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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
MotoGP news: Rossi slams rider aids - GPUpdate.net MotoGP

Rossi slams rider aids
14 December 2007

Valentino Rossi has once again pointed out that he is not a big fan of the growing influence of electronics in MotoGP. Rossi has always said he believes rider aids are getting too important and he finds it harder to master riding with so much non-human input.

Speaking with MCN Rossi said: "Casey (Stoner) has done an amazing job and without doubt he is a great rider. But he is the first of the traction control generation because the way he uses traction control is amazing.

"For old generation riders like me, Marco Melandri and Loris Capirossi we have a lot of problems to understand. You have to be brave to use the systems. It is difficult sometimes to have confidence in a system because that system is not human.

"As an old generation rider, when the engineers come to you and say you can open the throttle full when you're knee is on the ground at 150ks in the middle of the corner, it is easy to say this from the pits. It is different on the bike and that is the main problem for the old generation guys. Casey believes in the system and we don't," added Rossi.


12,697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
SPEEDtv.com - The Online Motorsports Authority | Moto GP | MOTOGP: Dorna CEO Advocates Limits on Electronics in MotoGP | by Dennis Noyes | The latest MotoGP headlines | Capirossi, Hayden, Melandri, Pedrosa, Rossi, Stoner, Elias, Edwards, Gibernau, Ta

MOTOGP: Dorna CEO Advocates Limits on Electronics in MotoGP

Written by: Dennis Noyes Borrego Springs CA ? 12/22/2007

Last year?s MotoGP World Championship, won by a dominant Casey Stoner on his factory Bridgestone-shod Ducati Desmosedici, was universally criticized for producing runaway wins. There were really only two truly exciting, down to the wire races in the premier class of Grand Prix racing last year: the Grand Prix of Catalunya won by Stoner over Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and Dani Pedrosa (Honda) by 0.069 and 0.39 of a second, respectively, and the Portuguese GP at Estoril won by Rossi over Pedrosa by 0.175 seconds.

Statistics don?t lie. In 2006 the average winning margin in MotoGP was 2.3 seconds while last year that average more than doubled to 5.447 seconds. TV audiences in key European markets plummeted and journalists and TV commentators used the B-word (boring) repeatedly.

There were several days when Bridgestone had such an advantage that the Michelin riders were out of contention and there were other days when the opposite was true. The worst of this patch of boring races came at midseason with Stoner leaving the field behind at Donington (GB), Laguna Seca (USA), Brno (Czech Republic), and Misano (Italy), while Pedrosa, on a ?Michelin day,? ran away at Sachsenring (Germany).

In the midst of this three-month, six-race spell of runaway races the only reasonably close race was won by Rossi over Stoner at Assen by just under 2 seconds, but with the outcome clear over the final laps.

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta is obviously under pressure from TV companies and, perhaps, from the Bridgepoint Capital Group Limited -- the private equity company that acquired 75% ownership of Dorna from previous majority share-holders CVC Capital Partners for an estimated 650 million dollars (CVC paid some 85 million dollars for 88% of Dorna in June of 1988 with the remaining 12% going to a group led by Ezpeleta. In-house ownership by the Ezpeleta led group has now reportedly grown to 25%).

Ezpeleta went on record last week with the Italian magazine Moto Sprint, saying that the time had come to consider introducing a standard ECU in order to control the rapidly developing electronics technology in MotoGP. Obviously this would mean following Formula 1 and banning traction control.

The quote, translated from Italian: ?We need to regulate it and the ideal solution would be to have a standard ECU for everyone. The manufacturers don?t like the idea. It needs to be discussed further and I will bring it up with the riders, technicians, and everyone involved.?

Earlier this season in an interview with a Spanish newspaper, Ezpeleta staunchly defended traction control, saying that it was necessary for the development of road machines and that it was an important safety improvement. He dismissed critics of traction control as ?purists,? and said that he would rather have less spectacular racing than riders injured because of ?high-sider? crashes.

The most eloquent rebuttal of the safety argument came from three times 500 World Champion Wayne Rainey, confined to a wheelchair since his highside crash at Misano, Italy, in 1993. Rainey said that it seemed to him that riding MotoGP four strokes had become too easy. Rainey went on to say, ?500s were probably too dangerous even after the big bang motors came along, but when they changed to four-stroke 990cc bikes that problem was really fixed. Big four-stroke engines allow wide powerbands, but still require riders to respect the limits. With traction control it looks like the bikes are too easy to ride.?

Four times runner-up in the old 500 Championship Randy Mamola currently works as a commentator for Eurosport and his column on MotoGP is carried in several countries. Mamola has been, perhaps, the most outspoken critic of traction control. It was Mamola who compared riding the 800cc bikes to videogames.

