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Thread: How to save MotoGP

  1. #1
    apriliaforum expert vtrandall's Avatar
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    How to save MotoGP

    Whatever your opinions are toward Michael Czysz and his motorcycles, I think he raises some good points in this article

    If the future of MotoGP is going to be the CRT bikes, it may very well lead to the death of WSBK, which IMO, is a lot more fun to watch these days than MotoGP (that being said, I am curious to see what happens this weekend in Qatar)

    Michael Czysz: How to save MotoGP

    MotoCzysz founder Michael Czysz, whose E1PC electric motorcycles took first and second places in the 2011 Isle of Man TT Zero race, has offered the following vision for future technical rules in MotoGP and WSBK competition.

    Czysz has given Crash.net permission for his ideas, posted on MotoCzysz.com earlier this week, to be reproduced in full below.

    Negotiations are ongoing between Dorna and the MotoGP manufacturers for the post-2012 rule changes, with the end of May targeted as the deadline for an agreement...

    Is MotoGP lost: 500 > 990 > 800 > 1000 > CRT > ?

    Companies race for only a few reasons: R&D, Sales & Marketing and hopefully passion, fans watch for even fewer; to witness the greatest competition known to man.


    In an era where it is more important then ever for companies to innovate and differentiate themselves from the competition the race track for a motorcycle company should be as central to their operation as the boardroom.

    If companies no longer deem racing essential, it is because the formula is no longer relevant.

    Worse, if racing classifications are not clear then fans fail to connect and eventually even care. Ask even a loyal fan to explain the difference between DSB and SuperSport or WSBK and a CRT.

    Racing directs development and to make it relevant in the 21 century, efficiency should trump top speed. Every company (and individual) should be focused on doing more with less and fans should easily understand the structure and goals of each class. What is needed is new architecture, a solid, stable foundation that can scale from Moto3 thru MotoGP and WSBK while maintaining each classes unique individuality.

    Go to the heart…


    Motorcycles go faster because every aspect improves but at the centre of this improvement is the cylinder, the heart of the machine. Cylinders have evolved to a diametric science of laminar flow and turbulence. The heart has moved far beyond simple porting and polishing of cast heads.

    The design and development of the cylinder (airbox to exhaust) is a serious, expensive endeavor and with every seemingly random displacement or bore/stroke change the entire expensive cycle starts over.
    <cont.>
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    apriliaforum Member GuzziV8's Avatar
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    I have the utmost respect for Mr Czysz but it is not the manufacturers that have kept racing going over the years it has been the private teams. Yes, the golden periods were glorious when we had the Italian factories in the late 50's (but that pulled out) then the Japanese factories in the late 60's (but then they pulled out) and then the MotoGP era also started fantastically. But today we only have Yamaha, Honda and Ducati left. We need a class where the privateer can compete and thanks to Aprilia and a few others we may soon be getting that. It is not WSBK - that is production - this is modified. Any race fan can see the difference - if they are interested. Someone recently said that it should be 250 singles (Moto3) 500 twins (Moto2) and 1000cc 4's (MotoGP) that would be a nice natural progression. And, if that helps the manufacturers sell affordable production racers to the privateer teams, bring it on!

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    apriliaforum expert potere's Avatar
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    Czysz' thoughts are well laid out due to his enviable ability to take mechanics and marketing and marry them. I would add if you make it simple enough for the spectator, it would end up looking like a gov't run entitlement program run by movie stars with CGI special effects screens in place of fairings and sparking knee sliders color coded by manufacturer.

    Just look at what network news has sunk to (latest example: the Murdock crap). The readers of the SUN indirectly produced that situation cause they want easy to swallow entertainment.
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    apriliaforum expert vtrandall's Avatar
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    1st off, how cool would a 750cc triple streetbike be...

    2nd ...speaking of the Aprilia CRT (ART) MotoGP bike....
    I thought this was an interesting comparison over at the Asphalt & Rubber site.

    Aprilia ART – A Thinly Veiled World Superbike?

    The Aprilia ART, as it has become known in the GP paddock, is so far the most competent claiming rule team package (CRT) on the MotoGP grid. Powered by an Aprilia RSV4 Factory motor that is World Superbike spec and beyond, the Aprilia ART also features a chassis that has been developed by the very same Italian company. A turn-key CRT package offered by Aprilia, if you believe the rumors circulating in MotoGP, the Noale-based company’s involvement with the ART doesn’t stop at delivery.

