The Italian race weekend showcases the talents of Johnny Rea and the Kawasaki, back to winning ways and getting the better of Bautista and Davies on the Ducati V4 bikes. The Cannibal's victory puts an end to the domination of #19, who had one every race up until Imola.
Although the main topic of conversation over the weekend was the weather, manufacturers are looking ahead to 2020, trying to understand what path to follow, particularly with a view to the regulation. We spoke to championship boss Gregorio Lavilla.
“Everyone expected Ducati to win at home, but it didn't go that way, a little like Murphy's Law, when you want something at all costs and then it doesn't go as planned. I think the playing field was leveled last weekend”.
Yet the MotoGP Ducati V4 topic continues to fuel controversy.
“It's difficult for us to that the bike has an advantage - comments Lavilla - it's true that there is one Ducati winning, but there are others that are struggling right now. The agreement we've made with the manufacturers was to balance the potential of the playing field by reducing or increasing engine revs, which as you know is based on a mathematical algorithm. Bautista obviously knows how to exploit his bike, while others haven't yet worked it out. And I'll add one more thing”.
“Still on the subject of knowing how to interpret the bike, this also applied in previous years, when Johnny Rea was dominating. In Dorna we are excited about the championship's prospects and will do all we can to make the championship even more rich and interesting for the public and the fans. I think the current regulation allows the rider to demonstrate their potential on track, more than the bike”.
One of the most discussed topics is the price cap. Or rather future trends will see the construction of MotoGP-style SBK bikes worth 40,000 Euro.
“I don't agree. When Dorna came to SBK there were no price limits for the bikes, and the same goes for the suspension and brakes. There was not even a limit in terms of number of engines. There was nothing. When Dorna arrived in 2013 we created conditions so that teams like Honda, just as an example, could not come to the championship with a 200,000 Euro RCV and destroy the show on track.
So, what is the path to take?
“I have my only personal proposal, or rather setting a fixed price for the bike with all of its components once on track. The production bike price counts for little in my opinion, as it's misleading. What makes the different is the componentry that is added later, which hinges on each manufacturer's experimental technology. It's true that the Ducati costs 40,000 Euro and the Yamaha, just as an example, 20,000, but once these two bikes are out on track their value is very similar”.
Speaking with Kawasaki engineer Yoda, he says he'd like a meeting with you, in order to understand your intentions for 2020, given that the trend is heading towards an SBK that is at risk of losing its philosophy.
“If Kawasaki wants to tell us something, we are open to that, but up until now no one has come to us with proposals. My door is open to everyone and I'm more than ready to listen. But I can't accept complaints from those who have won for four years and now have to play catch up because things are not going their way”.
As for 2020, is there anything new on the calendar? It appears Buriram will make an exit.
“That contract has expired, but we're evaluating things. We need to understand if we can head back there or not. As you know, there's a project relating to Indonesia in 2021 and I can also confirm that we're negotiating for South Africa in 2020. There may be one extra round next year, but we'll no more after the summer”.