Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: If I Was King of MotoGP and WSB…

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.


Bridgepoint’s announcement that MotoGP and World Superbike are to be run by the same company is the most significant happening in motorcycle racing since WSB’s launch a quarter of a century ago.

Dorna will now run both championships, which will allow them to arrange technical rules, race calendars and so on to the benefit of both. In theory, at least.

It is a huge deal from a commercial perspective that is likely to have a major impact on fans, for better or worse. I am hopeful, even though monopolies are not a good thing and even though I’m not keen on many changes that Dorna have made over the years.

Whatever happens, I believe it had to be done. You cannot have two struggling championships jockeying for position and expect either to come out of it well.

Dorna will certainly strengthen MotoGP’s position as the premier championship, but that doesn’t necessarily mean bad news for WSB, which has always been the number two championship in terms of fan base, media profile and money. It is possible for each series to retain its position and still grow.

Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.

Comments

Bravo

Nice article, my way of thinking!

Total votes: 83

Racing improves the breed...

...but only if the breed is the same one being raced.

I'd love to see some specs stay *just a bit* closer to road bikes for both WSBK and MotoGP.

Electronics? Yes, I think all fast road bikes are headed there. Electronics that know that this is turn 2 at Laguna Seca and the tires have eight laps on them? Not so much.

Tires? I could be out in left field on this one, but what do we learn about "real world" motorcycle dynamics from a chassis whose primary job is to keep specialized tires in a narrow operating temperature window? I really like the idea of both series heading more towards "real" tires, though on this point I'm even more concerned that I'm out of touch with reality. I can dream, though.

Total votes: 93

Value

Could we see some events which consist of both MotoGP and WSBK races?
Laguna Seca would be a prime candidate for such a meeting and perhaps a few of the farther flung races would benefit from an action packed weekend?

Total votes: 80

Nice out of the box thinking.

It sounds better than having six events per season at Spain without people being able to pay to fill them all!

Total votes: 79

Combined events = Bad idea

I have no doubt that DORNA will change (see dumb down) WSBK to get what he wants in the GP series. For everyone that thinks electronics are evil just remember we wouldn't have the electronics on our road bikes now without having them in these two series.

As far as combining WSBK and MotoGP events on the same weekend, I think it's a terrible idea for both the fan and the series. For one, ticket prices would go through the roof to see both events at the same time and most fans have a hard enough time right now getting to see just one event. Secondly, the draw would be much less. Right now the stands are filled for both events, how many of those people are actually going to both events? Not many if I had to guess. So if the same number of tickets can be sold and both series sell out (or come close to it) why would you combine them? You would want two different weekends to make the most money that you can.

Now what I'll be interested to see is if they will take money from one series to help fund the other series when it struggles. I could see them take money from WSBK to help fund a satellite GP team or a CRT team. That will ruin both series if that happens, in my opinion.

Total votes: 108

As for tires.......

Stop implementing a spec tire. Open the tire rule up to all companies. They only need to limit the amount of tires each team can use and tires prices have to be the same across the board. Regardless of the tire composition the tire companies should be required to have a flat price for tires and let each team pick what they want.

Total votes: 86

I'm not interested in

I'm not interested in watching racing bikes that are dumbed down in comparison to my daily rider commute bike: multiple maps, traction control and reactive suspension

And why in the world would manufacturers want to spend money competing in a series like that? How could they justify it?

At the very least WorldSBK should allow manufacturers the option of running their stock electronics and suspension.

Total votes: 74

The power of marketing

Although we'd all like to think that our road bikes are 'similar' to SBK machines, the reality is that they only share a few components.

Anyone turning up in a WSBK, or even AMA or BSB, paddock with 'stock' electronics and suspension - or even wheels, gearboxes and fuel injection systems - would be unlikely to achieve the minimum qualifying time for the race. These road-going systems are totally inadequate for high level racing.

Total votes: 59

ESB

The solution is simple, is it not?

1) Allow Dorna to combine and emasculate WSB and MotoGP into one championship called World
SuperGP, SuperSports with Moto2 into World MotoSports 2 and Superstock with Moto3 into World Junior cup

2) BSB, IDM and the Italian Superbike championship join forces to create the ESC or European Superbike Championship. In the second year, they can run away races at Philip Island and Laguna.

3) ????

4) Profit!

Total votes: 82

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