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Print

MotoGP, What a joke! Ducati is Factory again

Tuesday, 18 March 2014 15:15 by Paolo Scalera - MotoGP

Andrea Dovizioso nei test di Sepang 2 con la centralina Marelli (evidenziata dal cerchio assieme alla pulsantiera) ed il software Open.  - GPOne.com On the eve of the start of the 2014 World Championship, the Grand Prix Commission has given birth to some new rules for the MotoGP class with immediate effect and others with effect from 2016.

The most important news is that the GPC, taken note of the “surprising” passage of Ducati to the Open category, has decided to restore the Italian Constructor among the Factory entries, however according them the advantage to compete under the 'Open' specs as regards fuel limit, number of engines and tyres. This also means that Ducati, good Factory that it got to be again, will be allowed to race with its proprietary software.

The Commission confirmed the introduction of restrictions in case of victory or multiple placements as it was assumed for the unborn Factory 2 that, in the end, won’t see the light.

In simple words, the MSMA is gifting Ducati, as they did in the past with Suzuki, with a few concessions to help the Italian Factory to be competitive again. Concessions that will be reduced when competitiveness will be recovered. At the same time, the same Article 2 prevents Honda and Yamaha, both winners of at least one Grand Prix the last year, to move to the Open category during the season.

A corner kick of Dorna therefore, so to have the cake and eat it, with the further achievement of having the MSMA approving the Championship ECU and software mandatory for all entries with effect from 2016 (instead of starting from 2017). That is no small matter.

"We should be happy with the Article 1 above all - Ducati MotoGP Project Director Paolo Ciabatti commented - From 2016 everyone will have the same ECU and software. It’s a big step forward and the real target besides of allowing who is behind (as we are) to keep working on the development".

The Dorna press release:

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Ignacio Verneda (FIM Executive Director, Sport), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA), in a meeting held on 18th March 2014 in Qatar, unanimously approved the following matters concerning the MotoGP class.

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 litres of fuel and the same tyres 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 litres. Furthermore, should the same Manufacturer achieve three race wins in the 2014 season the manufacturer would also lose the right to use the soft tyres 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.

Translated by Federica De Zottis