Ezpeleta downplays Honda exit fears

Autosport

MotoGP chiefs are confident of easing Honda's threat to quit the sport over the possibility of spec electronics being introduced in 2014.

The sport's commercial rights holder Dorna announced recently that a spec ECU will be made available to all competing teams next year, but that its use will not be mandatory.

However, Dorna is known to favour a move to more mandatory standardised parts - including ECUs - for 2014 in a bid to cut costs.

This prompted Honda Racing team principal Shuhei Nakamoto to claim this week that the manufacturer "might retire from MotoGP," if the spec ECU, and the associated mandatory rev limit, is imposed.

But Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta said on Thursday during the build-up to the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, that he has no intention of introducing a rev limit and remains open to discussion on the issue with the manufacturer.

"With Honda it is always easy to talk," Ezpeleta said. "We have no problem to talk with Honda, Yamaha and Ducati, who are the three manufacturers involved in the MotoGP World Championship and we will continue to talk to them.

"We are happy to have the possibility to talk with the manufacturers about the ways to run the championship.

"And anyway, we are not 'in favour' of ECUs or limit of revs or whatever.

"We are in favour of reducing the costs and increasing the show."

Ezpeleta added that the recent takeover of the Superbike World Championship by Dorna's parent company Bridgepoint will ensure that both series will have healthy futures.

A number of technical rule changes in MotoGP in recent years, particularly the introduction of CRT machines for 2012, had led to suggestions that the increasing similarities in the regulations of the two championships would force one to cease in the near future.

However, the Spaniard believes this possibility has now been averted.

"For 2014 we will work together with the manufacturers and the different bodies involved to change the regulations," he added.

"We think a championship derived from production bikes that is using 39 engines (superbikes) during a season – and in MotoGP you are using six – is not very correct.

"We need to set up championships with their own spirit. One is for production-based bikes, and the other for prototypes. This is something that we need to do with the FIM first, and then with the manufacturers in both championships."

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