    Rumored to be the byproduct of Aprilia’s aborted MotoGP campaign, in the World Superbike paddock the RSV4 is described as a MotoGP bike that was sold to consumers with WSBK domination in mind. Taking the World Superbike Championship in only the team’s second year in the series, Max Biaggi and Aprilia have helped perpetuate that rumor further, and currently lead the 2012 Championship as it races into Imola this weekend.

    If a few years ago all the paddock gossip was about how Aprilia managed to campaign a thinly veiled MotoGP bike in WSBK, then this year the talk will surely be how the Italian factory snuck its superbike onto the MotoGP grid. Despite the irony in that statement, it takes only a casual glance at the Aprilia ART and Aprilia RSV4 Factory WSBK to see the immediate similarities between the two machines.
    <cont.>

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    What was interesting, according to an article on gpweek.com, was that the crt engine is actually less powerful than the wsbk engine (echoes of moto2/wss and the Honda engine?) since the engines need to last longer kms in motogp than in wsbk. That was one reason given that they also run the engine wit the chain driven cams.

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    apriliaforum expert cggunnersmate's Avatar
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    That's why it's a casual glance. Take a close look and the things that look near identical between the two bikes (besides the motors) are the swingarms. THOSE are extremely similar but the chassis show noticeable differences. The ART chassis looks like it may be made of thicker aluminum, defitnitely made by a different process than the SBk chassis, notice the line running the lenght of the ART frame and the thicker welds. And the angled section back to the swingarm pivot is noticeabley different.

    I'm mean really, what were they expecting, a steel trellis? Most twin spar aluminum frames look the same at a casual glance. The RSV4 chassis was built like a GP chassis yes with it's levels of adjustability but it was made for a street bike which doesn't need to be as stiff as a true GP chassis. They would also likely build the ART chassis to have similar geometry as the RSV4 (at least initialy) as they know it's performance characteristics and would have a good baseline for the CRT's to start at and they can refine it as the season(s) progress.
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    apriliaforum expert OZSLR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuzziV8 View Post
    Someone recently said that it should be 250 singles (Moto3) 500 twins (Moto2) and 1000cc 4's (MotoGP) that would be a nice natural progression.
    I read that in this piece (not sure if this was the origin of the proposition) and thought the format had some merit.

    http://www.motogp.com/en/news/2012/l...ello+interview
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    apriliaforum expert sburns2421's Avatar
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    I don't post much here but frequently do on another forum regarding MotoGP.

    One thing I think Czysz dismisses is the political viability of what he proposes for MotoGP vs. WSBK. I wouldn't expect a 750 triple to be faster than the old 800 four prototypes, and superbikes are already close in lap time at many tracks. With Czysz's scenario, it leaves the very real possibility that a produtcion-based superbike would actually be faster than the 750 prototypes. I don't think that the powers that be will allow that to happen. It is tough to market MotoGP as the pinnacle of racing when another series (which to the layperson looks very similar) has lower lap times at much less cost.

    I'm also not sure if it has been brought up before, but I find the situation with the RSV4 somewhat amusing with respect to the complaining of other manufacturers. Put it in WSBK, they complain it is too close to a MotoGP bike and not in the spirit of the rules. Put a heavily-revised (and increasingly competitive) version of it now in MotoGP, and they complain it is too close to a manufacturer production bike and not in the spirit of the rules. So which is it?

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    apriliaforum expert cggunnersmate's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=sburns2421;3082452]I don't post much here but frequently do on another forum regarding MotoGP.

    One thing I think Czysz dismisses is the political viability of what he proposes for MotoGP vs. WSBK. I wouldn't expect a 750 triple to be faster than the old 800 four prototypes, and superbikes are already close in lap time at many tracks. With Czysz's scenario, it leaves the very real possibility that a produtcion-based superbike would actually be faster than the 750 prototypes. I don't think that the powers that be will allow that to happen. It is tough to market MotoGP as the pinnacle of racing when another series (which to the layperson looks very similar) has lower lap times at much less cost.

    I'm also not sure if it has been brought up before, but I find the situation with the RSV4 somewhat amusing with respect to the complaining of other manufacturers. Put it in WSBK, they complain it is too close to a MotoGP bike and not in the spirit of the rules. Put a heavily-revised (and increasingly competitive) version of it now in MotoGP, and they complain it is too close to a manufacturer production bike and not in the spirit of the rules. So which is it?[/QUOTE]

    I think the simple answer is YES to both.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZutAlors View Post
    I find your statement that the private teams are what has kept MotoGP alive confusing - there are no privateers using prototype engines, chassis, etc. - haven't been since the days of the KR and FP1.
    And that is why MotoGP is dying. You can always find someone in the privateer world willing to race. Hell they do it on the streets and in the back roads just for the fun of it. It is not so with the manufacturers. At the OEM level it requires that the people in charge of the company's financial future believe that racing does not pose a significant financial drain on the company's resources. In hard times privateer teams will do everything they can to remain on the track. Corporate interests will cut ties, if only temporarily.

