Alstare's in MotoGP? Maybe because of recent discussions regarding the proposed technical rule changes in World Superbikes, a lot of rumours have been circulating regarding Team Alstare's plans for 2008 and beyond. At the start of the proposals...
Alstare's in MotoGP?
Maybe because of recent discussions regarding the proposed technical rule changes in World Superbikes, a lot of rumours have been circulating regarding Team Alstare's plans for 2008 and beyond. At the start of the proposals to allow 1200 cc bikes to race in World Superbikes, Alstare Suzuki's team manager Francis Batta was quite vocal against the changes unless certain factors could be put in place. At the time of writing, it is still not clear what the new rules are and if and how they need to be policed.
At Silverstone recently, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP team manager Paul Denning visited the team raising speculation that the Belgian based squad might enter MotoGP in the near future. Team Alstare have been a fixture in the paddock for some time and have introduced one of their own sponsors (Corona Extra) to the series as a title sponsor, so it is clear that Batta has been doing considerable work promoting the Superbike World Championship. Without Batta's influence and contacts, the World Superbike paddock would be a very different place as, at the moment, their hospitality is the focal point in the paddock. Not only is it the official host of the ever-popular Paddock Show, but it is also the 'unofficial' meeting point for many riders and team personnel.
It is well known that Dorna would love to have another 'big' team in MotoGP and certainly Alstare have the infrastructure and ability to take part in the series. Their Belgian workshops are in a class of their own and are good enough to house a Formula One team .
Recent rumours have suggested a link between MotoGP, Team Alstare and former World 500c champion Kevin Schwantz. Schwantz has worked for Suzuki for years and could be seen as a natural figurehead/team manager or whatever for a new Suzuki MotoGP team, if that is what he and Suzuki have in mind for the future. So, could Schwantz work with Batta and Alstare ? Why not? Schwantz has known the Battas for years and it could be the making of a 'dream team.'
Having additional Suzukis on the grid in MotoGP would be a attractive proposition to Dorna and also aid Suzuki's development, but would Batta want to move to MotoGP if he was only to run a secondary effort? And would he take Max Biaggi or go for new riders? Biaggi has the experience, albeit not on the new bikes, but maybe MotoGP might see him as part of the 'old generation' and prefer young blood?
While it is true that it costs a lot more to run in the GPs than it does to sustain a World Superbike effort, Alstare would be one of the few WSBK teams able to fund and run such an effort - maybe with Corona money as well.
Nothing has been confirmed at the moment, but if Alstare Suzuki were to switch paddocks, it would be agreat and significant loss to World Superbikes - both in the short term and the future.
-credit: team alstare