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Old 11-06-2007, 07:56 AM   #1
RACER X
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looking into the politics of Moto GP

From another site i'm on....was translated from Portugues..

I'll post the original link when i get it....
As any of you twats would be able to read it.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I came across this interview with Alex Barros on another website.. I think its quite fitting considering all the talk about favoritism from factories in getting certain parts, tyres, technicians etc..

Very interesting read, i suggest you all browse through it, then re-think who has the best machinery out there and who doesn't, then maybe re-think about who should be in MotoGP and who shouldn't..



"Question: One month ago we were talking and you were about to become Honda's #1 WSBK rider at Ten Kate. What happened?
Alex Barros: It's simple, Carlos Checa offered himself for an amount that I would never accept. One hundred thousand dollars/year, plus a spot on the fairing. It's too little. I was excited about running in WSBK again, because Ten Kate is a great team, and the 2008 Fireblade is very light. I would have a real chance of fighting for the title, and Honda Europe wanted me there, even as a compensation for 2006 and the Klaffi team, where the structure was really quite weak. I really wanted to return to WSBK in a good team, because I know that there I could still be world champion, whereas in MotoGP I can't anymore. The sponsors are fleeing from motorcycle racing, and that is really changing the market. Riders are signing contracts for amounts that would be unthinkable a few years ago. For instance, Stoner just renewed his contract with Ducati for $1.5 million/year. It's less than what Melandri makes, for example - he made $3 million this year - or Hayden, who is in the $3 million range as well.

Q: You said you prefer SBK to MotoGP. Why is that?
AB: In MotoGP it's impossible to be champion without being on an official team. The level is too different. This year, the champion and me rode the same bike, and you saw the difference. Of course, bike for bike, I like riding in MotoGP better, where the bikes are real racing bikes. Superbikes are tuned street bikes, and that makes all the difference, in every aspect.

Q: Explain what is different.
AB: Well, the weight for starters; almost 35kg difference. The MotoGP bikes are more powerful too, the tyres are better, everything is better.

Q: Your Ducati, when compared to the ones in the official team, is it too different?
AB: The bike is the same, but the teams are a different deal. All I have to tell you is that I didn't have a suspension technician. Throughout the season, I suffered with the lack of setup. I can't understand how a MotoGP team wouldn't have such a tech. Since the beginning of the year I've asked for this and Luis D'Antin, the team owner, has just blown me off. It's stupid. I don't, honestly, think that I could always beat Stoner. The kid is very fast and no one could have taken this title from him, but in the preseason tests I was always very close to him, and sometimes even in front of him. But as the races passed, his bike was getting set up better, while mine wasn't. Another thing that was absurd was that I didn't have a spare suspension. Can you imagine a MotoGP team not having a spare front! It doesn't exist. I had two complete bikes and that was that. If I wanted to play around with a setting, I'd have to strip one of the bikes. That just can't be. The comparison to see what is best has to be on the same bike.

Q: So the team was a total let down?
AB: I don't like to judge anyone, nor being ungrateful, ut Pramac D'Antin was a team that no one wanted to go to, and by the end of the current season, there's been a queue of people wanting to ride for them. I believe part of that is due to my efforts in getting results, even without having the best conditions to do so. The bike is good, but at the current level of MotoGP, the team of technicians around you makes the difference. I lacked a suspensions guy, aside from spare suspensions.

Q: You had a contract that was good for 2008 as well, is that right?
AB: Yes, but Paolo Campinotti, Pramac owner, called me and said that, in a meeting with the Ducati Corse bosses, big boss Claudio Domenicali asked that the situation that happened in the Italian GP, when I passed Stoner at the end of the race and was 3rd, never repeat itself. In other words, I'd have to subject myself to always coming in behind the factory riders, and that I just can't accept. If the championship had been in a crucial phase, so be it, but that was the sixth GP in a season of 18! The commitment they wanted me to agree to isn't right, in my point of view, and hence my leaving. In fact, there's people at Ducati in my favor, the people in the commercial department, that believe that with me on board, sales in Brazil would improve. But it seems that Domenicali's wishes prevailed...

Q: Many people in the paddock say that since you beat Stoner in that race, your bike hasn't been the same. Is this true?
AB: I don't know. In the motor, power, aspect our bikes are the same as the ones in the factory team. The problem is that which was I talking about, suspension setup. However, there's the fact that Stoner's bike has never broken down during a race, and I was left on foot at Misano and Estoril. In the last race, at Motegi, I only finished the race because of the bike switch, due to the rain. If I had gone on with the same bike since the start, the bike wouldn't have lasted. We only learned about that later.

