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Monday
Aug012011

This and That

Here we are, Monday morning after a GP, Spa 24 hour and WSBK and not much to stir the blood.

A couple of things caught the eye. Yamaha is withdrawing its WSBK factory team. This is despite currently running third and fourth in the Championship. They have obviously taken notice that Ducati are leading the Championship with Checa despite the works team dropping out for the first time this year. Yamaha say they are going to support private teams, which clearly works. I think back to what I see were the good days of GP when Yamaha had several "private" teams running their equipment, Kenny, Ago, Sonauto with Sarron, and all were "works" bikes and we had good racing. Honda had a works team, but also Kanemoto, HB and Cabin, and Garry Taylor ran Suzuki for Schwantz. This to me is the right way for series to run, not just one "works" team for each and really only three or four guys likely to win. Not a bad model for four wheel racing either, like we saw at Spa, six Audis in three private teams racing each other, which is how McLaren are going with the GT.

The other is the ongoing Gribkowsky deal, with the six others being named, and behold there is Bernie's friend Briatore, the man banned from F1 helping Bernie out.

The furore over the Sky TV deal continues, with Pit Pass suggesting it is not poor Bernie's fault, nothing to do with the high cost of TV rights and everything else to do with F1, no it is the Teams' fault. They should do something, but what? He suggests that the teams subsidise the Sky fee for F1 fans. And how are you going to identify them? And 10 m households at 475 pounds apiece is a rather big ask. Why not the teams accept less TV money, say $20m, and reduce the cost of the rights to BBC? But that won't work either as then you set a precedent for all the other broadcasters. But if "free-to-air" is so important for the sponsors? If that were the case then F1 would be on Network TV here in the States and we might get a few people interested in it, and cheaper than building a track and running a race. How about funding Alexander Rossi in to a good seat as Red Bull are doing, then you might see some interest. But no, all these spend money, and of course the poor teams just need more and more. As Adam Parr said it is expensive for them to go racing, you can't just buy a tennis racquet and some shoes. I thought that was what sponsors were for. So are we really interested in building a sport or making money? If the Sky deal loses audience then we will see. This whole series is run on unrealistic income streams that if one or two start to fall by the wayside could fold up like a house of cards. If Bernie cuts a deal for Germany what does he do for Oz and Valencia, Barcelona, Spa etc?

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