Even Spain?s only 500 World Champion, Alex Crivill?, who was managed during his GP career by a branch of Dorna, has openly condemned traction control, saying from the live commentary booth of Spain?s TVE that electronics are spoiling racing.

But clearly the most influential critic has been Valentino Rossi, who has disliked traction control since he first experienced it. In fact he said his decision not to go to Formula 1 was largely because of the intrusiveness of traction control.

Ironically, Formula 1 will be free of traction control thanks to the use of a standard ECU unit on all cars in 2008 while in MotoGP traction control is now of vital importance. Rossi said of 2007 MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner, ?He is the best of the traction control generation.?

MotoGP rookies Alex de Angelis, Andrea Dovizioso, and two time 250 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo were all immediately fast on MotoGP 800s, and Dovizioso said after testing the JiR Honda RC212V for the first time, ?It is easier to ride than my 250. The electronics control things very well.?

Byzantine Rule-Making Processes

Ezpeleta was originally opposed to single tire rules, but changed his opinion on this and took MotoGP to the brink of a control tire situation until Bridgestone and Michelin backed down?Bridgestone agreeing to supply Valentino Rossi and Michelin agreeing to allow this (having originally threatened to pull out if they lost Rossi to Bridgestone).

With this threat of intervention in rule making averted for the time being (but still an option if relative parity is not achieved by Bridgestone and Michelin in 2008), Dorna?s CEO has now turned his attention to electronics.

He admits it will be difficult to convince the factories, but, unless the fans come back to the sofas in front of TV sets in the key European markets next season, Ezpeleta may find traction for his idea of getting rid of traction control.

The Byzantine processes of MotoGP rule making is not easy to understand and the processes are not public knowledge, but some of this was revealed this past fall when Dorna was poised to propose a single tire rule proposal.

There are four groups involved in rule making: Dorna, IRTA (teams), the FIM (International Federation), and the MSMA (manufacturers). IRTA invariably support Dorna. The FIM vote is determined by the FIM president. The MSMA vote is decided by simple majority of its seven current member factories.

However, with regards to technical regulations, the MSMA can veto a proposal even if the FIM, Dorna, and IRTA support it. This veto requires all members of the MSMA to vote against the measure (likewise the MSMA can pass a technical rule even over opposition by the other three parties if all MSMA members are in favor.)

In the case of the single-tire proposal, Dorna had the support of IRTA. The FIM would probably (from opinions expressed in interviews by FIM President Vito Ippolito) have voted no. The MSMA would certainly have voted no as well, but at least one member (probably Yamaha, to support Rossi) would have voted with Dorna and, therefore, the MSMA negative vote would not have constituted a veto.

This would have created a 2-2 tie among the deciders, but Dorna hold the power to cast the tiebreak vote.

On the matter of electronics, however, Dorna would be unlikely to make the proposal without achieving a favorable consensus among the manufacturers due to the sensitivity of the matter and the investment of the top MotoGP teams in systems.

Ezpeleta, however, showed his determination when he threatened to impose a single tire rule and no one should doubt that, if the racing continues to disappoint in 2008, he will stand up to the manufacturers and propose a standard ECU.

Roberts: ?Carmelo is Saying the Right Things.?

Three time 500 World Champion Kenny Roberts, who is in the final do-or-die stages of negotiation with a major sponsor for his MotoGP team, told SpeedTV.com in response to the Ezpeleta interview, ?Carmelo is saying the right things. We need to get rid of traction control, launch control, and wheelie control, and we need to get everybody on the same tires. That is the only way to get costs down and keep the show exciting. For Carmelo it will mean convincing the factories. If he didn?t have to please the factories he?d act on his own.

?What I can?t understand is why Flammini doesn?t ban traction control in World Superbike. He?s got a lot more independence from the factories. Maybe he didn?t do it because Ducati needed traction control to be competitive with the twin, but now they have the 1200. If Flammini doesn?t ban it he?ll be making a stupid mistake.

?But, the hard part is not banning traction control. The hard part is enforcing the rules. That?s what NASCAR knows how to do. You need to hire the best electronics guys and ask them how they would cheat and then tell them to make sure nobody gets away with anything.?

Many experienced observers, Roberts and Mamola among them, believe that electronic rider aids have made the bikes less exciting to watch because they rarely slide.

?Even if the tires let the guys run close together,? says Mamola, ?there is little passing off the corners because the electronics are taking over. Remember how bitchin? it used to be to see Doohan crawling all over that 500, smoking the tire, backin? it in and firin? it out? That made it fun to watch even if Mick was on his own. That?s what we have lost. It is just as hard to win as ever. Casey won because he was right on the limit and because he didn?t make mistakes, but you watch it on TV and it doesn?t look exciting anymore.?

In a recent interview Rossi said, ?The first time I rode the Honda with traction control I came in and told JB (crew chief Jeremy Burgess), ?F?k, this isn?t fun anymore.?

