Factory 2 Rules Adopted For 2014, Spec Software Compulsory In MotoGP From 2016 Season Onwards

After a week of debate and discussion, the Grand Prix Commission has finally reached an agreement on the Factory 2 class. It took many hours of phone calls, and full agreement was not reached until late on Monday afternoon, but the agreement contains some significant changes to the long-term future of the MotoGP championship. The Factory 2 proposal has been adopted in a slightly modified guise, with any manufacturer entering in the Open class liable to lose fuel and soft tires should they win races. But the bigger news is that the full MotoGP class will switch to use the spec software and ECU from the 2016 season, a year earlier than expected. 

The proposals adopted by the GPC now lays out a plan for MotoGP moving forward to 2016. In 2014 and 2015, there will be only two categories - Open and Factory Option - with the set of rules agreed at the end of last year. The new proposal sees manufacturers without a dry weather win in three years to compete as Factory Option entries, but with all of the advantages of the Open class - more fuel, more tires, no engine freeze and unlimited testing. However, should they start to achieve success, they will start to lose first fuel, and then the soft tires. If Ducati - for it is mainly Ducati to which these rules apply, as they are currently the only manufacturer who are eligible at the moment - score 1 win, 2 second place finishes or 3 third places during dry races, then all bikes entered by Ducati will have their fuel cut from 24 to 22 liters for each race. Should Ducati win 3 races in the dry, they will also lose use of the softer rear tires which the Open category entries can use. If Ducati were to lose the extra fuel or tires during 2014, they would also have to race under the same conditions in 2015.

The concession is similar to that made for Suzuki after the engine durability rules were first introduced. Suzuki was struggling to last a season with just the 6 engines allowed at the time (now reduced to 5). As Suzuki had not won a dry race for several years, an exception was made for any manufacturer who had remained winless to use more engines. This is that principle, applied in reverse. Ducati is allowed to effectively run under Open category rules, to allow them to develop their engines, but once they catch up, they will be subject to an extra limitation, first of fuel, then of tires. The loss of fuel and tires will be applied and judged per manufacturer. In other words, if Andrea Dovizioso, Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Iannone achieve the 2 second places or 3 thirds between them, then they will all be subject to restrictions. 

With Ducati now back as a Factory Option entry (but with the advantages of the Open category) they are once again free to use their own software, but with the extra fuel allowance of the Open category. This advantage will be offset if they are too successful, by the reduction to 22 liters of fuel. At Ducati's MotoGP launch in Munich last week, Gigi Dall'Igna had told the media that he believed 22.5 liters could prove to be a disadvantage at some tracks using the championship software. Even the latest, 2014 version would not allow them enough control to manage on that little fuel. Now, running their own software, they can manage less fuel. It also means that the Open entries will all be on the same, less complex 2013 software which they had been using throughout testing. The rule change also allows Suzuki to return as a Factory Option entry in 2015, and yet still enjoy the same benefits as the Open teams.

The much bigger announcement made in the FIM press release was that the introduction of spec software has been both approved and brought forward a year, to 2016. That spec software would be proposed was well known, as Dorna has made it clear that this was the path they wanted the championship to head down for the past four years. Carmelo Ezpeleta had tried to push the GPC to accept spec software at the time of the switch to 1000cc, at the start of the 2012 season. The factories rejected that idea, however, and Dorna introduced the CRT category instead, to help fill the grids which had dwindled to just 17 full time entries. The switch to a single ECU for the 2014 season helped persuade Ducati to make the switch to the new Open class, but the Japanese factories - and especially Honda - resisted any attempt to impose the spec championship software on all entries. HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto had threatened multiple times that Honda would pull out of MotoGP if the spec software were to be adopted.

Whether HRC has changed its position or not remains to be seen, but as the GPC proposal was adopted unanimously, it means that at least two of the three manufacturers in MotoGP approved adopting the spec software a year earlier than projected, starting in 2016, rather than a year later, when the current contracts between Dorna and the MSMA factories all expire. What could have persuaded the MSMA to accept the spec software proposal was the way the software is to be handled. All of the factories competing in MotoGP will have an input on the development on software, and be able to monitor progress. This could allow factories to still pursue some R&D goals indirectly with electronics, rather than being excluded altogether.

This does raise the prospect of software becoming too complex, but Dorna will be gambling on two things. Firstly, that as all code is visible to all of the manufacturers, no factory will introduce its most complex and advanced ideas, for fear of other factories copying the concept in their own road bikes. And secondly, because Dorna still controls exactly what actually goes into the software, they will still be able to reject ideas which they believe could drive costs up too much for private teams.

