Grand Prix motorcycle racing legend Kevin Schwantz feels the excessive use of electronics in modern MotoGP has made the sport boring.
During a visit to India, the 1993 500cc world champion compared today’s racing to his own era, arguing that the races themselves have become too predictable and that modern technology has made the riders less heroic in comparison to the two-stroke era.
“It has gotten boring, that is for sure. It is not as entertaining as it used to be 20 years ago,” the 51-year-old said in an interview with PTI.
“Racing has become so electronically controlled, making it much more forgiving for the riders.
“I was watching a World Superbike race couple of months ago. Both riders were riding the same bike and at a double apex corner, one overtook another with the use of a button,” he said.
“Here it was at a corner, while in Formula 1 you do it on the straights with DRS. The techniques, the skill that used to be in racing, it doesn’t work any more."
The American added: “I think it was a lot more difficult bike to ride back in the day, with a tyre that wasn’t really forgiving and a powerband that on a really good day had 3000rpm.
"Now we got 250 horsepower and 6000rpm of powerband, besides the electronics to help with spin and sliding.”
Tyre war a possible cure
However, Schwantz acknowledged that the manufacturers cannot be blamed for the proliferation of techology, as they are between "a rock and a hard place", and called for a renewed tyre war as a potential solution to improve the racing.
MotoGP has had a spec tyre supplier - Bridgestone - since the 2009 season, although the Japanese firm will be replaced by Michelin for 2016.
“I understand that global economy is still recovering from the slowdown," said Schwantz, "and the costs are outrageous in both F1 and MotoGP.
"But there are many ways to make the show better. One way is to bring the different tyre brands back, and let there be some competition.”
When asked what else he would change if he had the power, Schwantz added: “Take the fuel injection off, put carburettors on and have no electronics whatsoever - and let's ride them as far sideways as we can!”