Genesio Bevilacqua is a man who needs little introduction, since he is someone who has written a number of chapters in the history of the production-based World Superbike championship. On the one hand, there is his entrepreneurial mentality, so much so that his company, Althea, is among the most renowned in the world in the ceramics sector with a turnover of over 400 million euros. On the other, there is his passion for two wheels, which continues to flow in his DNA, even if at this moment reason is prevailing over everything else.
After his past experience with BMW, Genesio started up new adventure with Honda last year together with Midori Moriwaki. With him we could have spoken about the World Championship, the calendar, in short, all the trite and hackneyed stuff of these days, which in some ways would have been virtually pointless and redundant. So, we decided to tackle the issue from a different perspective, in some ways let us say entrepreneurial.
“I have gone through many years of bikes and this is the first time that I have faced a situation like this” said Bevilacqua. “As for all of us, it becomes difficult to find the right words to describe what is happening in the world. It is a particular situation for everyone, since we are facing an unprecedented emergency ".
Genesio, in these weeks there has been a lot of talk about how the MotoGP or Superbike World Championship could restart.
"Look, I'll tell you without too many words: this year we will not see any races again. I know that might seem pessimistic, maybe I am going against the grain; I might also stand out of the crowd, but that is my thought. I see that Dorna, Ezpeleta and Lavilla are doing everything to try and restart the Circus, but I am of the opinion that in 2020 there will be no races. "
How come you say that?
"I'll explain it to you as an entrepreneur, or as a person who has a company and has invested a lot over the years. Let us take the example of the private teams, which rely on smaller companies than official manufacturers, as a form of support. When there is a possible resumption of activities, even though we still have to understand when, a company will have to deal with priorities such as missed payments, suppliers, staff, electricity, gas, production plant. As you can see there are many aspects that have priority. "
Of course, I agree with this first analysis…
"Having highlighted these aspects, do you think a company puts sponsorship of Superbike among the priorities? Are we joking? If anything, they will use that money, let us say 100,000 euro, to try and recover the staff they left behind in layoffs or to improve the company's production plant. Try to imagine a board of directors, where someone raises his hand and says: "After this crisis we are going to invest in bike racing". What do you think could be the answer? But above all: who has the courage to move in this direction? And then there is another aspect to evaluate. "
What exactly are you referring to?
“In the past we have all faced crises, I think of the one in 2008 for example, or in 2010. On that occasion, however, there was an economy based on recovery, on the fact that companies wanted to relaunch and invest, as a result there was exactly the right impetus to restart the economy. Now, however, when things resume, we will have to deal with an economy based on rigour and limitations, where more than investing, it will become fundamental to survive, given that we are will have to deal with an aspect such as health. That is why I say that we will not see any more races this year. There may be only one solution. "
How do you intend to move?
“Since races are of interest to the official manufacturers, they could make a commitment to double their efforts. Maybe a team like Honda or Ducati, but also Yamaha, just to give an example, could make the effort to bring four bikes to the track, thereby doubling the current number. The fact is that if we have to continue to wait for the private teams, they, in addition to being in great difficulty, risk disappearing from the grid next year ".
That means that we will only see each other on the track again in 2021…
"As I said, I know that my point of view might go against the grain, but I believe that for a company to invest in motorcycles after an event like that of the coronavirus is the least of its thoughts. And I am sorry to say that, because like all of you I am a motorcycle enthusiast, who over the years has put so much effort and dedication into projects related to two wheels. I read that Dorna is doing everything, but at the moment the only solution is to find a vaccine. If we are able to find a vaccine, then and only then can we start to evaluate the situation, but until then I think it is pointless.”