New to here

Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Blata open up the factory for

Blata open up the factory for

Blata open up the factory for

Whilst passing through the Czech Republic on the way back from the Brno race, took the opportunity to stop in on the Blata minibike factory, the manufacturers who have recently signed a deal with the WCM team to build a V6 four-stroke motorcycle to compete in next season's MotoGP World Championship. The Blata name comes from owner Pavel Blata who as well as running his own team in the European Minibike Championships, initially had the idea to produce his own minibikes, and now produces over an ever-increasing 25,000 units a year whilst sending the machines to over 50 countries.

The chance to join up with WCM in the MotoGP World Championship represented a chance to get the Blata name around the world as well as being an exciting technological project explained Mr. Blata, "We are very proud that we are making this V6 MotoGP engine, and this project will mean we have to cross many obstacles. It is a very important thing for our whole production".

WCM Team Manager Peter Clifford in turn defended both his and Blata's decision to take on the big boys with a V6 engine, "We had an idea to build a new engine following on from the four-cylinder we're using at the moment, with the idea to use a 6. We obviously needed someone to support it, we'd had enough trouble building the four-cylinder and our finances and technological ability is limited. I'd only known Blata as a minibike company as I'm sure the rest of us have. In a meeting between myself and Pavel Blata it became clear early in the piece that our thinking ran very much in the same direction in as much as how we wanted to do things and go racing. I almost twisted his arm a bit, and suggested we do it soon. He took the whole thing on board and has accepted the challenge which is tremendous for everybody"

Clifford is adamant that this project will see the team firmly established within MotoGP, and that it is no passing fixation for him or Blata, "We know it's going to be hard, we've proven to ourselves how hard it is over the last couple of years, and it was no surprise that it's tough, and this will be no different. But Blata are not here just to have a shot at it and if they don't like it leave it alone - they want to be in this for the long-term, they like us are prepared to go through the process of learning what it takes, and we know where we are and where we are in respect to the big wheels of the sport, the Honda, Yamaha and Ducati. We're at the opposite end, and if you don't take up the challenge you're never going to know. We are making this deal with not just a manufacturer, but with the whole of the country of the Czech Republic and we're proud to be going into this project now".

MotoGP, 2004

Other updates you may be interested in ›