"MotoGP needs new Countries"
The MotoGP World Championship found itself “hostage” of the Spanish riders, something obvious for a long time, but yesterday to raise the issue was the number one of Dorna. “Maybe it is the time to put a limit on the maximum number of riders of the same nationality in each category” he suggested, worried about the chance that an Iberian championship could have little appeal in the rest of the world. “It is a difficult problem, so the solution can't be easy” thinks Paolo Ciabatti, this year Ducati MotoGP Project Director, but until the last year “on the other side of the fence” as the Superbike Director .
What do you think about the limitation of riders based on nationality suggested by Ezpeleta?
“I understand your concern and I agree with you from a promoter point of view. In some countries motorcycle sports don't have the same following as in Eusope so having a home rider can help them grow. Spain and Italy are suffering from an economic point of view and the future is moving toward new nations”.
Is it wrong to leave all where the heart of the championship has been for so long?
“From an economic point of view it, yes. We have to move to find new resources”.
But putting a limitation would be a palliative, the problem comes from afar.
“It 's inevitable that if you create a school, a strong structure, then in Spain the champions arrive. We have Marquez, Lorenzo, Pedrosa and many other strong Spaniards in Moto2 and Moto3. It's difficult to limit them only because of their nationality. From a sport point of view, a selection based on this criteria is unfair”.
Are you thinking about the selections like the American Olympic Games Trials?
“It is maybe an unfair means, but justified by a decision: we don't want the best athletes of the world, but the bests of the nations . It is not a total ovelty, but as a purist I would stuck up my nose”.
Putting yourself in the shoes of a promoter, instead...
“I understand that an excessive nationalism may be a limit. But how do you penalize a country because it worked better? Moreover, even Stoner was trained in Spain, although it is normal that the home riders can take advantage of it more easily. There are historical reasons if we have arrived at this point, apart from the presence of Dorna and Repsol”.
There is in Italy a motorcycle culture, but we lack of replacements.
“There has been a hole, and the initiative was left too much to the single individuals. There hasn't been an organized movement”.
How is interesting for Ducati to take part in a championship led by Spain?
“We are in MotoGP because it is the highest expression of motorcycling and we want to get the best results confronting ourself with the best riders and bikes of the world. But to take part in a world championship we need to get the economical resources to do it. So we need to address to those areas, as Asia and South America, where the economy is growing and the bikes are still sold. We need to exploit these situations nowadays, having four GP in Spain is not so useful”.
Translation by Lisa Avarello