The question is, whether this agreement is the end point for discussions on the championship software for MotoGP, or whether this is a point along the road. In extensive discussions with key stakeholders in the rulemaking process, MotoMatters.com has been told many times that the final goal for Dorna and IRTA is to have a rev limit in place, and software which is simple enough for privateer teams to be able to learn quickly and use properly. Getting all entries to use the championship software means that it will become possible to enforce a rev limit simply and quickly. Reducing the complexity of the software could be a process which takes several years to accomplish.

The real victory of the agreement is that from 2016, MotoGP will have a single set of rules again. There will be one category, with everyone running under the same rules: spec software, 24 liters of fuel, 12 engines. As of 2014, the extra bike in Parc Ferme will disappear, the best Open bike only appearing in Parc Ferme if it gets onto the front row during qualifying or the podium during the race. From 2016, that question won't even be asked, as there will only be a single, MotoGP class again.

The full text of the press release from the FIM appears below:


FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix

Decision of the Grand Prix Commission

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 an electronic meeting held on 18 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.

After a week of debate and discussion, the Grand Prix Commission has finally reached an agreement on the Factory 2 class. It took many hours of phone calls, and full agreement was not reached until late on Monday afternoon, but the agreement contains some significant changes to the long-term future of the MotoGP championship. The Factory 2 proposal has been adopted in a slightly modified guise, with any manufacturer entering in the Open class liable to lose fuel and soft tires should they win races. But the bigger news is that the full MotoGP class will switch to use the spec software and ECU from the 2016 season, a year earlier than expected. The proposals adopted by the GPC now lays out a plan for MotoGP moving forward to 2016. In 2014 and 2015, there will be only two categories - Open and Factory Option - with the set of rules agreed at the end of last year. The new proposal sees manufacturers without a dry weather win in three years to compete as Factory Option entries, but with all of the advantages of the Open class - more fuel, more tires, no engine freeze and unlimited testing. However, should they start to achieve success, they will start to lose first fuel, and then the soft tires. If Ducati - for it is mainly Ducati to which these rules apply, as they are currently the only manufacturer who are eligible at the moment - score 1 win, 2 second place finishes or 3 third places during dry races, then all bikes entered by Ducati will have their fuel cut from 24 to 22 liters for each race. Should Ducati win 3 races in the dry, they will also lose use of the softer rear tires which the Open category entries can use. If Ducati were to lose the extra fuel or tires during 2014, they would also have to race under the same conditions in 2015.

Comments

The FIM release doesn't

The FIM release doesn't specify how large the "Dorna" sticker on the side of the Ducatis will be. But I guess this is one way to make sure the Ducs stick around for 2014 and 2015.

So from 2016, almost all the bikes will have spec tires, the same forks, the same shock, the same brakes, and the same electronics hardware and software designed by all the competing manufacturers in collaboration?

We've already developed something like that here in the States:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_of_Tomorrow

Total votes: 36

Engine

Don't forget that the engines also have limits in cylinders and bore which "the Dorna CEO described the decision to limit the bore to 81mm as follows: "It's a very important measurement because with this we can have all the characteristics of the engine."

Source: http://www.motomatters.com/news/2009/12/11/new_2012_motogp_regulations_4...

Next it will be clutch (probably bye-bye seamless) and rev-limit. Moto 1 soon?
Not long before road bikes are more tricked up than a motogp race machine with electronic adjustable suspension, loads of electronics and weighing roughly the same.
But that's 2016 and there is only a few days to go before the start of the season!

Total votes: 25

Moto1 or a parade?

There are many differences between 4 & 2 wheel racing...(says Capt. Obvious). Ever wonder why NO 4 wheel driver has EVER accomplished anything of consequence on a m/c..yet the reverse has happened (J. Surtess vs. M. Schumacher).

The powers that be have to balance technical advancement ($$$) vs. the show. Unfettered Honda rules have begotten 800cc, 20 liters, seamless gearboxes, & multi-million $ electronics..impressive technology surely... but boring racing.

No one complains about the racing spectacle of Moto2 so why not a less restricted Moto1, would you rather see bar-to-bar or someone other than the best rider win JUST because of a technical advantage?

MotoGP is first & foremost a riders championship..80-20 sounds about right.

BTW, When Richard Petty had a Hemi & won by 30+ seconds the racing wasn't all that great either.

Total votes: 18

Hm

This may be a reasonable compromise, but I'm not sure. It all depends on how much control Dorna has over the software being used. That is completely unclear at the moment.

If Honda and Yamaha stay after 2015 I reckon the answer to that is 'not a lot'.