Q: What about the tyres? They say that Ducati asked Bridgestone not to supply you with the same stuff with the good stuff...
AB: I don't believe in that. The tyres are the same.

Q: This year, you've had bad practice sessions and great races. Why is that?
AB: The problem is the bike's setup. At the beginning of the year, everyone starts with stuff that needs tweaking. While other bikes evolved in the setup department, ours didn't. As each race passed, the difference from our bike to the others got bigger. Another problem was that Michelin's qualifying tyres were better than the Bridgestone ones, in general. In the race, the situation was the opposite. Many times I would only find good balance with my bike during warm-up, just before the race. And starting from the back, either you're lucky and get to pass many people on the first lap, or you're stuck back there, battling, while the front guys get away. In many races, my lap times were the same as those of podium-finishing riders, so that if I had't started from the back, I would be amongst the top guys.

Q: The Ducati is a very different bike when compared to the japanese ones, isn't it?
AB: Yeah. Its highlight is the engine's power. The chassis demands a certain strength when trying to get it into the corners. Look at my hand. These calluses are Ducati (laughs). But I think the main advantage Ducati had this season were the eletronics. The Magneti Marelli system is the most evolved of all. I can't talk much about it, but no other brand has a management system that is as good. The traction control isn't like those of other bikes, where the setup is unique for each track. Ours changes according to the way each person rides the bike, the parameters are different for each corner, individually, and this advantage was key in order for Ducati to be in front and win the title. But that doesn't take anything away from Stoner, who rode harder than anyone.

Q: Aren't you upset you're leaving MotoGP?
AB: I'm cool. All through my carreer I've had the clear goal of being champion. I didn't achieve that, and remaining in MotoGP that would be pretty much impossible. But in World Superbike I know that, with a good bike and in a strong team, I could be champion. That's why I was excited about the Ten Kate offer. But I understand why they chose Checa, given that they are there to make money. Honda doesn't officially participate in WSBK. Ten Kate is the team of a Honda shop in Holland, which has an excellent competition division. If you want to, you can buy a Honda that is just like Toseland's, you just have to pay. There's nothing official about the bike, there's some factory support, but the bosses are the Ten Kate brothers and, of course, the sponsor.
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Old 11-06-2007, 07:56 AM   #2
RACER X
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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Posts: 33,486

Experience: 10+ years
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Bike(s):
'14 Honda GROM! 181cc of fury!!
'10 Aprilia Tuono Factory-SOLD
'08 Busa - sold
A few more bought
A few more sold






Q: And you didn't have other offers from WSBK?
AB: I did, but none that were wholly convincing to me. To go into a team to score 4th, 5th places, and to develop a bike without direct factory support isn't what I want to do these days. In the past I've subjected myself to riding in situations which I knew weren't the best, but nowadays I don't want that, I don't need that.

Q: Can you tell us what were the offers?
AB: The Kawasaki PSG-1 team, who have Fonsi Nieto and Regis Laconi as current riders, and a 5th place as their best result. There was also an approach from Suzuki. Max Biaggi hasn't renewed his contract yet and their team is good, but I think they called me more as a way of putting pressure on Max, by saying "look, if you don't sign, Barros may come in to take your spot...", than it being an actual offer.

Q: Are you gonna miss competing?
AB: Sure I will, because I really love riding, racing. But there's other things I'm tired of. Airports, airplanes, hotels... that I can't stand anymore. Since 1986 leading this kind of life is tough. Fortunately I have other stuff to occupy myself with in case I really do stop racing.

Q: And what would that be?
AB: I have a construction business. We have already completed a building in São Paulo, and we have another two on the way. Aside from that, there's the Alex Barros Shop, which I'm also expanding. Dedicating myself to these endeavors, and others which I have in mind already, should keep me plenty occupied here in Brazil, and should keep my mind off racing.

Disclaimer: Some of the sentences may feel a little bumpy; some stuff just doesn't translate very well from portuguese. I'd rather have a few unpolished phrases in there than try to correct that and risk putting word's in Barros' mouth."
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:20 AM   #3
ArturoC
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Not so much MotoGP politics but Ducati's. Although a few things applied to motorcycle roadracing in general.
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Old 11-06-2007, 12:03 PM   #4
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I find it a very good read
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