    In this case Dorna directly caused, or indirectly allowed to happen, two very significant things to happen. First, they forced team dependence on the large factories by systematically banning any and all efforts by private teams and small manufacturers to cheaply enter competition. Then they allowed the factories to establish a tiered system that ensures factory team dominance and penalizes support teams. It is ironic that so many complained about Aprilias actions in 250cc when all of the other OEMs were doing the same and worse, and have continued to do so in the bigger class to the detriment of the entire series.

    The CRT rules are an attempt to recapture a participation segment that the series always had and did not value; and despite the focus on the bikes' performance against "the factories" they are much more significant than that. The rules will be tweaked to bring factory prototypes down a notch to make the CRT bike more competitive, Ezpeleta already said so and the proposed rules for 2013 on bear this out. So current levels are already out the door. What makes the CRT package, and the performance envelope that they and the new rules structure, create is that it reopens the doors to participation of truly small manufacturers. Take the ill-fated FB Corse project as an example not mentioned in these discussions yet. Another example of a small manufacturer trying to enter competition (and taking it a step further than Cszyz in that they actually got to the official testing phase). They were denied entry because they were too far off the pace and needed "further development". Now take "the pace" and scale it backwards and put that same bike in the mix. Suddenly it's much more viable as a platform and is eligible to participate, or at least a lot closer. Much the same as the slower CRT bikes are today. So Dorna get the triple benefit of attracting truly privateer teams (done), OEMs that can offer affordable racing engines and/or complete platforms to teams (done and done), and small manufacturers interested just in getting out there to race (jury's out).

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZutAlors View Post
    Doubly confused now - GuzziV8 said it was privateer teams keeping MotoGP alive, you say it is what is killing it - the lack of privateers.
    GuzziV8 and I are saying the same thing, but from opposite ends of the spectrum. I agree with him that privateer teams are the life blood that will keep MotoGP alive. As these teams have declined, so has MotoGP - because of those two issues that I mentioned that push out privateer teams and provide huge advantages to the factory teams.

    The rule set that you propose sound simple enough to be feasible, except that they are impractical to implement wholesale at this time. Right now, because of the decisions over the past decade, MotoGP is highly dependent on manufacturer support. The factories, right down to Aprilia, would be starting out with a huge advantage over any new team as they already have to invest and tone down their bikes to meet the engine regulations. With the lack of sponsorship funds available and the difficulty in obtaining it, it would be a tall order to have outside teams come in and hope to compete against the factories racing their pneumatic valved desmodromic systems in open class rules. This is not to say that the rules can't work, but Dorna have to first create an environment that shows how participation (even towards the back of the field) can lead to better results over time, which leads to more media coverage and better results. Even if that environment is artifically created.

    In short they have to undo much of what they've done, or allowed to happen, over the past 10 years. For all of the criticisms it has garner, the CRT rules seem to be doing exactly that. Not only has it attracted the privateer teams that made the grid, but teams continue to sign up for participation throughout the season because:

    1. the price point is correct
    2. there is media exposure this early because of the novelty
    3. there is a chance to develop a more competitive package that can compete better when the novelty wears off

    If Ezpeleta really wants the racing to improve, to really become the showcase of engineering excellence and competition, he needs to devolve the rules back to an absolute base - weight, fuel, cc's. If he really has to, he can set formulae for alternative engine configurations (such as rotary, twin, v8, etc.) but I would see that as being the slippery slope.
    Even a cc limit is a slippery slope, isn't it? There is a theoretical point where it simply is no longer feasible to go bigger in nearly any configuration. The Tomahawk probably has the largest cc of any motorcycle (and with the tire configuration I use the term loosely) but there's virtually no way to make that into a competitive package.



    The Jet-bike is in a similar category (although I'd love to see someone make that work. Try drafting that down the straight!)



    I suppose it's easy for us, sitting in our exalted living room armchairs, to set the world to rights, I can't understand how Dorna and the FIM are so myopic as to how it has been their never-ending rule changes and complexity that has been the main driver of costs... but hey, who knows what really drives them and what pressures they are under...
    It's always easy from the outside looking in. But it makes for good discussion.

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