Total votes: 14

Control of the software

Dorna have complete control of the software. Magneti Marelli have a contract with Dorna to supply software and hardware, and all changes must go through Corrado Cecchinelli. No doubt that Dorna will be willing to listen to input from the factories, but they will still retain the final say.

Either Yamaha or Honda or both accepted the spec software. The decision was unanimous, and so the MSMA voted in favor as well. That means that it is very unlikely that both will pull out. And if Ducati, Suzuki and, say, Yamaha are racing, the chances that Honda will pull out are small. Yamaha has a five year contract with Movistar, so they will not be able to pull out easily anyway.

And as for the end of prototype racing, that ended in the 1930s, when superchargers were banned.

Total votes: 41

Dorna may have complete

Dorna may have complete control on paper but everybody knows that's not the case in practice. There will still be endless negotiations and concessions and compromises. Dorna is clearly not willing to let Honda and Yamaha walk away and they don't really want to be forced to leave. They're still stuck with each other.

I don't think that much will change, frankly. I am somewhat happy about having more fuel available though.

Total votes: 17

yeah, about that

remind me again why they were banned? :-)

"And as for the end of prototype racing, that ended in the 1930s, when superchargers were banned"

Total votes: 13

unanimous

I am pretty sure you talked about this in some previous post but please enlighten me again. Unanimous doesn't mean every single factory in the MSMA agrees, it just means that the majority of the factories in the MSMA agree. You yourself said there must've been one descenter (sp?), probably Honda, but since the majority agreed therefore the MSMA as a body approved the change.

I suggest in the future that you just use the word MSMA and leave out the word unanimous; we all know that it is not the case.

Total votes: 15

Forward Racing M1s

How will the Yamaha M1s used by Forward Racing be classified? They are factory bikes which have won races in the last three years being, according to Aleix Espargaro, the same machine as what Lorenzo rode in 2012.

Total votes: 13

Not entered by a factory

Forward is an Open class entry, using the championship software. Will not be affected.

Total votes: 16

From what I have read here........

This actually makes a modicum of sense. At LONG last, the whole farce of the past 2 years is going to be put to bed. Doubtless there will be some obligatory dummy spitting from (mostly) HRC. And maybe Yamaha. But it seems like Dorna may have actually grown a pair (however small) and put their foot down.

I hope we can all get back to bike racing again now.

Total votes: 27

Ducati forced (or convinced to return) to factory status?

From what the rules say on the motogp web site - http://www.motogp.com/en/news/2014/Grand+Prix+Commission+decision+on+upd... - Ducati could still opt to race under the open ruleset and completely ignore the new changes:


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.

So, I guess they were forced or in other ways convinced to go back to being factory entries.

Total votes: 10

It's not a choice

You can demand GPC to run under Factory or Open class rules, but it's GPC who decides. It was the same with CRT (remember ART).........

Total votes: 10

Fundamental difference between CRT and Open

The fundamental difference between CRT and open is that the CRT class did not allow manufacturers to get too involved, and thereby sneaking in through the back door. This in turn forced the GPC to decide whether a team was CRT or factory on a per team basis, and at the same time made it a judgement call - if it looked like factory, it was factory.

The open class is (was) much simpler. If you run the spec software, you get to run under open class rules, no need for a GPC decision.

Total votes: 15

I know the difference

Between CRT and open class (i'm a FIM Senior Technical Steward). I only wanted to point out that GPC decides almost everything.......

Total votes: 15

I just wanted to point out

I just wanted to point out that, as far as I can see at least (I'm definitely no technical steward), the open rules are more black or white than the CRT rules and leaves (or at least left) less room for judgement calls regarding classification. This is from my point of view a good thing, as I think rules should be plain and simple as much as possible. The CRT rules were a heap of crap in that regard, since the level of factory involvement required to be "upgraded" to factory status felt like it was completely arbitrary. Luckily enough no team got "upgraded".

Now, it seems like they've added some clause(s) saying that factory backed teams are not allowed to run in the open class, which at least makes it less arbitrary than the factory involvement limit of the CRT class.

Just to be clear: I wasn't trying to school anyone in the differences between the CRT and the open rules. I just wanted to express that (at least as far as I understand) the CRT rules left it open for interpretation and judgement as to whether a team was CRT or not, while I think that the open rules do not (either you run the spec SW or you don't). At least until now.

Total votes: 12

agreed

My observations in regards to the field:

1. Ducati got faster by this decision. They get their FACTORY non-open software back, 24L of fuel, AND the softer option tire. How in any way, with this being a one title championship, are teams like LCR Honda or Tech3 Yamaha more happy about this decision?

