Andrea Dosoli is watching Jonathan Rea's debut on the Yamaha R1 extremely closely these days. Toprak Razgatlioglu represented a fantastic page in Iwata's history in SBK and finding an heir capable of not making it regret too much seemed like a decidedly difficult task. However, this feat was achieved by Dosoli, who signed a six-time world champion, the right rider to aim to challenge Bautista in 2024.
His former pupil could also have taken to the track in Jerez, because Toprak had a chance to try the BMW for the first time together with all his rivals, but something went wrong and the Turk will have to wait until December to be able to get on the M1000RR. We asked Dosoli to explain how it went and with the Yamaha manager we also discussed many other interesting topics regarding the future of SBK.
"We all understand the advantages for a manufacturer and for a rider of being able to do a test and we also understand our point of view, of being able to do a test with Jonathan Rea in peace - Dosoli explained to us - We reasoned with Toprak to find a solution, but unfortunately it wasn't possible to reach an agreement. But there was an attempt to get him to do the test. There was an opening under certain conditions."
In your opinion, was the test with the Yamaha M1 in Jerez decisive? The Turk wanted to go to MotoGP.
"Even before the test in Jerez with the MotoGP, Toprak was looking for a new challenge and MotoGP could represent exactly this. But when he realized that the move would not be possible immediately, he looked for something else. All great sportsmen are looking for a challenge that is always different. For me in the test he demonstrated all his talent, I have no doubt that he could have done well straight away there too. But when he realized he didn't have any space right away in MotoGP, he looked for other challenges and that's normal in life of every sportsman. I would say we have one here who is Rea."
How did your first day with Rea go?
"Jonathan is a great professional and I had no doubt about this. He has something special, he is the most successful rider in the history of SBK. He immediately created a group with the team, he integrated well straight away. If a good day starts in the morning , I'd say it was a good morning. Obviously we'll have to work to understand how to improve, which is completely normal in my opinion. It seems to me that the team has welcomed him into our family, we're at the beginning but I'm confident based on what I saw yesterday" .
In 2024 many things will change in the SBK regulations. What is the direction?
"The new SBK regulations go in an important direction which is that of sustainability. The new tank with three litres less fuel will lead all manufacturers to develop engines that are more efficient. It is a step towards arriving at 2025 with the control of the petrol flow rate and not the volume of the tank, because with this modification it will really be possible to control the maximum power and each manufacturer will have to find the way to have an efficient engine. The objective is to avoid an escalation of performance, because the tracks cannot be adapted".
Will sustainability be an important topic for SBK then?
"All manufacturers have targets regarding sustainability and it is nice that SBK is being used to develop in this direction. We have already raced this year with the R3 cup with E40 fuels, which have 40% non-sourced fossil material. In 2024 we will do it in SBK, the same specification that the FIM has defined for MotoGP, also to have a single development. Ecofuel is an important step towards sustainability, then others will come. There is no need to further raise the performance bar, it is of no use. Motorcycles are increasingly faster and we need more and more safety, more run-off areas. But sport is also entertainment and it doesn't change anything to see a rider lap a second slower or faster. Here the human component still makes the difference, there is a calm climate in the MSMA and we all agree that we want to get many manufacturers to be able to fight at the top. Nobody wants a monopoly."
The first Chinese manufacturer will arrive in SuperSport in 2024. What does this mean in your opinion?
"The arrival of Chinese companies in this world is interesting. We start from SuperSport and it is possible to open up important markets, it would then also make sense to go racing in certain emerging areas from this point of view. In SuperSport this year 6 Manufacturers raced, in 2024 there will be 7. It is an important signal, it means that SBK remains a useful platform also for developing product. I would say that this is becoming more and more the case, because MotoGP has taken a very distant path from series production today."
How do you see the 2024 calendar?
"The 2024 calendar was supposed to have included three rounds outside Europe, but there were a series of circumstances that actually don't depend on Dorna. I see it as a transitional year to then return in 2025 to different territories, in Asia, in South America. SBK has always been very useful for exploring new markets. In fact, I would say that SBK will have to find its own network of tracks which does not necessarily have to be the same as MotoGP. In the first year there were few people at Most, but this year it was full".
There is talk of a different formula for the 300s, and your Yamaha R7 seems like a suitable bike for riders to develop.
"In my opinion, the R7 has a suitable formula for thinking about a new category. In MotoAmerica there is the championship with the Twins which works. It will also arrive in BSB. In short, it is something under the magnifying glass of the FIM and Dorna. 300 started from CIV and then arrived at the world championship. The costs are similar between the two categories, but now the 300, which offers great races, makes it difficult for us to select the riders precisely because of how the category works, the rider hardly makes much of a difference. There is a desire on everyone's part to understand what changes to make to find a spectacular class, with the right costs and capable of preparing riders for 600. I don't know what will happen, but we are involved in some way in monitoring this class".