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MOTOGP NEWS 

Aprilia reckons MotoGP can get manufacturers back

Max Biaggi, Aprilia, Magny-Cours World Superbike 2012Aprilia believes that MotoGP has a 'big chance' to seize upon its recent structural changes and attract more manufacturers back into the sport.

The Italian manufacturer has not had a prototype presence in MotoGP since 2004, when it finished sixth in the constructors' championship, despite dominating the 250cc category with Jorge Lorenzo in 2006 and '07.

Aprilia has played down hopes it could return to the sport over the past few years, recently blaming the ever-changing rules of the sport's premier class for its continuing absence.

Technical director Luigi Dall'Igna says the recent announcement that Dorna will organise both MotoGP and its rival World Superbike Championship will be a 'big advantage' in facilitating the return of manufacturers like Aprilia, Suzuki and Kawasaki.

"This is a time of big changes [which] can represent the way for tomorrow's MotoGP," Dall'Igna told Motosprint.

Asked whether Dorna could attract manufactures including WSBK champion Aprilia back to the sport, he replied: "I think it can be done, and within reasonable time.

"Dorna now has a big chance, a big advantage it didn't have before: it manages both series, so it can draw regulations that suit both.

Motegi MotoGP 2012"With a bit more imagination on Dorna's part - in fact, let's call it a bit more resolve - it can really reach that objective [of manufacturers returning] now.

"It won't be easy, particularly in the short term. The last change was done a short while ago, and [those] who have developed the new 1,000cc bikes can't throw everything away.

"But if we think mid-term, in my opinion it can be done this time."

Dall'Igna said however that Dorna's proposed spec ECU and datalogger will do little to reduce costs and thereby make the series more appealing.

"I don't think the control ECU is a great idea the way it's been conceived. It's no advantage from a money aspect, because what costs is not so much the ECU itself, it's the software development," he explained.

"It's the numerous strategies that increase costs, because it means moving people like technicians and test teams, but it's also a big effort on the test bench.

"It takes plenty of time and money, but with the new rules the manufacturers are once again free to write their own software, and this doesn't lower costs."

(Translation by Michele Lostia)

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