2. This decision completely blocks Suzuki from returning as an OPEN entry in 2015 as many had hinted and even mentioned by Brivio himself.

3. However this unblocks them from restrictions of being a winning FACTORY team with engine freezes and 5 engines. So in theory, Suzuki can come back in 2015 with their own electronics, 24L of fuel and the softer tire and 12 engines.

Total votes: 16

Not using their own electronics, though.

They are still required to use the spec ECU.

Total votes: 15

all teams use MM hardware

all teams use the mandated MM hardware. No exceptions. Ducati gets to use their in house developed software that is predictably a step above of what they were going to be running as the 2014 factory 2 "upgraded championship" software.

So like I said, they seemingly improved their competitiveness from prior to a day ago.

Total votes: 13

Yes, I know. My response was

Yes, I know. My response was to this section in the comment above mine:

So in theory, Suzuki can come back in 2015 with their own electronics, 24L of fuel and the softer tire and 12 engines.

Total votes: 10

no, yes, yes

1. How could they be?. But their strings are pulled by Yamaha and Honda.

2. Yup, but they get all the open benefits until they start hitting the podium.

3. Now that it seems ECU software is no longer the separator between the 2 classes, looks like they can. For 1 year. Guess they'll figure what's best long term.

Since the new spec software released in Sepang was evidently more or less Ducati factory software - which only Ducati could afford to use effectively - they must have just capitulated and let them use their own. And then gone with these convenient rules. 2 classes doesn't look as silly as 3!

Total votes: 11

agreed

My observations in regards to the field:

1. Ducati got faster by this decision. They get their FACTORY non-open software back, 24L of fuel, AND the softer option tire. How in any way, with this being a one title championship, are teams like LCR Honda or Tech3 Yamaha more happy about this decision?

2. This decision completely blocks Suzuki from returning as an OPEN entry in 2015 as many had hinted and even mentioned by Brivio himself.

3. However this unblocks them from restrictions of being a winning FACTORY team with engine freezes and 5 engines. So in theory, Suzuki can come back in 2015 with their own electronics, 24L of fuel and the softer tire and 12 engines.

Total votes: 11

I know the difference

Between CRT and open class (i'm a FIM Senior Technical Steward). I only wanted to point out that GPC decides almost everything.......

Total votes: 17

Now that the software is settled...

There needs to be a good tire choice for the teams to choose from. If they refuse to open the tire wars back up so tire companies can work with the needs of the factory to produce a tire, there needs to be good options for the teams to work with.

I am hoping that the spec software will entice more factories to join the fray. The more teams with better machinery will help showcase the talent of some of the riders who are not throwing a leg over a factory Honda or Yamaha, and that is one of the things this championship sorely needs.

Total votes: 18

Aleix Espargaro

What happens if, let's fantasize a bit, Aleix Espargaro wins a dry race? Do you think the factories will let that go by because he is open class.........

Total votes: 20

They have to.

Since they just helped make these new rules, they have no choice. This is about Ducati. Despite Aleix's pace in testing, the factories probably don't think he's likely to be a consistent podium threat. Whereas Ducati has put enough doubt in their mind.

Total votes: 13

jokes

And the best save costs joke goes to:
''they will still be able to reject ideas which they believe could drive costs up too much for private teams.''

Runner up save cost joke:
''24 liters of fuel, 12 engines''
Ezpeleta said 20 liters and 5 engines made exactly for that purpose...

Total votes: 14

20 liters and 5 engines

Dorna asked the factories for cost-saving ideas. The factories put forward limiting the number of engines used. After the initial investment, it has saved money.

20 liters is what the factories want. Dorna have always opposed it on cost grounds, because Dorna say the fuel restrictions make the racing far too expensive. But the MSMA insisted they wanted an engineering challenge, and having limited fuel was the challenge they wanted.

Total votes: 23

Dorna have always opposed it

Always? I think they opposed only in the first place when factories proposed it. And further more they did not opposed strongly.
Mention that they opposed to this bad (for the sport) idea only the first time. The second proposal (20lt & 5 engines) is Ezpeleta's alone.
If I'm wrong please correct me.

Total votes: 8

20 liters and 5 engines

Both requests for 20 liters for 2014 and 5 engines for 2013 came from the MSMA. They were put forward by the MSMA, Dorna expressed their opposition in the strongest terms, but the MSMA insisted, it was a unanimous decision. As a result, the members of the Grand Prix Commission were bound by the rules to agree to both these measures, despite opposing them. I was told both by representatives of IRTA and representatives of Dorna that they had opposed the requests, but been forced to accept them.

This one is all on the factories, not on Dorna. Dorna may have made some bad decisions in the past, but neither the reduction in fuel, nor the reduction in engines was one of them.

