The MotoGP World Championship is not innovative and nothing can be done to change it
The MotoGP World Championship is not innovative and nothing can be done to change it

The claim that the MotoGP World Championship is not innovative It's not mine, it was made by David Emmet at Motomatters. But the article does not stop there, but it has much more reasons to explain the current situation of the MotoGP World Championship. The article begins by talking about the fact that the price limit on elements such as brakes or suspensions is a good system to contain the crazy expense of developing a motorcycle to run the MotoGP World Championship. So far I think we are all in agreement. The problem comes when brands stop investigating precisely because of this price limitation. It is logical that if you are not going to be able to charge more for a product it stops updating and no one investigates more about it.

The solution that can occur to all of us to keep this research and evolution going is let more brands compete (either suspension, brakes or whatever). But de facto in the MotoGP World Championship there is a monopoly problem. On the one hand, there is the exorbitant amount of money involved in launching the participation of any brand in the MotoGP World Championship. Because let's remember that this does not consist of simply calling a brand and offering them your product.

As attractive as that product is pilots always try to use the same as their rivals. So if a brand of shock absorbers is offered at a very good price, but those bikes do not start to go a second faster than the others, the rider (their environment, the fans and everyone) will begin to blame those shock absorbers for the mark XXX. Why in Moto2 do most riders race with the same chassis? Well, precisely because of that reasoning.

According to this article by David Emmet riders understand that a large part of a motorcycle's performance is the rider's own fault. So they try to minimize the risks by copying as much as possible the material that their rivals use. In some cases copying even the settings. What happens is that this is not always a guarantee of results. It is not necessary to explain the results of some riders who have not managed to fine-tune a “peculiar” motorcycle in two years because they did not know how to fine-tune it or adapt their riding to it, nor was the brand capable of making them the bike they wanted because it was what they knew and understood without problems.

Valentino Rossi Sepang Test 2012
Valentino Rossi Sepang Test 2012

Let's suppose that despite all this an “adventurous” brand throws the house out the window and gets headlong into the World Cup. Let's suppose that this brand overcomes the reluctance of the riders and finally installs its products on a motorcycle. As soon as they go out to the first training session, they will find themselves with a very serious problem. What settings will they use? Because in theory this mark starts from zero and does not know the telemetry data that their rivals have accumulated over the years. Data that is kept under seven keys and that helps the riders in the set-up of the motorcycle. Mainly because with them in hand the motorcycle is adjusted to a basic level and then the necessary details are polished to fit the style of the rider. If this does not fit by itself to what they have given. Again another difficult obstacle to overcome, it can only be fixed with patience and with the well-known test pilots. Overall, more time means more money, precisely what we were trying to avoid.

The last detail is that, in addition, these "complementary" brands also have a specific weight in the budget of any team. On the one hand, you have to pay for the material that they install on the motorcycle and, on the other, you have to give them advertising space on the fairing. Because let's remember that they are in this MotoGP World Championship to do business, and that business happens because your products are on the winning bike and the brand looks good in the photos. So when buyers go to the dealership and see that their future bike uses the same shock absorbers that So and So will hurt a little less scratching your pocket. But if the motorcycle does not win the publicity, it will be the opposite (remember the environment, the fans and others criticizing it) and nobody will want those shock absorbers on their motorcycle.

Total, that on the one hand the invention of limiting technology works badly, but limiting prices does not seem like a panacea either because there will always be a team with a lot of money that will invest in developing what is not limited by regulation and will beat the others. on the track. A sample we have in the seamless gearbox developed by Honda, which is prohibitively priced and allows its bikes to gain a few thousandths in each lap. Will we see prohibitions as concrete as in Formula 1 in MotoGP? Well, at the rate we are going, surely yes, but while they arrive we will continue to hear the famous slogan that prices must be contained to make the MotoGP World Championship more palatable to new brands and riders.

Of course, to arrive with a minimum of guarantees, you have to invest the budget of several years of research and development, you also have to convince the riders who get on that bike that the material available is the best of the best and get them to results accompany from day one. Difficult task and not cheap, which returns us to the departure box. Does anyone have a magic wand to fix it?