Rossi criticises 'elitist' MotoGP
|By Michele Lostia and Matt Beer||Wednesday, March 11th 2009, 09:45 GMT|
Valentino Rossi has called on MotoGP and its manufacturers to supply more bikes to privateer teams to increase the grid size and stop the factory teams dominating.
None of the satellite or privateer teams have won a MotoGP race since Toni Elias's victory for Gresini Honda at Estoril in 2006, and Rossi is concerned that the gap between the factory and private teams has now become too great.
"Our bikes are so sophisticated that only a few manufacturers can do them," the reigning champion told Motosprint. "So the riders are few as well, and there are no privateers anymore.
"Until 2006 a privateer like (Marco) Melandri could fight for the title, but since 2007, with the 800cc bikes, the gap between works teams and privateers has become huge. MotoGP has become too elitist and that's not good."
He urged the manufacturers to make more ex-works bikes available to other teams.
"Why do my bikes get crushed under the presser at the end of the year, instead of being sold to a privateer team that would then be able to field two more riders?" said Rossi.
"We've reached such a high level that Yamaha doesn't want others to see how it makes its bikes, so it would rather crush them. But this way it's difficult to get a nice grid, which in my opinion should have at least 24 riders."
The Italian believes this problem must be addressed as part of the programme of radical cost-cutting that is being planned for 2010 and beyond.
"We must spend less, and make the bikes go slower," Rossi said.
"The situation with the economy is very ugly, the bikes aren't being sold anymore, and we can't pretend nothing is happening."