Total votes: 17

Thank you David for helping

Thank you David for helping us sort through the implications of the rules du jour. My initial reaction is positive, as though Carmelo has been diplomatic in the handling of such disparate Factory requests and threats. He is helping Ducati do the testing and modifications necessary to get back to the front, which Audi clearly desires. Honda and Yamaha have some hope for their continued engineering challenge with input into the 2016+ software and with 12 engines limited in revs, we might see costs come under control. Here is hoping the fans get great racing like we did in 2013, just with more than three riders able to take 25 points each Sunday.

Total votes: 20

I hope it sticks

I like it, and I hope it sticks around for the full 2 years and beyond. I also hope the 2016 software is dramatically simplified in terms of less rider aids. Return traction control to the riders right wrist (plus a highside-preventing safety program in the spec ECU).

Maybe the software development process is in fact the Honda face saving process?? I hope so.

Total votes: 15

confused.com

so do Ducati start the season with their own software or with the 2014 spec software and only have the option to use their own package if their fuel allowance is cut to 22 litres?

Total votes: 13

Beat me to the punch

Was just about to ask the same thing. Also, if Ducati win this year, do they have an engine freeze for 2015?

Total votes: 17

I read it that they're

I read it that they're allowed to use their own software and will be limited by fuel and tires if they achieve success.

So basically now all the manufacturers will give Magneti Marelli code to copy and paste to the "spec" software and they can use that in the spec ECU. Actually everyone can. I guess that's better, though to me it seems more of the same in different packaging.

What's to stop someone from putting in another ECU that adds in some of the functionality that Dorna decides to take out? A piggyback ECU type of thing? That takes the signal from the spec ECU and translates it again to what they want? Let's say that they want to remove turn-by-turn wheelie control and TC. What would keep them from putting in another ECU that keeps track of the distance traveled just like they do now, re-translate the signal from the spec ECU and say "what I really want here is this"?

Total votes: 18

Unanimous

Doesn't unanimous mean all agreed , as opposed to majority ?

Total votes: 20

It means

That Dorna, MSMA, IRTA and FIM agreed, within MSMA 2 out of 3 is enough for a yes at their end of the GPC. So or Honda, or Yamaha, or both sad yes together with Ducati......

Total votes: 15

Couldn't Dorna Provide

a data technician to any new team that would want one for their first year or two in the series? Just to help bring new entries up to speed with electronics? Then after that they could use that year or two of experience to be able to do it themselves? Or am I completely ignorant to how this works?

Total votes: 15

Lotta questions

So if Ducati is now back into the factory class the 24 liters fuel advantage will be offset if they are too successful, ok...

I see 22 liters if they win 1 race but what do they need to achieve in terms of raw results to be put back into the 20 liters "full" factory class ? 5 wins, 6 wins, 12 wins ?

Why is there no mention of that yet ?

Total votes: 13

will be revisited

will be revisited with another last-minute ad-hoc scheme to bring back 'parity' to the series.

Total votes: 18

Because That Won't Happen

The last paragraph of section 3 above says, "In each case the reduced concessions will apply to the remaining events of the 2014 season and the whole of the 2015 season."

So Ducati will remain a Factory entry with full or reduced concessions through 2015. In 2016 there is only one class, with everyone using the Championship ECU and Software.

Total votes: 15

So mikhailway is right

It's going to be a funny situation with Honda & Yamaha if, by some miracle, Ducati is in the mix, or even worse, leads the championship by mid-season this year or in 2015 with their 22 liters factory bike.
It's not like Dorna's lack of anticipation lead to that factory 2 mess already, huh ?

Shaking my head.

Total votes: 14

Ducati Advantage?

So, if I understand the rules correctly, Ducati is allowed to run their own software and if they keep winning races they only lose 2 Liters of fuel and (later) the soft tires.

So they can continue to beat the full factory option bikes (with only 20 Liters allowed, and 5 engines) with running 22 Liters and 12 engines while using the same (hard) tires? And even in 2015?
It is clearly an advantage to have 2 extra Liters of fuel and 12 engines to go through a season, or?

Total votes: 13

forgetting the spec software

Close - only one confused point: It's not "their own software" - it's Magneti Marelli's software that they contributed to. ALL teams have access to this same software, it's just that no team other than Ducati has decided to use the newer version. If Ducati used software that wasn't available to other teams, then they would be a full factory team completely subject to the factory restrictions.

