During today’s pre-event press conference at Assen, Valentino Rossi responded to Carmelo Ezpeleta’s startling statement to Omnicorse.it that “Valentino next year will be on competitive bike, but I can’t tell you which. It’s too early to talk about it, but in 2013 we’ll see Rossi fighting again for wins … “
Rossi repeated again (he more or less said the same thing during this weekend’s World Ducati Week) that his first choice is to stay with Ducati “I hope I can race next year with a competitive bike. The first choice is to stay and be competitive with Ducati, and try to improve the bike and get some good results in the next years with Ducati.”
Asked about what Ezpeleta said, he responded with “that’s his idea or he knows more than I do. I haven’t talked to Yamaha or Honda and I don’t know if they have a bike available for me.”
Silly season rumors have so far Rossi tied to a Repsol Honda dream team with Marc Marquez -with a pre-contract already signed by the Italian-, back with former team mate Jorge Lorenzo in Yamaha, his own private team with high profile sponsor or even in a satellite team with factory treatment, and Ducati is not making any overtures except towards Cal Crutchlow and Pol Espargaro and that’s not even clear if one of the two will replace Rossi or Nicky Hayden.
Dorna’s CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta was at Valencia last Sunday to take in the European Grand Prix Formula 1 race (won by Fernando Alonso) and Italian website Omnicorse.it got a chance to talk to the Spanish manager.
Valentino Rossi on the Ducati is a marriage that isn’t working, can Dorna afford to have a World Champion that doesn’t win. And do you believe that ‘The Doctor’ can still win?
“I’m calm. Valentino next year will be on competitive bike, but I can’t tell you which. It’s too early to talk about it, but in 2013 we’ll see Rossi fighting again for wins … “ (Italy’s Sportmediaset is speculating that Rossi has a pre-contract with Honda and that Repsol wants the Italian to form a ‘dream team’ with Marc Marquez - a sort of master and apprentice thingy - even if Honda doesn’t want Rossi back).
Ezpeleta also talked about other subjects like the new cost cutting rule proposals, how the CRsT which are hated by the MSMA, but have filled the dwindling grid number, have now Honda working on a low cost ‘production racer’ to sell and not lease to satellite teams in 2014, a step he believe was made possible because of the presence of the CRT bikes.
The Spanish manager also admitted that other manufacturers are waiting at the doorstep and he is in talks with BMW, Aprilia and Suzuki. (All who want stable rules before making any commitment to MotoGP, we might add).
To read the entire interview just click here.
Following Argentina’s nationalization of the oil and gas company subsidiary YPF which is 57% owned by Repsol Spain, many racing fans were left wondering what would now happen to the three year deal that Dorna and the Argentinean government signed last December to host MotoGP at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit in the province of Santiago del Estero in 2013.
Everyone knows that Repsol sponsors the Honda MotoGP factory team, with two of the three aliens, and also supports rising stars like Marc Marquez in Moto2, Maverick Viñales, Miguel Oliveira, Álex Rins in Moto3 and several riders in the CEV Buckler series, so they carry some very big clout with Dorna who has its headquarters in Madrid and CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta is also a Spanish citizen.
Spain in currently on the warpath against Argentina and the government has said that they will “take the necessary measures” to deal with the YPF issue and is “already working in order to obtain the collaboration of the Unites States, and friend-governments within the European Union, and G-20,” and is thinking of sanctions and retaliatory measures against the South American country with the EU Parliment having approved a resolution urging the European Commission to remove trade concessions on Argentine exports.
In an interview with Catalunya Radio, Carmelo Ezpeleta was asked his opinion on the current crisis and what he intends do regarding the Argentine GP, “If Repsol says something I’ll consider it, but I doubt they will tell me that we can’t go to Argentina.” adding “We have a firm contract with Argentina, but all contracts are subject to higher political circumstances. We’re not going to do a Grand Prix if everyone doesn’t agree on it, but we won’t be going to a country that has a problem with one of the sponsors” who also believes that since the GP is next year, that there is “still time to see how things are resolved” .
This situation is going to be more difficult to solve than last year’s controversial Motegi round, and is anyone already betting that we will be back to four races on the Iberian pennisula next season?
Source | terra.es
While MotoGP is popular across Europe, many consider it to be too Eurocentric as twelve of the eighteen races on the calendar are hosted on the old continent, but this will be changing in the near future as the economic crunch and Eurozone debt crisis worsens.
Dorna wants MotoGP to have a greater appeal across the world and other nations are vying to host a race. Argentina is already scheduled in 2013, while India also wants to be on the calendar with negotiations currently ongoing and Carmelo Ezpeleta having visited the Buddh International Circuit last month. Jorge Lorenzo during his PR tour last week also said that India is ‘ready’.
According to MCN.com South Korea also wants to host a race and Dorna representatives visited the Korea International Circuit last week, with countries like Chile and Brazil also showing interest.