Until now criticisms of this kind were ignored or dismissed by Ezpeleta, but his statements in the Italian press indicate that he has changed his opinions regarding electronics just as he did at mid-season with regard to tires.

There is a Spanish saying that goes, ?Rectificar es de sabios,? or ?to rectify is an act of wise men.?

12,697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Soup :: MotoGP To Rein In Traction Control? :: 12-28-2007

MotoGP To Rein In Traction Control?
by dean adams Friday, December 28, 2007

Now that the threat of a single tire manufacturer servicing the entire grid has passed, MotoGP bosses are moving on to the next technical issue on their to-do list: traction control and engine management systems.

As has been stated here before, if not because of his accomplishments and capabilities then certainly by virtue of his fan base, Valentino Rossi runs MotoGP racing. Millions tune in or attend races every MotoGP season to watch the 28-year old Rossi. With that fan base comes power; thus, when Rossi's not happy, the MotoGP overlords are not happy.

It's nice work if you can get it. When Rossi is unhappy with something, he utters a thinly-veiled threat like 'this is not racing, and if it is, then I prefer to do something else'. The 'prefer to do something else' declaration makes MotoGP nearly swallow their tongue in fear, and then suddenly his concerns become their concerns.

Rossi was behind the move to get the MotoGP grid on a single Bridgestone "control tire", a situation which ended in him getting on the previously thought to be closed Bridgestone tire allotment list.

At the end of the '07 MotoGP season Rossi was critical of (or heaped praise upon, depending on your perspective) Ducati's traction control and or engine management system, saying that the newest versions of the traction control system had removed the human element from a racer controlling acceleration and traction.

If you've been paying attention, the next shoe to drop wasn't a surprise. MotoGP head Carmelo Ezpeleta said just before Christmas that combating traction control was next on their list and in a perfect (future) world the entire MotoGP grid would be on a single ECU, which would--presumably--make traction control a moot point.

However, with so many nuances in MotoGP engine configurations in (Big bang in-line four ala Yamaha, Screamer V-4 as used in the Ducati and a conventional V-4 in the Honda, etc) a single ECU for them all sounds like a potential technical nightmare.

How this would all work will be interesting to watch and if successful will fly in the face of so many experts who said traction control in motorcycle racing had to be rubber-stamp accepted because there was simply "no stopping it".

The single known quantity in all of this is what MotoGP is going to do: that is exactly what Rossi wants them to do.

MOTOGP: Control electronics?, motorsport news, results, features, teams, drivers, updates

Control electronics?
Friday, 21st December 2007

MotoGP may have narrowly avoided the introduction of a control tyre rule for 2008, but Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has revealed that 'control electronics' could be on the horizon.

Ezpeleta is interested in the use of a standard ECU throughout the grid to limit the influence of complex electronic control systems, which have substantially tamed MotoGP machines in recent seasons.

"[Electronics] are the next thing we are working on" Ezpeleta told Motosprint magazine. "We need to regulate it and the ideal solution would be to have a standard [ECU] unit for everyone, but the manufacturers don't like the idea. It needs to be discussed further and I will talk with the riders, technicians and everybody involved."

Formula One, which already has a control tyre rule, will introduce a standard ECU in 2008.

Many MotoGP fans objected to the control tyre proposal, saying that it went against MotoGP's prototype philosophy, but would the introduction of a standard ECU be more acceptable?

· Super Moderator
22,568 Posts
Roberts Sr, Rainey, Lawson, Swchanz along with many others are probably laughing their ass off when Rossi says he's old school. LOL...

· Registered
481 Posts
Quote:"The single known quantity in all of this is what MotoGP is going to do: that is exactly what Rossi wants them to do."

I agree but i also disagree with this. Yes, Rossi is the most popular rider for the sport. When he is not happy people are more incline to listen and pay attention. He is a fan of the sport an he has seen all the fun and excitement has been eliminated by all the electronics introduced to the sport. just my .02

· Registered
226 Posts
Motorcycle racing cannot be as easily changed as automobile racing. Not only are there different engine configurations, there are many different riding styles and preference by the riders. Some riders like the spin the rear when going out of a corner. Others like to keep it controlled and slowly throttle out. Some riders like to stand the bike up earlier and apply throttle earlier. Others lean it over longer and throttle out a little later. How will a control ecu account for all the differences?

I'm all for having a more exciting race, I am not about controlling the manufacturers. Let them lose a season horribly and I can bet you they'll invest more into R&D to catch up

· relaxing
14,117 Posts
good read
Im for getting the cotrolled ECU let the riders show what they have:sneaky
you mean actually having them ride a motorcycle the way it should be without going balls out on curves and rain?

naw...it'll never happen :lol
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