Total votes: 21

Incorrect under the new Factory designation

Ducati is now running the software as their own as a factory team. Originally their software package would have been limited by the fact that it was shared with the other Open teams- in that updates and applications of the software would be determined by Magneti Marelli via a consensus of the input of all the Open teams. The Open teams determined that they could not utilize the Ducati software and elected to use the 2013 MM software. As I understand the announcement today- Ducati is allowed to use THEIR software as a Factory team, NOT Factory 2 and NOT Open. Since none of the other teams are using the Ducati software in Open class then Ducati will have the benefit of proceeding with their own software development. Basically- they will enjoy the benefits of the Open class teams while also enjoying the benefits of the Factory teams working with their own software.

As you say- 'If Ducati used software that wasn't available to the teams, then they would be a full factory team completely subject to the factory restrictions.' - BINGO. That is why this deal is bogus. They are a factory team. The only difference being that if they get results they will be relegated to 22 liters of fuel and then potentially forfeit the use of the softer option Open tire... all the while still enjoying 12 engines, 2 more liters of fuel than their factory peers and the ability to work through their engine problems throughout the season.

Total votes: 15

Not fair for other Open teams and Satellite teams/sponsors

I still don't agree with this reasoning. Honda and Yamaha get what they want, Ducati not a challenge to podium as Open and if they become a challenge, they are penalized. Ducati semi get what they want, to develop and test the bike to try to improve it, but how is any of this fair to the other Open teams or even maybe the Satellite teams? Oh right, no one cares about them... we just want them to fill the grid. Stay off the podium Ducati, but feel free to beat the crap out of all the other Satellite and Open bikes all you want.... if you can.
I still think the new ECU software should have been banned for all or part of 2014, then it could have been more fair to everyone. Oh well...

Total votes: 24

lets wait and see

lets wait and see what the first couple races bring us. last year Aleix kicked some Ducati butt a few times on his Open category ART. So I'm not sure that Ducati will dominate the Open class this year either -- especially with Aleix now on an Open class Yam (essentially) with softer tyres.

Total votes: 19

Exactly

Dorna wants us to believe that the Factory 2 rules were adopted because of pressure from the smaller Open teams and the Satellite teams. But this new agreement does nothing for them.

I couldn't help doubting Dorna's claim.

Total votes: 21

Finally a bit of clarity...but Ducs on the podium??

This actually seems like a bit of good news for once, and a bit of clarity for all concerned.

One thing keeps nagging at me though...the realistic changes of Ducati machines being on the podium more than once this season in the dry....er....none.

Surely an over-reaction, no?

Total votes: 14

Both F1 and MotoGP...

Both F1 and MotoGP have gone the route of limited fuel, spec tires, common ECUs, limited engines...What a politically correct world we live in. Where is the brilliant engineering, pure speed, first man to the checkered flag wins mentality, the spirit of racing against each other has been cast aside for fuel economy? Watched the first F1 race last Sunday, was very disappointed with what I saw. Expect more of the same with MotoGP.

Are there fans of MotoGP who follow the races to see who can ride most economically?

Wasn’t that the objective of the Mobil Economy Run? This competition ran from 1936 to 1968 in the USA and for a few years in the UK during the 70′s I believe. It’s conclusions were, “… The experience obtained by skilled drivers in the Mobil Economy run indicates that for best fuel economy, a car should be operated at nearly constant speed in the range of 30 to 50 mph. Rapid accelerations or decelerations and operation at (or near) full throttle should be avoided.”

30 to 50 MPH… NO rapid accelerations or decelerations and NO full throttle!!!
I don’t think this will be an exciting racing season but Oh! the fuel economy!

Total votes: 22

Performance controls

MotoGP is using performance controls similar to the 3.5L Group C era; though, MotoGP uses cylinder and bore limits, too. F1 is using fuel-flow-limits (rpm specific) and fuel capacity limits, then they pile on a bunch of extra engine regs to reduce development costs.

The 20L fuel limit interferes with performance at virtually every track, similar to the 21L limit during the 800cc era. In F1, they say 140kg of fuel in the 2.4L cars is similar to 100kg of fuel in the new cars. The 100kg fuel limit should only have a major impact at a few events. Albert Park is one of the high consumption tracks. Catlunya and Suzuka are also rumored to be quite bad. F1 also has the complexity of bodywork and aero homologation regulations, which affect the results and the quality of the racing. Supposedly, F1 is also fielding proposals for a seasonal fuel allowance, starting in 2015, which will add even more complexity to the race strategies.

These minor details make a big difference. For instance, if MotoGP used fuel-flow-limits like those found in LMP1 (not rpm specific) every MotoGP engine ever built would be legal. If the fuel-flow-limit reduced peak power to something like 225hp, the 20L limit probably wouldn't be intrusive.

