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Dall'Igna: "the new rules for 2027? I expected a hybrid MotoGP."

"MotoGP must also be technologically beautiful and efficiency-oriented. There is a lack of innovation. If the regulations had remained stable we would have reached speeds too high for safety, but I would have liked some sort of hybridization."

Dall'Igna: "the new rules for 2027? I expected a hybrid MotoGP."
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On the eve of the French GP weekend, Ducati Corse General Manager Gigi Dall'Igna was guest of our Bar Sport to talk about the new MotoGP technical regulations, which will come into force in 2027. A revolution that will see among the main changes the decrease in engine size from 1000 to 850 cc, the abolition of lowering devices and a reduction of aerodynamics.

"It's a compromise that I think has something good in it, because I think trying to limit the maximum speed of the bike is definitely a good thing from a safety point of view. Considering that we are always making strides in terms of engine performance and bike speed, and we still have almost ten years ahead of us, I think that if the regulations had remained stable we would have arrived at speeds that are too high for the tracks and for safety in general," noted the engineer from the  Veneto. "I consider the reduction in engine size to be very positive, but there are other aspects in my opinion not so much, in the sense that this regulation will go on until 2032, so I expected it to have included some more innovative elements under the profile of the bike and energy recovery."

Would you have liked a hybrid engine?
"A little bit of hybridization in my opinion would have been a positive signal. Clearly it would have been important to find a way to keep costs down, because these technologies have significant costs. This was probably the brake that prevented the use of these technologies, but for me, trying to limit the cost of these components overall, perhaps finding a single supplier for the more expensive parts, would have been an interesting element of innovation for the motorcycle world."

It is true that MotoGP is experimentation, but would you see a hybrid Panigale on the street?
"I think it is really stupid to throw into dissipating brakes an amount of energy that could be recovered. I think in 20 or 30 years it will be impossible for a vehicle to have conventional brakes, because efficiency has to be the line that guides us in developing technologies."

On brakes, however, no changes were made. For example, carbon brakes could be ditched for carboceramics, which could also be used in series production.
"This is a part that could perhaps be incorporated later. Whether it's carboceramic or carbon, it's all about traditional braking, so all you need to do is reach an agreement."

As you said, with the reduction in engine size you reduce horsepower, but you also reduce the overall load on the bike. As a result, you lose some km/h of power, but you might gain some because you have less wing.
"This may be true, as it may not be. A less powerful bike necessarily also leads to a reduction in downforce, because it needs it less and because the speed aspect also becomes more important. So, the wings would probably be reduced anyway. In my opinion there will be a significant reduction in the overall speed of the bike, partly because it is true that with wings you have more drag, but they also allow you to accelerate much more and make better use of the engine. Before the introduction of aerodynamics, the stage where the engine was important to the performance of the bike at some tracks was almost zero. In Jerez, for example, engine power mattered practically nothing, whereas now it matters something there as well."

Will decreasing the displacement by 150 cc and having somewhat smaller wings really be enough to reduce performance, or within five years will we be back to today's levels?
"My guess is that we will get to reasonably similar performance to what we have today at the end of 2032. If we hadn't made this change we would have gone significantly faster."

With the 850 cc displacement you will also gain revs. Will it reach the 20,000 of the 1979 NR?
"The limitation on fuel consumption is quite important, and fuel consumption and revs are two things that don't really go together well, so I'm not convinced that there will be an incredible push toward finding higher revs, precisely because you will have to calibrate the compromise with finishing the races."

How much will you miss the lowering devices?
"It may be that currently we still have a small advantage in terms of lowering devices, because we are the ones who developed them first and perhaps mastered this technology better. However, I believe that by 2027 we will have achieved substantial standardization of systems. It is clear that some other ideas will have to be found to go faster, to improve the system overall and also give a little more appeal to MotoGP, which also has to be beautiful from a technological point of view and has to have a lot of interesting concepts, because in my opinion the public also likes to talk about things other than just the sporting aspect on the track. Having a poor F1 probably doesn't interest anyone."

Dall'Igna: "The rules will have to be revised in SBK as well, to keep the two categories apart."

Is there a risk that with a 1,000 cc SBK, on certain circuits, the same times could be set?
"With the Panigale V4 we come within three seconds of a MotoGP bike confirming how performing and super fast our production bikes are. Of course, it will be necessary to find the right balance of regulations in Superbike as well. Therefore, after defining the MotoGP one, I expect a revision of the production-derived regs as well, in order to keep the two categories distant. Therefore, in my opinion, we need a thorough reflection on what will be the Superbike of the future. This is not written anywhere, but I expect it."

Also among the issues in the new regulations is GPS. What are your thoughts on it?
"It's like having access to part of the telemetry, as data sharing benefits those chasing rather than those in front. We also have to bear a penalty in that respect. It is something that is already done in F1 and I think it makes sense to bring it to MotoGP as well, since it will help to have balance and make a spectacle. To date we have videometrics, which is a less robust analysis, but just as expensive and cumbersome."

Gigi, what are Ducati's plans. Have you already started to move?
"At the moment there is still a discussion related to the 2026 engine freeze, something that we as Ducati are sponsoring in a big way, because developing two different projects involves high costs, especially for European manufacturers that have fewer resources. Since everyone says that aerodynamics and lowerers are a cost, which in my opinion is not true, I hope that on the engine freeze we can arrive at a way to offer a fair compromise."

You said you would like a hybrid MotoGP.
"Yes, even in a marginal way of course - I'm thinking of something like KERS, so that there would be an improvement in straight-line performance. In two-strokes there was an attempt, but it went outside the regulations."

What do you like most about these regulations?
"I would say the reduction in overall bike performance, as the term safety is often abused, but then many people put on a poker face. This in my opinion is an important issue. The part that puzzled me the most, however, considering that the new regulations will be until 2032, is that I expected a step further in terms of innovation than what we currently see in motorcycles. All in the pursuit of efficiency."

Newey announced his farewell to Red Bull. There are rumors of his future in Ferrari and also in MotoGP. What are your thoughts on that? He is a car racer, while we have never seen you ride your motorcycles.
"The moment I retire, I will organize a party at the circuit, making the motorcycles I have available to all the guests so we can all have fun together and say a cheerful goodbye to the racing world."

Returning to the subject of MotoGP, Bagnaia's choice of teammate for 2025 continues to hold sway.
"At the moment we are still thinking about it, because it is a difficult decision and we know that we will have to leave some important champions at home and we are sorry about that. So we are taking our time, allowing our riders to express themselves at their best and avoiding playing around with people's lives to arrive at a right choice."

 

Translated by Julian Thomas

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