FIM Urges MotoGP to Make Cost-Cutting Changes

After Formula 1 and the WRC, the MotoGP has also lost an important constructor ahead of the upcoming season. Following Kawasaki's withdrawal from the sport, the International Motorcycle Federation has urged the MotoGP officials to consider a cost-cutting/survival plan for the future in order to save the series from going bankrupt at the end of 2009.

“The problem isn't 2009, when one way or another we'll manage to have a full grid, but it's 2010. There's the risk of more defections, especially among privateers, who could leave us with just 14 bikes,” said FIM president Vito Ippolito in an interview for Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.

Ippolito has called out for an immediate re-think of the MotoGP format, aimed at dramatically reducing costs inside the sport and allowing more bike manufacturers to enter and fill in the missing Kawasaki team on the 2010 grid. Under the current conditions, the MotoGP grid will only include 17 bikes in 2009.

“That's why I'll repeat to the Japanese manufacturers the absolute need for going back to the past. That is going back to the building and selling of 'road production prototypes', like the ones that used to be raced in the eighties,” added Ippolito.

The Italian also pointed out that separating the MotoGP from its feeder series – the 125cc and 250cc – is not a solution. He insisted that teams from within all the 3 series should come up with a plan to reduce costs and implement a set of rules to be followed not only by the MotoGP 'big guns' but also by 125cc and 250cc participants.

“The sport needs the FIM, as motorcycling can't be just business. That's why I'm openly against the split paddock set up by Dorna: the world championship isn't just MotoGP, there are also the other series. Innovating is fine, but we also need to think long term and lower the costs. The FIM will speak through a press release next Monday,” concluded Ippolito.
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