Total votes: 9

"In F1, they say 140kg of

"In F1, they say 140kg of fuel in the 2.4L cars is similar to 100kg of fuel in the new cars."

Funny, the people who wrote the rules seem to disagree with you.

http://www.formula1.com/news/features/2014/1/15408.html

"Drivers will have to save fuel and that could lead to some interesting and conflicting strategies, as well as changes to driving styles and tactics."

Total votes: 11

Free public info

The F1 site provides free public info, which has been diluted to taste. In this case, they are using the Catalunya fuel loads to overstate fuel consumption and inflate the fuel savings generated by the new formula. Technical publication provide better information from the teams themselves. Median, mean, and mode fuel consumption was around 140kg per race last season.

If you need further evidence that the fuel limit is not as restrictive as it looks, read the seasonal fuel allowance proposals for 2015. The FIA and the teams are already looking for more ways to increase the technical challenge, and raise the fuel-efficiency metrics in F1.

Total votes: 11

The 100kg/hour flow limit is

The 100kg/hour flow limit is not an average over race is a peek flow (logically since the races races are 2 hours long), you could run out of fuel using more in other parts of the lap. On top of that, the cars aerodynamics are worse (although I'm not sure if this affects fuel consumption for an F1), they have 2 ERS systems instead on 1 and the cars are heavier. You say the track was too fuel demanding, I say the team need more time to learn how much fuel they use (when I'm optimistic). Only time will tell.
In the mean time, everyone was afraid not to finish at Australia, Alonso was told over the team radio to sit in 5th and do nothing (something like "it's an endurance race") and RedBull was excluded for braking the fuel flow limit. Non of this things I like. You wouldn't limit the amount of time a football player can kick. Why would would limit the amount of times a racer can hit the gas?

Total votes: 12

100kg

100kg is the maximum average consumption per race because the cars are limited to 100kg of fuel. The engines are also limited to 100kg/hr maximum fuel flow from 10,500rpm to 15,000rpm.

Drivers have always been limited by fuel, including refueling eras because pit stops waste time. No one noticed fuel saving before this year because it wasn't a main feature of the sport. Same phenomenon exists for the tires. Drivers have always looked after their tires. No one complained until F1 emphasized tire-degradation. Now that tire degradation is less noticeable, no one complains anymore.

Total votes: 16

100 kg isn't the maximum

100 kg isn't the maximum average per race you can't spend more than that. I imagine you mean maximum average per lap.

Drivers have not been always limited by fuel, the hole point of refuelling was that carrying extra fuel made you slower, so much slower that it would be preferable to loose 20 second at the pit, 17 more than it takes to change the tyres. Even if they were limited by fuel, that was only one the last laps and you would see the driver back down the throttle and go slower. Now, the fear of running out of fuel is constantly on their minds making them always go slower than they could. You could argue that, as they get used to the fuel limit, they'll understand when there's no need to back down. I believe that even then, they will have to drive safe mode for many, many laps.

Total votes: 9

One last thing I forgot.

One last thing I forgot. Albert Park fuel consumption last year was 145kg, The average of all races was 140. Australia doesn't seem so demanding to me.

Total votes: 11

Bittersweet

MotoGP will be more entertaining in the future, thanks to the new regulations, but it's a bittersweet victory when juxtaposed against the backdrop of automobile racing. F1 and LMP1 are innovating with smart new regulations. Dorna seems obsessed with moving MotoGP towards a NASCAR reality-TV entertainment model.

Deciding between the lesser of two evils is always a difficult task for fans. We can only guess how the MSMA became the evil empire of MotoGP. Apathy? Lack of innovative ideas? Disrespect for the private teams and riders? Machiavellian gamesmanship amongst themselves? Sad, regardless of how it happened.

Total votes: 16

¿F1? The "greatest"

¿F1? The "greatest" innovation F1 introduced this year was the motorsport-killing fuel limit. Did you saw the Australian GP last weekend? Just as it happened in the past for MotoGP, the driver were to scared to run out of fuel and did the hole race in safe mode, just turning out the laps (God bless you Valtteri). They spent a decade creating a set of rules that made the racing exiting and in one moment of green posturing wrecked everything.
And before anyone starts talking about cheap thrills, if the drivers can't afford to waste fuel there are less things they can do behind the wheel and fewer racing skills they can developed. Fuel limits don't kill the spectacle, they kill the sport.

Total votes: 21

Well think of it like

Well think of it like this.

Ducati gets to run 24L, at least for now. So does everyone else except the 4 bikes from Honda and 4 bikes from Yamaha. They, by their own choosing are running 20L. They could easily switch to more fuel and engines but they do not want to. 2 seasons and all of them go back to 24L, 12 engines, and reduced software dependency. That means 2016 will be the return of the series in my opinion.

