Reinventing the Wheel - Rule Changes for 2010/2011
The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) and their president Vito Ippolito have been very busy working on a number of changes that will be implemented over the course of the next twelve months and have also released a number of statements which has rocked the motorcycle industry to its very foundations.
The first announcement that was released concerned what many believe to be the future of motorcycle racing, electric powered motorcycles. The FIM announced in association with Dorna that there would be a World Championship for electronic motorcycles in 2010 called the e-Power International Series. This new series will feature on various rounds of the World Endurance championship calendar and run initially over six rounds at the European venues.
What was slightly shocking was the fact that the new series appears to have blindsided the efforts of Azhar Hussain and the TTXGP which hosted its inaugural event at the 2009 Isle of Man TT. The teams invested a huge amount of time, money and effort into formulating the TTXGP series but it now looks like it will have to compete against the FIM’s own homologation series in 2010.
"We are disappointed that, despite our best efforts over many months to establish a truly inclusive world series, the FIM has decided to launch one independently of TTXGP. We would like to reassure all those involved with TTXGP that our 2010 racing calendar remains unaffected and many of our leading championship teams and manufacturers have already confirmed they will race exclusively in TTXGP"
Said Azhar Hussain, TTXGP founder and CEO:
The other major rumour/announcement from the FIM concerned the engine capacity for the MotoGP class, which looks set to move back to the more popular and convenient capacity of 1000cc engines. The chances are that this could be brought into power as early as the 2011 season and will probably win favour with teams, riders and fans alike.
Some of the top riders from the paddock including multi class champion Valentino Rossi have been calling for a return to a higher capacity engine specification for some time.
Increasing the capacity to 1000cc will see top speed soar again, although it is thought that heavy restrictions will be put in place to keep them within a safe limit. Obviously with the increase in straight line speed comes a reduction in corner speed, which could mean a reduction in the number of terrifying accident that have occurred over the last few seasons in the premier class. One thing has been for sure, when the 800cc bikes bite, they bite hard. However, one thing it should do is renew the classic on track battles that we were able to witness at the end of the 990cc era.
One sector where this news will not be so well received will be within Infront media, who currently run the World Superbike series and could see the move made by Dorna and the FIM to 1000cc as a direct threat to their own championship.
Paolo Flammini struck out furiously at the news saying:
“I will continue to repeat my earlier point of view. We have had assurances from the President of the FIM, Vito Ippolito, that these new rules would not be approved,” but just to be on the safe side he has also been quoted on the Italian website GPOne.com saying “So far, he has been true to his word, and I hope that this will continue to be the same in the future.
“We are ready to take whatever action is necessary to defend the contract we have with the FIM, which, let us not forget, also covers the 600cc class based on production bikes.”
It seems like all out war is breaking out between the rival series’ and there are more fireworks going off than at the end of season party at
Personally I think the two series’ can co-exist. Superbikes are production bikes and the racing in this series will always be closer than it will be in MotoGP, but MotoGP will always have that glitz and glamour edge of the fastest, sleekest machines on the planet.
Also with the move to 1000cc engines in MotoGP there is the possibility that more technology can flow down the chain from the premier class to the SBK paddock and that can’t be a bad thing.
However, with regards to the electronic series it seems a shame that the series’ haven’t merged together, as having two series will surely only hurt each other’s viewing figures. The electronic formula is an important series to have on the racing calendar and surely the two championships could help to influence people’s opinions about electronic vehicles better if they worked as part of a team.
Whatever happens it looks like 2010 is going to be another great year to be a motorcycle racing fan.