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Oliveira: Concessions can't just be for Japanese MotoGP marques

Miguel Oliveira believes MotoGP’s concessions rules should be used to create a more level playing field rather than benefitting struggling manufacturers.

Miguel Oliveira, RNF MotoGP Racing

Yamaha and Honda's current crisis has led Dorna Sports to consider reviving manufacturer concessions in a bid to help the struggling Japanese brands.

But Oliveira believes teams with more bikes should face restrictions, and struggling smaller teams should be given more test days and tyres than those seeing success.

The RNF Aprilia rider raced under concessions at KTM, with whom he competed with at Tech3 in 2019-20 before moving up to the factory team for 2021-2022.

Speaking to Autosport at the British Grand Prix, he said: “My opinion is we should create a system where, first of all you create an equal technical approach into MotoGP racing.

“That starts with the number of the bikes on the grid. I don’t think now the championship has allowed Ducati to have eight bikes on the grid that you should take them off the grid.

“But at least try to find a balance, because we know track time is valuable and if you have eight bikes then you get more data than the other manufacturers. It’s a matter of strategy.

“I believe that if you have more bikes you would have to be much more restricted in terms of homologations, in terms of testing days, in terms of who you bring to the tests and the tyres that you use in the tests.

“That also maybe applies to the manufacturer that has two bikes. Maybe that manufacturer with two bikes on the grid, who is struggling more, maybe give them more test days, give them more tyres to test, more chances to actually bring a plan down to get valuable track time.”

Miguel Oliveira, RNF MotoGP Racing

Miguel Oliveira, RNF MotoGP Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Concessions were introduced in 2014 in a bid to help balance the field and provide a greater competitive platform for prospective manufacturers, which helped bring Suzuki, Aprilia and KTM to the grid between 2015 and 2017.

Those who ran under concessions received a number of benefits over non-concession manufacturers, which at the time included Honda and Yamaha, which covered unrestricted in-season testing, a bigger engine allocation and unlimited engine development.

To be considered for concessions when they were introduced in 2014, a manufacturer either had to have been new to the grid or had gone without a dry weather race win the previous year. Concessions were stripped from a manufacturer after it had accumulated six concession points in a season, which were determined on results: three for a win, two for a second and one for third.

Aprilia was the last manufacturer to lose concessions, doing so last year, with all manufacturers in 2023 running to the same rules.

Under the current rules framework, the only regulatory alternative for a factory to have those concessions again would be for none of its riders to score a single podium in the Sunday races - something Honda and Yamaha has already achieved with Alex Rins' Americas Grand Prix victory and Fabio Quartararo's third in that race respectively.

Oliveira continued: “The concessions should not be a fixed subject. I think you should gain and lose concessions, and of course, the way you look at it would be if you are making a lot of points in the races, then you would lose concessions.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team leads at the start

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team leads at the start

Photo by: Marc Fleury

“If you are making not enough points in the races, then okay maybe you give concessions to this team.

“Probably it would create a more fair technical possibility for teams, because if you don’t have test days and you already have eight bikes, it would be quite hard for you to bring an update.

“So, I think it would really be matching much more.

“I would not take the approach of the concession for helping the Japanese manufacturers. I would say it should be to make the whole class a little bit closer.”

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