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David Emmett @motomatters
, 11 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Last night I stayed up much later than I intended to, writing up the history of MotoGP's transformation into where it is today. Why did Tech3 drop Yamaha in favor of KTM? To understand that, you have see how the class has evolved since the late 90s. /1
First came the swap from two strokes to four strokes, because the manufacturers weren't building two stroke road bikes any long. /2
Then came the glorious untamed beasts of the first generation of MotoGP, the 990 era. The bikes were overpowering the tires again, and had more horsepower than they knew what to do with. They also reached terrifying top speeds within a couple of years. /3
Something had to be done before there weren't any tracks left with enough runoff to cope. The factories proposed dropping engine capacity from 990cc to 800cc. Dorna reluctantly agreed. /4
That didn't slow the bikes down, of course, it just made them more difficult to ride and placed a premium on corner speed and electronics. Racing became a little processional. Fans started to lose interest. /5
Then came the global financial crisis. The money dried up. Bikes disappeared from the grid. Factories stopped racing. There were 17 permanent entries in MotoGP. Something had to be done. /6
A huge political battle ensued over who makes the rules. The factories insisted they were racing purely for R&D. Dorna said they needed the races to be entertaining, and wanted to impose technical limits. The factories threatened to walk away. Ezpeleta called their bluff /7
That battle was fought out through the CRT bikes, through the Open class, over spec electronics. At the end, the factories were forced to concede that the main benefit from racing is PR, not R&D. And the simplification of the class means we have 6 factories in MotoGP. /8
That gave teams choices, and now they have started to make those choices. This is the start of a revolution, one which is good for the sport. Tech3 is the first team to move, more will follow /9
For the full explanation of this long history, complete with links to articles written at the time explaining the state of play, read my history of Carmelo Ezpeleta's Grand Plan, and how it paid off. /end…
(PS. apologies for spamming your timeline. I am not usually proud of what I write, but I quite liked this. I think it is a useful history).
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