How do MotoGP teams finance themselves? What are the differences between the budget and the sponsors of the factory and customer teams? Here you find the answers.
Finding answers to the question of how the teams finance themselves in the GP paddock is almost impossible. As soon as the word money falls, all mouths close immediately. Of course, there must be someone to pay for this party.
There have always been rich and poor people in the world, and the MotoGP World Championship is no exception. That's why the difference in budget between big and small MotoGP teams is clear. While a team from the lower half of the table is racing a season with 19 race weekends, seven of them outside of Europe, with approximately 6 to 8 million euros, a factory team normally has around 30 million available per season. Well, 30 million and more. In fact, "and more" means that you can almost triple that amount.
Take the cost of the driver as a reference. It's true that the MotoGP World Championship does not set a salary cap as in the North American NBA, but there still seems to be one. Let's take Ducati as an example.
The self-imposed "salary cap" is currently at about 15 million euros, which cost the manufacturer from Bologna, his two drivers last year probably. That should also be more or less the sum that Honda and Yamaha paid for their two factory riders. These figures only apply to the MotoGP elite.
The first source of funding varies when we talk about factory teams and customer teams. While the factory teams cause costs, private teams are to bring in money. The factory teams are their own customers, the cash flow comes from the manufacturer it represents. Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, KTM ...
The racing departments set the budget. These are multi-million dollar investments that, in addition to the sporting achievements, also serve the further development, research and training of engineers in a particularly demanding environment. It's all about the best technologies and spreading the brand message around the world.
All this justifies the millions of euros that the six MotoGP manufacturers spend each year. The costs are only reduced by the contribution of sponsors. In the case of the big works, the Japanese, sponsors are more of a marketing tool than an economic necessity. An important condition is therefore that the sponsors do not interfere with the work processes of the team.
There are sponsors who directly pay money, others are technical sponsors associated with the motorsport world, who supply or advertise with materials to the teams.
Another source of income is the Dorna. She pays every manufacturer for every motorcycle he uses in the World Cup.
The financing of customer teams looks very different because they exist for a completely different reason. It is not about technical development and research, although in some cases promotion of the manufacturer is one of the goals. As with Pramac-Ducati. But most teams are companies whose ultimate goal is to make money. An exception is the team of Marc van der Straten, who is so happy to have been born in a financially privileged environment. He runs his MotoGP team because of his joy in being able to follow the front-line races.
Financing private teams is complicated. The cost is high, while the difference in competitiveness compared to factory team makes it difficult to find enough strong sponsors to pay for this "party". Since it was a constant problem for many years to cover the budget, Dorna is now helping the customer teams with 2.5 million euros per driver and season. An aid that basically covers the cost of motorcycles. So it equals about 50 percent of the budget.
Team Repsol Honda
• Honda motorcycle manufacturer (Japan)
• Repsol fuels (Spain)
• Red Bull Energy Drink (Austria)
The relationship between the Spanish oil company Repsol and Honda has been in existence since 1995. The collaboration goes beyond the MotoGP World Championship and a simple sponsorship deal since HRC replaced its former sponsor ELF with the Spaniards. Red Bull has been on the HRC bike fair since 2015.
Team Movistar Yamaha
• Yamaha motorcycle manufacturer (Japan)
• Movistar Telecommunications (Spain)
• Monster Energy Drink (USA)
After collaborating with Honda teams like Gresini and leaving the World Cup through a back door, which was considered a disloyalty to the Japanese, Movistar returned to the World Championship with Yamaha in 2014 to promote the new in-house pay-per-view TV platform , Monster, as in Red Bull and Honda, landed after the leathers of Rossi and Lorenzo then on the disguise of the M1.
Team Suzuki Ecstar
• Suzuki motorcycle manufacturer (Japan)
• Ecstar lubricants (Japan)
Since they follow the model of first looking for sponsors, "if we are competitive", so attractive from a marketing point of view, the manufacturer from Hamamatsu pays the MotoGP bill itself. On the panel emblazoned the logo Ecstar, Suzuki's lubricant brand. If anyone wonders that two lubricant manufacturers advertise on the same bike: Ecstar and Motul are sister companies.
