Riders Don’t Like One-Bike Rule

Michael Scott | April 1, 2009

The rule MotoGP rule changes that were confirmed in a press conference at the Jerez test in Spain over the weekend were met with mixed responses, but the riders were most concerned about the one-bike rule – and especially the effect that rule would have on races hit by rain.Under current rules they can stop and switch to a rain-equipped machine. The new rule means that races will either have to be stopped and restarted, or that setting changes will have to be made in the pits. This would include switching to steel brakes from carbon – unless carbons are also to be banned.”I kind of like the way they do wet races now, switching bikes and that,” Nicky Hayden said.Valentino Rossi concurred, and raised another point. “What happens if you crash in the first minute of qualifying and wreck your bike. You will have to start from the back of the grid.”Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha crew chief Jerry Burgess thought the one-bike rule would not affect costs.

“Everyone will have to have a spare bike in case there is a disaster, but it will be in pieces in the back of the truck instead of in the pit. It’s just a different way of arranging the spares.”The GP commission, with FIM President Vito Ippolito in attendance, has decided on a radical new set of cost-cutting measures to be introduced to MotoGP racing next season.The most swingeing is the one that cuts riders down to having just one bike at each event.The number of engines for the season is slashed to six, while other changes include a limit to numbers of pit workers and an increase of two kilograms (4.4 pounds) in minimum weight.Another unexpected change, unrelated to cost cutting, dictates that any rider eligible for the Rookie’s Cup in MotoGP may not ride for a factory team, but must first serve time in a satellite outfit.A proposal to cut each event from three days to two was not accepted, but remains a possibility.The important changes in full are:

* only one machine for each event

* a maximum of six engines for the season

* event schedules to be revised

* metal or fiber matrix composite material is not allowed, nor tubular connecting rods

* tire temperature sensors are banned

* wheel rim width is restricted to two sizes for the front and one for the rear, and diameter is set at 16.5 inches

* variable exhaust systems, valve timing or valve lift are banned

* DSG (twin-system) clutches, automatic or CVT transmissions are not permitted

* GPS systems (used especially by Ducati and Yamaha for traction control) are banned

* minimum weight is up by two kilograms – meaning 150kg (330 pounds) for a four-cylinder

* only five mechanics can work on a bike during sessions

Michael Scott | MotoGP Editor

Scott has been covering MotoGP since long before it was MotoGP. Remember two-strokes? Scott does. He’s also a best-selling author of biographies on the lives of legendary racers such as Wayne Rainey and Barry Sheene.