Dorna probably will create testing restrictions as part of its developing plans to control costs in World Superbike starting in 2014, as Dorna official Javier Alonso criticized the sums spent by BMW for all of its WSBK activities, especially testing.
BMW reportedly has been the top spender among WSBK manufacturers since it entered the series in 2009, with an annual budget rumored at 15 to 20 million euros. That fat sum won't fly in Dorna's brave new world, as the sanctioning and promotional group wants to reduce the chasm in budgets between factory and privateer teams.
Among the proposals floated by Dorna is a 250,000-euro price cap on each motorcycle in 2014, excluding crash damage. Testing also is in Dorna's high-powered scope.
"We want to reduce the cost per bike per season, as well as restrict the testing," Alonso said to German media. "It makes no sense that the Superbike teams test as much as at the moment. I can see no need for it that some teams do a private test at Phillip Island, two days later, the official test and then the race. What technical knowledge to draw teams from nine days on the same route? These expenses are crazy.
"In the MotoGP World Championship, the preseason testing is limited to nine days. We need a system that allows some manufacturers to develop, at the same time they do not test but pointless."
Alonso said BMW (initially) had 50 scheduled test days per year.
"This is utter nonsense in my eyes," Alonso said. "We talk extensively about how the costs come down. In addition to a reduction of days of testing, a limit on the number of employees is possible. When only two mechanics may work on a motorcycle, must not have four flying around the world."
Undoubtedly, BMW spent heavily to make its motorcycle competitive in WSBK. However, that spending was required to simply establish BMW in the world of WSBK from its previous position as a manufacturer who built bikes for a solidly geriatric customer base. Is BMW's spending level the norm in the WSBK series? Hardly. And, it's not as if BMW spent millions in order to win their fourth world title in successionin fact, they have yet to win the WSBK title, no matter how many bales of cash they have burned. Which is the more important fact to consider, that BMW spent heavily to lose the title several times or that Yamaha won the title in 2009, and Kawasaki nearly won the WSBK title in 2012 by spending much, much less than BMW?
Additionally, Alonso's shocking comments about WSBK testing being too expensive and repetitive ring hollow when applied to Dorna's blue ribbon series MotoGP. If all of the WSBK testing around the Phillip Island round is deemed excessive and expensive, then what would a sane person see in MotoGP's dual pre-season tests at Sepang, where bikes, teams and equipment are flown to Malaysia, then loaded back up after three days and flown home only to be flown back to Sepang for a second MotoGP test three weeks later? How is it possible that Dorna can criticize WSBK for holding a "crazy" pre-season test at the first round when MotoGP flies nearly the entire MotoGP paddock to Sepang and back twice before the season even begins, and then back for the Sepang MotoGP race--eight months later?!
Moreover, Dorna criticizes WSBK for having too many mechanics and " a limit on the number of employees is possible".
How, then, does one view the MotoGP series, with several teams that are staffed like small armies, and with budgets stressed by not only flying copious numbers of technicians around the world, but umbrella girls, chefs and communications departments as well?