December 8, 2004 at 9:42 pm #9222GixParticipant
The Supermoto World Championship ended this weekend in Finestrat (Spain), where Thierry Van Den Bosch (KTM S1) and Jerôme Giraudo (Aprilia S2) clinched the 2004 titles. Just before the prize giving ceremony, Giuseppe Luongo analysed the past season and talked about the future of Supermoto.
“For us this third year of the Supermoto World Championship has been really important, and we learned a lot. When we started with the World Championship three years ago it was new for everybody, promoters as well as teams or riders; we tried many different solutions, we went to famous circuits such as Monza or Sachsenring where we expect to attract people with the notoriety of the locations. In fact it was not the right choice, and even before the first spectator entered the circuit you had to spent 100.000 euros just to open the doors and bring there all the personal necessary on this kind of track. We tried also to go in the towns, as it’s good for the atmosphere and the spectators but we faced two problems: the first one is the security, and we’ll never play with the security of the riders, and the second one is the installations as you have to built everything. When we are supported by the local authorities we can go there, but finally the best solution is the International Kart circuits. They have the right length, the right width, a paddock, different buildings, toilets, cafeteria… There we can work with the owners of the tracks, we can have long-term contracts and develop the tracks also for Supermoto, not only for karting. In the future we’ll go mainly on kart tracks, and will add some tracks in cities when it’s possible. If we had so many changes in the calendar this season it’s mainly because some organisers thought it was possible to earn money quickly, they didn’t realise that it’s a long-term investment. Despite all the difficulties that we had this year we finished the season with nine races, and I think we had a great championship until the last race. Next year we’ll stabilised the calendar around ten races, with the goal to have fourteen races in three or four seasons,” explained the president of Youthstream.
Following a couple of meetings between Youthstream, the FIM, teams, riders and manufacturers, the rules will change for next season and will be officialised soon. “Following our discussions with the teams, we’ve alreadydecided to have next year a similar system to Motocross, with two races per class and the same points system as in Motocross (from 25 for the winner to 1 for the twentieth). Each race will be around twenty minutes of racing, it will be a number of laps but we will fix this number each Saturday, depending of the length of the track. The other main new is that we’ll have back the Superpole each Sunday morning after the warm-up, it will be interesting for the fans and will give us the final first row of the grid in each class. We are also thinking now, but not before 2006, to invert the classes; the main class will probably be the 450, and we’ll call it S1 instead of S2; there are more and more interest with the 450, and in this class we had great racing this season with the title decided in the last lap of the last race! The Japanese arrived in this class, and I believe that it will be soon the major class; next year we could have 28 entries in this class, we had so many requests at each race! It’s a good sign, and also strange as some people told us earlier in the season that without prize money we won’t have riders on the grids… It was long but I think that the success is coming for Supermoto with a really strong TV coverage, and a stronger calendar for next season,” added Giuseppe who also worked with Wolfgang Srb and the tyres manufacturers. “During our discussions with the tyre manufacturers involved in Supermoto, it appears that the cost were going too high and that it was important to introduce next year a tyres limitation. The manufacturers and the teams have problems, as some riders use more than thirty tyres during a weekend! This is crazy, and we agreed to reduce the number of tyres; we are now working on a control system, with different companies who can insert a chip inside each tyre as they do in formula one. Then it’s really easy to control the situation, but without any electronic system it’s impossible to know if everybody respect the rules,” ended Giuseppe Luongo, happy to finish the season on the sunny Costa Bianca. The next volume of the World Supermoto history will start exactly in five months, on the Italian track of Ottobiano. Even if all the factories didn’t decided yet their line-up per class, we already know that KTM will defend his S1 title with Thierry Van Den Bosch; the French rider will have a new teammate (Bernd Hiemer), and Boris Chambon will move to the S2 class. Husqvarna will have four factory riders with Eddy Seel, Gerald Delepine, Ivan Lazzarini and Davide Gozzini, and Aprilia will sign another rider alongside Jerome Giraudo, Frédéric Bolley and Max Manzo. TM plans to continue with Fabrice Guyot (S1) and Fabio Balducci (S2), while Rigo Racing don’t know yet which bike they will use next season. Husqvarna Sima will continue with Adrien and Thomas Chareyre (Thomas, 16 years old and 14th in the S2 final classification got the Marcel Seurat Memory Award during the prize giving ceremony as best young talent), and Fabrice Lecoanet (rookie of the year) will be fixed soon about his future.
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