It may be just a coincidence that Dorna’s CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta during his press conference at the Wrooom event mentioned that in the near future there will no longer be four Grand Prix events held in Spain, and the Catalan and Valencian governments are currently talking about the financial feasibility of hosting both MotoGP and Formula 1.
Spain is one of the countries in Europe who is cutting back big on public spending and The Minister of Economy and Knowledge of the Generalitat of Catalonia Andreu Mas-Colell, went on the record stating that hosting both Formula 1 and Motogp due to the difficult economic situtation that the region is currently facing has to be reconsidered.
“It’s the first thing that we rethinking, but due to the situation we have to look line by line where we are spending money,” said the Minister, who also admitted that “there are contracts that are more expensive to maintain than break.”
Even the Valencia region is discussing the idea of dropping F1 or MotoGP as they too help subsidize the races. Spanish fans are rabid about motorsports and flock to the races and know that hosting these events brings a lot of revenue to the local economy, but they may find themselves limited to one or maybe two races in 2013 as other countries want to get on the calendar.
Source | motopasionmoto.com
Dorna has officially confirmed the 2012 Jerez GP. The popular venue was in doubt due to its now well known financial problems, however the city of Jerez has come through with the €4 million euros that Dorna wanted to host the event.
“We are delighted to confirm that the 2012 Grand Prix of Spain will be held at the Circuito de Jerez, a very special locale for the MotoGP World Championship.” said Dorna’s CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta. “I’d like to thank the Junta de Andalucía and Jerez de la Frontera City Council for their support in working toward securing this iconic event. We’ll now look ahead to the future of the event and focus on working together to reach an agreement up until 2016.”
The Estoril and Sachsenring rounds who were still indicated on the recently revised 2012 MotoGP calendar as ’subject to contract’ have yet to be officially confirmed by Dorna.
Valentino Rossi may no longer be considered one of the “aliens” (his move to Ducati fixed that), but he’s still one the most popular riders in the world and holds considerable political clout in the GP paddock and Dorna’s CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta knows it.
The MotoGP riders with a few exceptions held another meeting at Indianapolis regarding the controversial Motegi GP (no one really wants to go and most riders and paddock personnel are being pressured into attending) discussing the situation, the penalties and consequences of not going.
Rossi is one of riders that has said he may not be going (and it’s not about the radiation leaks from Fukushima, but more about the stability of the nuclear reactors) but he’s also riding for an Italian team and his current standings position puts him in an ‘envious’ position compared to the riders who work for Japanese manufacturers and those who are fighting for the championship title.
But Dorna’s Carmelo Ezpeleta and Javier Alonso (Managing Director) have all the same decided to put the screws to the once fair haired child of MotoGP and asked him to reconsider his position on the Japanese GP, because if Rossi capitulates on Motegi then all the remaining resistances will become futile.
Whether the Italian will flip on the Japanese race remains to be seen and October isn’t that far away.
Source | motocuatro.com
Dorna’s CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta speaking to Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport, confirmed that the round that was postponed to October following the devasting earthquake and tsunami cannot be held for safety reasons (read radiation) no replacement circuit will take over the Motegi GP.
“We’re waiting for the local promoters decision, but in any case, if they should decide to cancel the race this year, there will be no replacement. A national competition is scheduled to be held in July, which means that by then the venue should be usable and we should be certain on what we’ll do.”
However Ezpeleta is convinced that the promoters will be act in the best interest of everyone involved, “I have full confidence in the Japanese, if they tell us the race can go ahead, it’s because safety will be 1,000%. If the situation isn’t clear, I’m certain they’ll be the first at evaluating the situation appropriately.”
Source | omnicorse.it
Last January we reported that Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna’s CEO, had mentioned he was in talks with promoters both in India and the Texas’ new F1 circuit to host a round of MotoGP in the very near future.
While most of these talks pan out to nothing, the rumor of a Texas GP is getting stronger according to Superbikeplanet.com who is reporting that Austin will be hosting a round in 2013 and that we should be getting confirmation as soon as next week, and that the US may be getting three GP rounds, with Indianapolis Motor Speedway still in negotiations to get a further extension to their contract after 2011.
The Texas facility which is still under construction will hold 120,000 fans and is due to host F1 in 2012.
News sources from Qatar are reporting that the second round of the MotoGP season that was to be held at Motegi on April 24th, will be postponed following the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last Friday morning.
Just yesterday we posted that Carmelo Ezpeleta decision whether to hold the race was still on hold pending the Japanese promoter’s wishes, and following the devasting aftermath conditions that Japan is now fighting against.
It is believed that the race will be held on October 2nd, between the Motorland Aragon GP on September 18th and the Australian round on October 16th. This date would also give the riders enough of a breather before taking on the two back-to-back flyaway races, however we are currently waiting to see the FIM’s official press release confirming the actual postponement date.