The Losail round has been postponed until a later date, while Assen and Jerez have moved to August and October respectively. The spread of the COVID-19 virus has put Dorna with its back against the wall, and it’s had to revise the Superbike calendar.
A situation that is certainly not easy for the organizers to manage, as well as for the teams, especially the independent ones, which are forced to revise their plans. In fact, there are hotels and flights to be cancelled and rebooked, as well as rental cars. Let's not forget the costs like those of the technicians at a time when all activity has come to a halt, to which are clearly added the sponsorships, which play a key role.
On this matter, we wanted to speak with Manuel Puccetti, to understand how much an independent team suffers from the situation and at the same time what are the possible economic losses to be faced when the program is turned upside down.
“First of all, we have to say that this is a very unusual moment, which has never happened before - Manuel declared - This means that for us too, the situation is complex to face, but at the same time it becomes complicated to understand what the eventual losses are. We are in fact trying to do the necessary cost-checking of the start of the season ".
Manuel, hope you don’t mind me asking, but how much do the expenses to be covered at the start of the year amount to?
"When the calendar is finalized, we immediately book flights, hotels or apartments, as well as car rental. The cost of all this is around 70,000 euro. You realize that in the non-European rounds there are 25 people who come with me in the team, while in the European rounds thre are 30 of us, since there are all the people who work in hospitality".
How much has the rescheduling of Jerez and Assen weighed, as well as the postponement of Losail?
“In Qatar we had a new sponsor from Dubai and that would have been a great opportunity for us and at the same time for this customer. Unfortunately, the round was not held and as a result we are talking to this company to move the sponsorship elsewhere, like a European race, even if it is not exactly the same for them, especially given the proximity of the track ".
On the economic side instead?
"At the moment we are quantifying everything, and I can say that we haven’t been reimbursed for the hotel Qatar, and won’t be either in Spain, for Jerez. As for the flights, Ryanair partially refunded them, but the problem is that my team is not made up exclusively of Italian people, who travel from Rome, Bologna or Milan. In fact, there is the crew chief of Mahias, as well as Lucas himself, but also the riders Forés and Oettl, who come from other countries and who therefore travel with different companies. Each company has different policies and we are not covered in some cases."
You said it is difficult right now to put a figure on the loss…
"Exactly, but if I really have to put a figure, at the moment we are at a total loss of around 10,000 euro as far as Losail and Jerez are concerned. The fact is that this situation is constantly evolving and consequently some of the losses could be even worse depending if the various airlines or hotel booking companies decide to revise their policies.”
Manuel, in Formula 1 the FIA is cancelling races, while Dorna is opting to postpone and try to hold the most rounds. What do you think about this?
"The situation is not easy, given that we are facing something exceptional and which has never happened before. I am of the opinion that if races are held it is good, seeing as we can respect all our agreements with companies that invest to see their brands on the track. At the same time, I think that cancellations could also be good in some ways, since the costs to bear could be lower. Personally, I doubt that all the sponsors will maintain their commitment in such a situation and at a certain point it’s better to have one race less. As I said before, it is true that we get less money, but we also spend less".