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Montiron addresses ways forward for privateers

Montiron addresses ways forward for privateers

Taking time out before this weekend's Grand Prix of Turkey, Konica Minolta Honda Manager Gianluca Montiron reflected on the challenges faced by satellite teams competing in the MotoGP World Championship.

Taking time out before this weekend's Grand Prix of Turkey, Konica Minolta Honda Manager Gianluca Montiron reflected on the challenges faced by satellite teams competing in the MotoGP World Championship.

"I think that the best evaluation of someone's capabilities is through results and I want to distinguish among the rest for the quality of the work I offer."

"From a managerial point of view I'm satisfied with the job I've done with my MotoGP Team, because for the first time in the championship a team has had the support of a Japanese technology company – Konica Minolta – as main sponsor and for this season my team will be the promoter of the 2008 world road-racing cycle championships in Varese, another important step forward for me."

"If you evaluate the general worldwide economic situation I'm in a comfortable situation considering that our rider is Japanese and that it isn't always easy to gain a sponsor. I believe our team has a very efficient structure: every year I've made relevant investments in the team and our structure in order to follow the sponsors' need," commented Montiron.

The MotoGP World Championship is bigger than ever, but teams are still feeling their way through the process of balancing costs and results. It is a problem identified by Montiron as being particularly crucial to privateers.

"In the last few years MotoGP has seen an escalation in terms of popularity and cost; basically the MotoGP world has not been able enough to follow this escalation and we are now in the transitional period," he noted. "For the motorcycle manufacturers this isn't a big problem: even if the manufacturers would like to reduce the cost of their own racing departments, the main problem at the moment is for the private teams who have to survive in this period. I think that in the third millennium we need to approach motorsport with a more commercial and aggressive mind."

"I think we have a topic here that needs time to be dealt with and really needs the collaboration of all the parties involved. For a private team sometimes it is difficult to open a dialogue with the manufacturer because both parties have different needs and objectives, even if the best sporting result remains the main goal for both."

National level racing often provides a harvest of young talents, and Konica Minolta Honda boss Montiron provided his opinion on how the current champions have grown through such initiatives.

"Where the various World Champions come from is interesting. The reason why we have two Spanish riders as world champions in 125cc and the 250cc class is because Dorna invested heavily to create a competitive Spanish championship and riders like Pedrosa come from this championship."

"The reason why in the past we had some Italian champions like Biaggi, Rossi, Capirossi is a different matter: the Italian championship was very competitive in the past because Aprilia and Cagiva invested money to organize the various national trophies."

As regards the ways in which manufacturers can help satellite teams, Montiron concluded with a few simple philosophical suggestions.

"I think that as a rule for everybody we should act in such a way that, if the income is not sufficient, it's necessary to consider how to reduce costs. I think that the manufacturer can reduce the machine rental cost and also reduce the number of winter tests. This year Dorna made a financial contribution to both manufacturers and to the teams and this helps everybody."

"In general, I believe that the manufacturers and the private teams should work in the same direction together with Dorna and IRTA. For many years the private teams were in a comfortable situation, but now it is the moment for everybody to invest in the future, in this sector it will be possible to make a step forward to approach motorsport with a more commercial mind and to offer an efficient service to the sponsor by focussing on the marketing and communication activities of the team itself. Personally, I've already employed this strategy and the efforts have been rewarded."


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