Photography by Gold & Goose
After an off-season of somewhat muddy waters when it relates to the MotoGP rulebook, things got a little clearer today on the eve of the opening Grand Prix of the season with the announcement coming down from the Grand Prix Commission that the entire MotoGP class will use spec ECUs and software beginning with the 2016 season.
As for the current season that is set to begin in Qatar this week… well that also got a bit clearer with the following changes that came via an FIM release this morning. For starters, Ducati will now race in the Factory class because of a new provision that allows manufacturers who have not won a GP in dry conditions in the previous season to race under the Open class rules. The concession changes if the team in question has good enough results to warrant the use of less fuel, harder tires, etc.
For 2014 there are only two options: Factory and Open. The discussed Factory 2 class is no longer required based on the changes.
The release is as follows:
1. The Championship ECU and software will be mandatory for all entries with effect from 2016.
All current and prospective participants in the MotoGP class will collaborate to assist with the design and development of the Championship ECU software.
During the development of the software a closed user web site will be set up to enable participants to monitor software development and to input their suggested modifications.
2. With immediate effect, a Manufacturer with entries under the factory option who has not achieved a win in dry conditions in the previous year, or new Manufacturer entering the Championship, is entitled to use 12 engines per rider per season (no design freezing), 24 liters of fuel and the same tires allocation and testing opportunities as the Open category. This concession is valid until the start of the 2016 season.
3. The above concessions will be reduced under the following circumstances:
Should any rider, or combination of riders nominated by the same Manufacturer, participating under the conditions of described in clause 2 above, achieve a race win, two second places or three podium places in dry conditions during the 2014 season then for that Manufacturer the fuel tank capacity will be reduced to 22 liters. Furthermore, should the same Manufacturer achieve three race wins in the 2014 season the manufacturer would also lose the right to use the soft tires available to Open category entries.
In each case the reduced concessions will apply to the remaining events of the 2014 season and the whole of the 2015 season.