Jorge Lorenzo showed incredible determination and commitment. I’m sure he’s completely drained, but what a reward for really digging deep. I think it sends a message to his competitors what he will do to win the championship.
I was in the medical center with Jorge after he crashed. He was in so much pain and white as a sheet. To see him ride a bike, especially at that speed—with all of the flying, lack of sleep, anesthesia, discomfort and everything else—is truly extraordinary.
As Cal Crutchlow said after the race, it was almost embarrassing to see Jorge pass other guys. He was on a mission. It was too good to be true that he could hold that pace to the end of the race. Obviously, he was going to tire and fade. We don’t see it as losing two points to Dani Pedrosa; we see it more as gaining 11 that were not there to be had.
I think it was a fabulous show for the sport and the championship: the drama from the beginning to the end of this weekend, seeing Valentino Rossi back, Jorge doing a super-human thing, Cal was there again, Marc Marquez performing as we know he can. For me, the rider who will be most disappointed will be Dani for not capitalizing on an opportunity.
We are using the fourth of five engines at the moment. We have three engines—the fourth, third and second—running right now. The only one we’ve taken out of the allocation is the first one because we had a technical problem. So, we’re okay. But if we had a “Bautista incident,” as I call it, if we lose an engine that’s new, then we have some difficulties.
I heard rumors that we should start from pit lane and take the hit while we could because Jorge was not going to get many points. But that wasn’t really an option; you can only use that advantage if you are putting in your sixth engine. We would need to put in two new engines to do that. Plus, it was a dry race, and Jorge was 12th on the grid. There was no way we were going to start him from pit lane.
We have a minimum requirement to supply two riders with lease engines in 2014, and we have a maximum capacity of four. Basically, our deadline was end of June. We’ve had several discussions with teams, but we haven’t got anything defined 100 percent yet, so we postponed the deadline. Beyond Sachsenring, however, there is no extension because we need to make the parts. This is the same prototype factory that makes the parts for the factory bikes.
I can’t give you technical details, but the engine will be very close to Tech3 spec. Everyone has to use the Magneti Marelli ECU next year, but it will also use Marelli software—championship hardware, championship software. That’s the main difference from the prototypes. Then, of course, they will be running with their own chassis manufacturers.
Traditionally, international companies based in Latin markets have supported this championship. In Spain and Italy, the economy is not good. Everybody is looking for more tangible return on investment. So, we have to be more clever how we deliver to partners and sponsors something that they can really use to stimulate their businesses. That’s a bit different than years ago when it was mainly an ego or a branding exercise. Now, there’s no room in peoples’ budgets for such things.
We are more flexible than we were in the past, but we’re working a lot harder. For each partnership that we announce, a lot more energy has gone into it before and after the deal is done. When we go to new markets, hopefully, we will be able to bring in new companies from those markets. They don’t have so much cultural tradition of sponsorship, so we need to educate them. What is MotoGP? What can you do with it? What are the benefits? So, there’s a lot of hard work, and we’re not alone. A lot of teams are out there spreading the gospel.
We always enjoy going to the United States. I think all of the organizers do a good show. Having three races may be one too many. Each race is good, but we need those races to bring in American-based sponsors to get engaged in the championship. It will be a shame if Indy goes off the calendar, but I have to say that Texas was great—the track and facilities they built and welcome we got was superb. Laguna is a favorite for all of us; the West Coast is very important for the business. Also, I believe the economy in the states will pick up before the European economy starts to pick up. Therefore, it’s very important to be there.