This Sunday we have seen a clear exponent of the evolution of MotoGP racing that we have been experiencing lately. Three riders (all with an official motorcycle) start after the traffic light goes out, no one else is able to follow them, between them they only go ahead once in the middle of the race and reach the finish line with a certain difference between them. With this paragraph we could summarize a good part of the races of this and some other season. What happens in MotoGP?
The gurus of the MotoGP World Championship explain to us almost every week that the problem is that the category has become very expensive and that is why the brands, little by little, are abandoning the competition. Some options are currently being considered through a new regulation that would make racing a little more affordable (and therefore attractive) for brands. But this regulation has not just arrived, nor do the brands seem willing to give up their bite of the prey so that others arrive who can shade them.
Last year one of the thinking heads came up with the idea of inventing a category that promised them very happily and that could attract new manufacturers to the category. CRT appeared, which could use series derived motors on prototype chassis. The problem is that these new bikes are not competitive when they compete directly against the MotoGP prototypes. But this lack of competitiveness does not seem to be in the mechanics or in the pure performance of the CRT, but the electronics necessary to reach the level of MotoGP is practically unattainable in the short term and in the long run no one knows if they will arrive (nor does it seem to have enough patience).
Does MotoGP need a new regulation? Surely yes, but a new regulation does not seem like the panacea that saves the category. I would bet more on a complete revolution in the World Cup to make it more attractive. I will see if I can explain this. On the one hand, it seems clear that motorcycles must be regulated to make them more similar to each other. We have already seen this in Moto2 and Moto3 where the ability of the rider seems first above the performance (more or less homogeneous) of the motorcycles. Thus offering a very interesting show.
What problem is there to get to that regulation that solves everything? Again we look at the gurus of the World Cup to see what happens. On one side is SlingWith all its technological might, it does not want to see its supremacy limited backed by the almost limitless resources of one of the most powerful factories on the planet. On the other side is Ducati, that with his philosophy and way of doing things he managed to defeat the goliath of the category. But its limited resources (compared to those of the Japanese brand) do not make it prone to accept restrictions that may go against that own technical philosophy. The third factory involved in the world, YamahaShe does not seem to be interested in any of this as her current status allows her to qualify for a world championship proving the quality of her bikes. Although the crisis also affects them in the form of a lack of a sponsor, they seem to be more or less comfortable with the current situation as it is.
What panorama does this leave us? Well if things do not change, next season we will see six official motorcycles in official factory equipment. Other six official motorcycles in satellite teams and hopefully a more or less large group of CRT. The problem is that the CRTs don't seem to have any chance of even getting a victory. The motorcycles of the satellite teams may have another option to victory, but their development and performance are always in the background because the big brands are not going to favor them in front of the motorcycles of official teams that put a lot of money at stake.. So hopefully we have six official bikes in official teams that can claim the title.
Are there interesting races of fifteen or twenty bikes in which there are only six (hopefully) with options to win? I do not think so. What's more the pilots themselves are quickly demotivated when they realize (if they don't know it before) that their mount is nothing more than a filler-grill and that the "cod" is distributed beforehand. Solutions? A boat soon the only solution (or the fastest) would be to opt for a mono-brand world championship. But this, which has worked so well in the “small” classes, seems difficult to implement in the premier class.
Some systems might work and Formula 1 regulations requiring technology freeze used and equal resources among all contenders. But for this it is necessary that the brands that currently dominate the World Cup give their arm to twist. The problem is that to this day they don't seem to realize that if you don't let anyone else play the game (MotoGP) in the end maybe everyone is on the other side of the fence playing something else (Superbikes) while you get bored dominating a category that attracts no one. It stops being interesting for the sponsors and the spectators and ends up dying.