Ezpeleta Steps Away From A Spec ECU
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna s.l., the body which organizes and runs the MotoGP show, is a shrewd political operator. After his most recent coup, forcing Bridgestone to supply Valentino Rossi with tires for 2008 by threatening to turn MotoGP into a single make series, he turned his attention to the racing spectacle of MotoGP. A much-heard lament in the latter half of the 2007 season was that electronics - and more specifically, traction control - were killing the spectacle of racing, and even, it was muttered, removing much of the skill. And so just before Christmas, Ezpeleta once more tried the "cat-among-the-pigeons" gambit by suggesting that a single, standardized ECU could solve MotoGP's problems.
This time, however, he may have pushed the envelope just a fraction too hard: In a fascinating interview with the Italian site GPOne.com, Ezpeleta appears to pull back from the brink, and is now discounting the possiblity of a spec ECU. Rather unsurprisingly, the main objection has come from the factories themselves, who are united in their opposition to any such move to rein in their freedom to innovate, to borrow a rather apposite phrase. But while acknowledging the technical difficulties a spec ECU would present, the wily Ezpeleta is not to be stumped that easily. Ezpeleta neatly sidesteps the factories by placing the option in the hands of the riders, suggesting that if the riders put forward a proposal for Dorna to step in, then he would have to examine the case for a control ECU once again.
Once again, Carmelo Ezpeleta has managed the remarkable balancing act of appearing to put out the fire whilst simultaneously fanning the flames. And by a strange coincidence, during the period when it is quietest on the MotoGP news front.