"This moment of stop for the economy will be a heavy weight for all sport," Giovanni Cuzari doesn’t mince words when it comes to describing the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic that is affecting the whole world. The owner of the Forward Racing team, who brought MV Agusta back to the world championship last year, knows that you have to be ready for the worst.
A common destiny for all the teams and the same goes for those of Moto2 and Moto3, smaller structures that cannot count on the support of the manufacturers.
"I am concerned that the first cut that companies will make will be to non-fundamental investments, such as sponsorships - explained Cuzari - As a small business owner this thought is keeping me awake at night".
Do you need direct help from Dorna?
“We are fortunate to have Carmelo Ezpeleta, a person who cares about this sport and who has already shown that he can cope with the difficulties. I am not saying this out of flattery, this gives me hope. "
Are there any other hopes?
"To start again soon, because if it doesn’t happen, I might be the first to find myself in difficulty."
We could race behind closed doors, or decrease the number of Grand Prix races, would that be a problem?
“We are facing an extraordinary event and I would accept any condition, any solution, to keep my company, my team alive. Even if we were to go racing on other circuits, Portimao comes to mind, it would be fine. I am willing to make any sacrifices; the priority is to guarantee the salaries of all the guys on my team. "
How are you working these days?
“We are trying to limit the damage. We had already booked hotels for the Grand Prix, those are lost, the only thing is to find a system to survive waiting to know when we will start again, where we will go and how many races we will do. This is an unprecedented problem for everyone, and it would take a crystal ball to find a solution right now. "
How do sponsors behave in these cases?
"I can speak for myself, there is usually a deposit on signing the contract and then a monthly or bi-monthly payment plan, depending on the agreements, during the year. I hope nothing happens, but I also expect some companies to struggle to honour their commitments if nothing is clear for the future. We don't know how long we will be in this situation; we are talking about a pandemic involving several states that could extend their precautionary measures ".
In a situation like this, are the Moto2 and Moto3 teams in a weak position compared to MotoGP?
“They are certainly those most in difficulty, but we must not forget that they are fundamental for the wonderful show that MotoGP offers. They are a fundamental nursery; all the riders of the premier class have come through these categories. I have faith in the work of Dorna and IRTA, I am sure they have something up their sleeve even if their problems are much bigger than mine right now. "