Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ilmor Throw In The Towel

The Eurosport website has reported that after 3 races in MotoGP, 2 of them last season, Ilmor have "temporarily" withdrawn from the series due to lack of sponsorship.
When the Factory Yamaha team struggles to get sponsorship, finally pulling the rabbit out of the hat with the FIAT deal, you know that the smaller teams would have to win the lottery to find financial backing. Team KR has also struggled to find sponsorship, and they have a former World Champion as a team owner, a former World Champion as a rider, and a podium trophy from 2006.
Ilmor might know a lot about engines, and in the hands of McWilliams, the bike was faster down the straights than the Yamaha in qualifying at Qatar, but the driveability and corner speed were just pitiful. The bike is a dog, several seconds a lap off the pace. A sponsor would be insane to back Ilmor rather than Team KR, Kawasaki, Suzuki or any of the other teams who could offer a lot of advertising space for minimal funding.
It is deeply disappointing that Ilmor were unable to build a competitive bike, but it's a dog-eat-dog world in MotoGP. If you're not in with a chance of a win, then you're just making up the numbers.
I'm sure that Ilmor didn't think it would be easy to build a bike, but they seem to be utterly shocked at the difference from car racing.
If they want to return to MotoGP, they'd sure as hell better bring a real bike next time.


Alessandro Matteucci aka Alex 555 said...

I don't know if it's possible but they should use their engine on another bike .... If they were not able to improve in this field in the last 12 months I doubt that they would succed in the next future. Forget the $ they need new brains.Only once they can prove to be able to obtain some sort of result they can start dreaming to get $ from sponsors. Any brand directly linked to the industry doesn't want to be involved with any "gate on two wheels" and I do not blame them. Too bad for the two riders that are going to wast the whole season ...

Jimmy said...

It's yet another case of Formula 1 engineers being incredibly arrogant and thinking it must be dead simple to make a motorcycle.
I'm not sure if the Ilmor engine is any better than the terrible Cosworth engine that Aprilia used.
The Ilmor bike is a joke. It's bad to have fewer bikes on the grid, but this is the pinnacle of motorsport, you don't deserve to be there unless you are quick enough.