the FIM Grand Prix commission announced changes yesterday — effective at once — that if anything will be making things more expensive. It’s hard to fathom where these guys are coming from, really. Here are the highlights:
Ceramic composite materials are not permitted for brake discs or pads — okay, that one’s not too bad, even if nobody’s using them yet.
Electronic controlled suspension is not permitted — right, now everyone has to develop new suspension systems by April 12, after the first series tests are already finished. This is supposed to save money?
Launch control system is not permitted — entire new electronic packages are now required, in the same time frame. Hey, that sounds like a cheap one. Not to mention useless, since if the programmers are anything like the F-1 car guys they’ll just figure out a way to hide the launch software (F-1 cars supposedly don’t have launch control any more, but you still don’t see any wheelspin, smoke, or stalls on the line, which is kind of a clue, no?).
Scrapping the Friday morning practice sessions and cutting remaining sessions from 60 to 45 minutes — that’ll be a treat for the sponsors who are now potentially getting a bunch less air time. Looks like a confirmed income-reducer from here.
And here’s my favourite … from the Czech GP, a maximum of five engines can be used in eight races. No changing of parts will be permitted except daily maintenance — so by August, everybody has to design completely new engines, and at a stroke we’ve got a nightmare of paper-shuffling to track everybody’s engines.
What a bunch of bozos.