Iconic Italian brand Ducati crowned Francesco Bagnaia its first MotoGP champion since 2007 last season, and it looks like the team to beat in 2023.
Fabio Quartararo’s title reign ended in part due to the performance of his Yamaha bike, while Marc Márquez has complained about his 2023 Repsol Honda prototype.
“The problem for the Japanese manufacturers is that they have not understood that this MotoGP has nothing to do with the one of 20 years ago,” Brivio, a former boss of Yamaha and Suzuki, told Slick Magazine.
“While the grand prix were a business between them, between Japanese companies, the development of the motorcycles was done according to the rules of the Japanese companies: a long calendar, the work diluted over the months had to lead to the end of the Smooth championship.
“That’s why news always comes slowly. Did you need a frame? It took three months. Did we need a different engine? We were talking about that for the following year.”
“European companies are more aggressive in their approach to racing, so they have established a new way of competing. And Yamaha and Honda will also have to adapt.
“It is the approach that is different: approaching the races doing everything possible to have more and more powerful bikes, leaving no stone unturned and keep trying to improve, constantly thinking of new solutions.
“It is a bit trivial to dwell on the fact that Ducati has an advantage in aerodynamics or in the setup variation system: this is only the result of a difference in approach and therefore in method.
“Ducati, but also Aprilia and KTM, have started doing increasingly sophisticated data analysis, while the Japanese companies on the track continue to work as they did 15 years ago. And if it does, the information coming home from the track is not clear and comprehensive enough.
“If you don’t have engineers of the same level as those in the factory in Japan, the level of information that comes in doesn’t exhaust their desire and need to understand where the problem or weak point is. Work on the track must go hand in hand with work in the factory.
“European manufacturers have a direct and constant connection between the track and the factory. [With Japanese manufacturers] the team that is on the right track does not give enough precise data and more details to those at home. Yamaha and Honda are paying for this [price] now.
“The team on the track must become an integral part of the MotoGP program, so a great synergy must be created between those at home and those on the track: they must no longer be two different groups.”
Brivio delivered world championships for manufacturers based in Japan: he was the team manager that brought Rossi to Yamaha in 2004 for his legendary run.
And he was in command at Suzuki when Joan Mir won the championship in 2020.