For a category regarded by many as Formula 1's 'opposition', the merits and structures of MotoGP have been referenced rather a lot in recent times by F1 folk. They point to the championship's ladder of talent, its cost-effectiveness - whether for manufacturers, teams, sponsors, broadcasters or promoters - and, last but not least, its marketing activities. There is, though, another element: its stability.
In February, Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit's bosses confirmed they had requested an early exit from their F1 deal. It was tellingly granted without penalty clauses by Bernie Ecclestone as one of his last acts while CEO of the Formula One Group, although he mischievously later admitted to having "charged them too much for what we provide".
As expected, those comments infuriated the Malaysians - and, understandably, FOG's present hierarchy - who then waxed lyrical about MotoGP. So they should: SIC regularly attracts 150,000 punters to the MotoGP event. Shell recently extended its title sponsorship of the race, while canning its commitment towards F1's Belgian Grand Prix, a casualty of its ramped-up partnership with Ferrari.