Dovizioso-Honda and Dorna: the temptation to break the rules

From many sides comes the request for Dorna to 'make an exception' to the rules to let Dovi race with the Repsol-Honda team. It’s a suggestion that does not answer the only true question however: who pays? Ezpeleta against the idea


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The temptation to bend the rules to suit your own requirements has always been a prerogative of totalitarian regimes.

In fact, rules are a constraint and many times solving problems by following the above is a problem.

So why not fix setbacks simply by pretending they don't exist? Even abolishing them 'ad personam' if necessary?

What a magnificent temptation! And besides, it wouldn't even be the first time it happened. An exception was created to make Fabio Quartararo debut in Moto3 after his victory in CEV, and even Marc Marquez's debut directly in the Repsol Honda factory team without going through a satellite team was the result of an exception to the rules.

So what's the big deal? What's wrong with three Hondas racing in the factory team, bringing the number of RC213-V to five? After all, Ducati races with six bikes…

In the past, moreover, a lot of riders were allowed to race without any particular problems. So what?

Inciting Dorna not to respect its own rules

The fact is that the request for an exception comes from a post from SKY Sport TV (which you can find HERE), following a previous idea inviting HRC to ask Dorna to be able to field a third bike for Andrea Dovizioso. Not as a temporary replacement, but as a nominated rider, in order to give Marc Marquez the opportunity to recover calmly. So that when he returned he could resume his place in the team, but without Dovi - obviously imagined as fighting for the MotoGP world championship title - being forced to abandon his seat.

So we’ll say it again, what's wrong with that? Well, in fact it would be contravening the rule that teams are made up of only two riders. There would also be the rule that a team must have two riders. And then there is the small detail of three bikes for a single sponsor, but this is truly a venial sin, because after all, next season we will have Monster on the factory Yamaha team but also on the Petronas fairings. Not to mention the fact that in MotoGP the Esponsorama team will almost certainly have different backers for Enea Bastianini and Luca Marini ... but if you think about it, the fact that Tito Rabat was forced to abandon MotoGP to make room for Marini is precisely the reassertion of the principle that one would like to break.

So: can it be done?

The question is: why are there rules?

One question that leads to another: why do we have rules? And the answer, although taken for granted, is not obvious: to ensure that all participants are on the same level, without benefitting anyone. But where would the advantage be here?

The answer is clear: were Honda to have three starters in the same team, it would have two (supposed) ‘top riders’, which is not the same as having three 'top riders' in three different teams. For obvious reasons of cost. So if Honda wants to field a fifth bike, if it wants to comply with the rules, it should present a third team with two other riders, one of which could be Dovizioso.

Obviously, since Dorna guarantees a substantial economic contribution to all the teams present, all the others will have to agree, unless ...

Unless this ‘extra’ team renounces the aforementioned contribution. Another exception to the rule, but a voluntary one. Another example of we pay for everything, so don't bust our balls...

The 'limited number' of teams guarantees the investment of the teams

It could be done, were it not for the fact that it would open the doors of MotoGP to a super ultra-billionaire, like Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk, who could say to Dorna “I want to race in MotoGP with my money, I’ll pay for everything, bike and all, I don't want a penny, I just want to compete." Whose balls would be busted by that?

Yeah, but it's clear: with today's rules, teams are a finite number, and that's why they have value. If a sponsor, or a manufacturer, wants to enter, they have a limited number of options available to do so. And due to the law of supply and demand, value has been created for those managers who have invested over time. Let anyone in and that value would collapse. For this Carmelo Ezpeleta has already declared his opposition to the idea.

As we have seen, disregarding a rule by making an exception leads to a domino effect. But it can be done. Anything can be done. It still remains to be seen why when Simone Battistella and Andrea Dovizioso were offered the KTM before Danilo Petrucci, they refused.

Think how many busted … rules would have been avoided!

P.S. And it is savings, or cost, depending on which side the problem is seen from, the real crux of the initiative which, in the best of cases, would lead the current participants in the world championship to ask, everyone, anyone, something in exchange for the 'favour' granted. It would mean that on the table there would be the cost of two other MotoGP bikes, spare parts, and management (personnel, travel and transport) for the entire championship. Sure, Andrea could run virtually for free, Luca Cadalora even did it with Erv Kanemoto for a season, but from what has emerged so far it seems that this option is not on the table. And today we find ourselves in more difficult times …

 

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