Team Ducati Corse
• Ducati motorcycle manufacturer (Italy)
• Philip Morris tobacco (multinational)
• Shell mineral oil (Netherlands)
Ducati's relationship with her travel companion goes back almost to the beginnings of the Dutch oil company. The connection goes far beyond the sponsorship since 1999, because it is a comprehensive technical cooperation. The collaboration with the seemingly absent but actually very present company Phillip Morris, the most influential tobacco company in the world, began at the birth of the MotoGP project. The Superbike World Championship saw the L & M logo on Ben Bostrom's bike. Wow, how time flies.
Team Red Bull KTM
• KTM motorcycle manufacturer (Austria)
• Red Bull Energy Drink (Austria)
• Motorex lubricant (Switzerland)
"KTM and Red Bull are two of the same," KTM said when asked about the relationship with the world's leading producer of energy drinks. The duo is additionally supported by the Swiss lubricant manufacturer Motorex, which will be featured on the KTM equipment of all three classes from now on. In addition, all motorcycles from Mattighofen are now equipped with the lubricants from Motorex. KTM, Red Bull and Motorex are now forming a solid marriage of three companies.
Team Aprilia Racing Gresini
• Aprilia motorcycle manufacturer (Italy)
• Now TV Sky TV Station (Italy)
• Tribul Mastercard bank (multinational)
The influential Piaggio Group is behind the Aprilia project. However, the team places belong to Fausto Gresini. Now TV, the Sky alternative to Netflix, has been supporting them for several years now. End of 2017 Tribul Mastercard was added.
Team LCR Honda
• Givi Motorcycle Accessories (Italy)
• Castrol Lubricant (United Kingdom)
• Rizoma motorcycle accessories (Italy)
• At Takaaki Nakagami also Idemitsu Lubricating Oils (Japan)
A special case is Lucio Cecchinello's team. A true sponsor tightrope forced the team to redesign the disguise of the bikes for each Grand Prix. At Takaaki Nakagami, who joined the team as the second driver for 2018, Idemitsu joined. Probably the only sponsor for his side of the team. This Japanese sponsor is considered a loyal partner of Honda.
Team EC 0,0 Marc VDS
• Marc VDS patron (Belgium)
• Estrella Galicia Brewery (Spain)
• Total Oil (France)
A unique project by team owner Marc van der Straten. A beer billionaire and Belgian entrepreneur who can pay the budget for his MotoGP team out of pocket. Strangely, their main sponsor is a brewery from Spain, which came under the leadership of Emilio Alzamora and Marc Márquez in the World Cup. A project like that of van der Straten is certainly a rarity.
Team Alma Pramac Ducati
• Pramac generators (Italy)
• Alma Human Resources Management (Italy)
• FIAMM batteries (Italy)
The "Junior Team" of Ducati is a private team owned by Pramac boss Paolo Campinoti and managed by a company that uses it as a global advertisement for its own brand.
Team Reale Avintia
• Real Seguros Insurance (Spain)
• Avintia Construction Company (Spain)
• Croisi Europe Tourism (Belgium)
After a team member, who also owns the construction company Avintia, left the team, Reale Seguros, a subsidiary of Generali, became the main sponsor of the racing team of Raúl Romero in 2017. This season, Croisi Europe was joined by Xavier Siméon, a Belgian company specializing in river cruises. Tito Rabat also contributes a good deal to the budget to receive a 2017 Ducati.
Team Ángel Nieto
• Pull & Bear Clothing (Spain)
• Gaviota Sunscreen (Spain)
The Aspar Martinez team, which was renamed in honor of Ángel Nieto in 2018, is still waiting for a deal with a third sponsor to complete the 2018 budget. The former Aspar team takes money through a pay driver. He paid to get second place in the team: Karel Abraham.
Team Tech3 Yamaha
• Monster Energy Drink (USA)
• De Walt Power Tool (USA)
• Motul lubricant (France)
One of the most solid customer teams in the MotoGP World Championship. The professionalism with which Hervé Poncharal runs his team ensures that the sponsor deals last for many years. That's why it was the door to which KTM knocked for their first MotoGP satellite team.