“Bikes are very important and fast in MotoGP”

In recent years, MotoGP has seen an intriguing development. As regulations stabilize, bikes are becoming increasingly competitive. This translates into much smaller gaps, but also in an increasing number of winning riders. for example, Enea Bastianini Beat the official Ducati rider Francesco Bagnaia Just last weekend, while riding a bike a year older.

According to legend Giacomo Agostini, MotoGP is missing a point of reference. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the show, but the audience needs a point of reference,” Agostini said in a conversation with Motorsport.com during the Assen Classic GP.

“Bagnaia wins, Bastianini wins, a rookie can win. There are many drivers who can win, but also be the 10th in the next race. Then people wonder who’s really good. It’s so random. But the fights aren’t wrong. Today. We definitely have a lot.” From technology, everyone has access to the same material. I don’t think there are 23 Maradona or 23 Verstappen or 23 Muhammad Ali on the starting grid. You can see that everyone is in a second space, and that’s crazy.”

Agustini notes that the pilot is making the difference less and less. “Because there is a lot of technology, the bike becomes very important. If there are a few details missing from the bike, you can be a great champ but it just won’t work. For others, it’s always easier to stay ahead. In my day, wrist movement was very important, and it was The pilot was the one who ordered. Now the electronics take over immediately and no longer depend on the pilot. We also saw that we worked hard to get more and more power.”

Moreover, the safety of the ramps is called into question due to the increased speeds. For example, the Red Bull Ring in Austria has already been modified after a serious accident Johann Zarko e Franco Morbidelli In 2020. “We tweak the engines: we have 290 hp but then we put chicane on the track to put out the speed. So why invest so much money to find more power and speed and then put the chicane on? On some circuits, the MotoGP bikes don’t even reach in sixth gear. No Many circuits are still the same in my time. There is more safety, more escape routes. But the path and character are still the same. Before that it was very beautiful. It is a difficult problem to deal with.”

The solution is simple, according to Agustini. “We have to give the drivers more power. The show is not necessarily good because the engine is 300 hp. In my day we didn’t have 300 hp, but the show was good. Valentino Rossi He’s never had such powerful bikes in his career, but he made a show. It’s a matter of people, not a fast bike. Whether you make a 2’05” or 2’10”, it doesn’t matter. Want to see a duel. 200,000 people in the stands do not sit with the stopwatch.”

“It’s important to see the fencing, otherwise the riders can’t show. If we reduce the power a little bit, the bikes also become less dangerous. The riders have to brake hard enough to slow a 160kg bike from 300km/h to normal speed. But in case If there is an accident, the bike squeaks like a bullet. It’s very dangerous. If you lower the power, you increase safety and the tire stays better. Who wins then? The best rider. That’s what we want.

Jack Miller, Ducati Team

Photography: Dorna

Speed ​​races will be stressful for mechanics and teams

After Valentino Rossi retires, the MotoGP organization has to deal with declining valuations and benefits. In recent weeks, a sprint has been announced on Saturday afternoons every weekend of the upcoming season. Agostini doesn’t think these are necessarily bad things for MotoGP, but he does think the other classes will come out smashed.

“I don’t know,” Agostini said with a sigh, answering a question about introducing sprint races. “Maybe it could become like Formula 1, but we already have three classes with Moto3 and Moto2. There are a lot of them. In my day, I raced several GPs in both 350cc and 500cc. But only the riders participated In more races…now it’s the same bike that has to be prepared for both races, on Saturday and Sunday.”

Having already tried it on his skin, about doubling the races, he added, “The limit was 24 races a year. Now there are 42 races, which is really a lot. Not just for the riders, but above all for the riders. The teams and the mechanics. We’ll have to see what He’ll bring it to us, maybe it’s a positive.”

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photography: Dorna

MotoGP again needs Verstappen or Maradona

Prior to his presence in Assen, Agostini was the guest of honor at Monza the previous weekend, where he was able to wave a flag of the square at the end of the Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix. Think Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen. In MotoGP, that aspect is missing a bit now that Valentino Rossi has said goodbye.

Agostini thinks “MotoGP is beautiful, racing is beautiful”. “But we need a real star after Valentino’s retirement and injury Marc Marquez. That’s what we’ve been waiting for now, the young riders who will make it to the top. Fans want to see the riders do things they couldn’t do on their own. People want to be surprised by what the driver is doing.”

“That’s what Max Verstappen does, who wins a lot and becomes a champion. It happened with Maradona in football, with Eddie Merckx in cycling. I remember getting up in the middle of the night to watch Cassius Clay (Muhammad) Ali’s boxing matches. He was doing things he couldn’t. Anyone else can do it and people want to see that. That’s what we expect now in Moto GB.”

with withdrawal Andrea Dovizioso Earlier this month, the changing of the guard had already taken place. From MotoGP 2010 network, only Alex Espargaro Still at work. On the question of whether the new generation has what it takes to fill the void left by the “old” drivers, Agostini sounded optimistic.

“We definitely have these guys with potential. Marc Marquez is back, he’s very aggressive and loves to entertain the crowd. He always works hard and wants to please the spectators. But he also needs riders to compete with. Bagnaia or Quartararo ., Bastianini will be there too. Quartararo is really a champion.” And now the fight with Bagnaya has begun. If Marquis can join them, it will only be good for the tournament. That’s what we are waiting for.”

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