Prospective manufacturers “must be brave” to race in MotoGP now

Prospective manufacturers “must be brave” to race in MotoGP now

MotoGP will lose a manufacturer at the end of the 2022 season after Suzuki made the shock announcement it would be quitting the series.

In the day after Autosport first broke the story, MotoGP owners Dorna Sports issued a statement saying it had high levels of interest from independent teams and factories about coming to the series.

While no manufacturer has made any public noise about potentially coming to MotoGP, Espargaro believes the current development trend in the series around aerodynamics and ride height devices and the costs associated with them will deter factories.

This comes amid a debate that has emerged in recent races over how difficult it is to overtake in MotoGP now, which has been blamed primarily on aero and ride height devices.

Asked if he could have one of those things banned and what it would be, Espargaro said on the eve of the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello: “Both. Both of them. Why are we using all of this to be faster? That’s it, just to be faster.

“We want to be faster on lap time and why do we need to be three seconds faster on lap time? Some people will tell us ‘you need to go at the end of the straight over 350km/h’, or ‘you need to turn in this corner half-second faster’.

“I mean, there is no one who is really pushing us to be faster by adding things and making things more difficult anyway.

“I see an extra problem in that in the current situation we are in now, which is there is a new spot for a new manufacturer coming.

“Who is the manufacturer coming now, with rear devices, aerodynamics that make the bike really low.

“You know how difficult it is to discover how the wing is working on what side, how the rear device is working on the front and the rear, how the electronics work with the aerodynamics?

“It is so tricky and so critical to develop, that for a new manufacturer coming – they must be very brave, with a lot of money to spend on wind tunnels, on making wings and all these things that if you take out it will just be a bike which you are going to sell.”

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

He added: “You have seen a Ducati that is like so big on the streets, a kind of Ducati on the streets – it’s [the MotoGP bike] so far away from a bike on the streets that if you compare a Honda it’s not as far [from the street bike], or Yamaha.

“But Ducati has more on the bike, which is not against anything, because the rules allow it, it makes the situation super tricky. And for new manufacturers it’s a big problem.”

Espargaro acknowledges that technical advancements in MotoGP filter down to road bikes, but believes the current aerodynamic packages have no relevance to street machinery.

“How many aerodynamic wings as similar to Ducati have you seen on the street bike?,” he said.

“You just have small wings on the Panigale. But what I’m saying is, what is the sense of all of this? Even for the street, what we are doing here is we are trying to make a better bike for the people using bikes on the street.

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“By using these kind of wings and aerodynamics do you think you are making an easier bike for the street or you are doing a favour for the guy on the streets.

“We improved the electronics, which are going to save lives on the streets; brakes, power delivery, smoother and nicer, grip on the bikes, braking stability.

“But the wings, what is the effect on the street? In my view it makes things more tricky, but it’s also MotoGP, it’s prototypes. So it’s ok.”