I like it. Those that don't should fork over their own hard earned money and sponsor their own team. Costs are out of control, sponsors are immensely hard to come by. 2016 will right the ship. The GP bikes will still be the fastest, hardest accelerating and braking machines on the planet. The best riders in the world don't need code help, that's in their right wrists. It's great to make the whole sport about technology but not when it comes at the expense of the human riders ability.

Total votes: 25

New formula

The new MotoGP formula will be displacement-limited, cylinder-limited, bore-limited, rev-limited with spec ECU, spec software and a control tire.

It's a bit overkill, and the GPC could do much better with just a bit of effort. Unfortunately, the GPC do not appear interested in making a real effort.

Total votes: 23

Are we sure about the

Are we sure about the "bore-limited"? I read somewhere that the Open bikes can have whatever bore they want to.

Total votes: 12

yes

Bore is limited. The bore to stroke ratio is free for open. But that is from version 1 of the rules released in January. We must now be on about Beta version 1.4

On a side note what I would be curious to see how a 800 cc lighter weight bike 150kg not 160, that breaks deeper and corners faster could do... either way wouldnt be worth doing cause if you do take a different road people find reasons to take away the ground you've gained.

The parallels between life and racing. People don't forgive success.

Total votes: 14

Regulations

I can scarcely discuss F1 or MotoGP with someone who doesn't understand the regulations.

Total votes: 11

Hahahaha!!! Watch out with

Hahahaha!!! Watch out with those horses, they are tricky.

Total votes: 12

I understand the regulations...

It is true that some seem to have not read the facts published about the rules, which can be frustrating.

However, I can scarcely discuss F1 or MotoGP with someone who pines for a racing series with unfettered technology that produces bad racing and financial doom for the racers.

Total votes: 12

MotoFarce

So we have two sub-classes in the premier class, simple. Except we don't because Ducati are running under a different set of rules but with the same name. If we don't call it Factory 2 then it doesn't exist, right? This is more confusing than the previous ridiculous proposals.

A much simpler solution would be to scrap the engine development freeze rule and tell Ducati "you are a factory and you run a factory team so you run under the same rules as the other factories". If they want to enter Pramac as an Open team ok but the factory teams should all have the same rules.

Total votes: 11

Stand by...

... for a new set of rules next week.

Total votes: 14

Much ado about nothing

Several posters getting lathered up about very little IMO.

Ducati stays a factory - so they don't appear to be whupping up on equals when they trounce the open bikes every weekend, and strong incentive to do so, lest they look like noobs by getting beat by those same teams. Could happen!

Ducati gets a few breaks to help them catch up to Honda and Yamaha - they had fallen too far behind to do so any other way.

That is all.

As far as the hand-wringing over too much tech and too little right-wrist; that ship sailed long ago. The 80's are never coming back. Get over it.

Total votes: 20

This is too complicated for

This is too complicated for an average idiot like me, I can't understand all this rubbish about if some team starts to gets results then they would be penalized.....so what do we do with Honda and Yamaha whom have basically sodomized the series?? Allow them only 18 liters of fuel? What's next? Removing the front tire?

Jesus!!!

Total votes: 15

They stole Ducati's software

They stole Ducati's software XD

Total votes: 17

Engineering challenge

I enjoyed the statement that Honda and Yamaha decided on the 20L limit because they wanted an engineering challenge.........complete BS. They know that they are the only ones willing to sink enough money into R&D to be competitive with that fuel limit and that it's a win-win situation. They win and they have achieved an engineering feat based on 20L of fuel, they lose and there is that limitation that they can blame.

I don't understand why this is so hard. Spec ECU is a must. Why? because allowing insanely sophisticated ECU's and software DOES make a significant difference in cost, ie programmers, development, testing, blah blah blah. I don't like the spec tire, I think it makes more sense to ban tire sponsorship, so that teams get to choose that best tire for them and can change whenever they want. I wouldn't anticipate teams changing a lot, but if another manufacturer wants in they can do it. Suspension is not spec, it just seems that everyone is on Ohlins, no need to fix that.

If I understand it right, all open teams have the option to run the software that Ducati is running? But that specific software has been developed by Ducati, though all manufacturers were allowed to contribute, but didn't? There is something missing here. Me thinks Ducati was planning on exploiting the Open class all along and they waited to move to that class thinking it would be too late for Dorna to change the rules. Well I bet their faces are red now! We'll see how they feel when they win a race and lose 4 engines and 2L of fuel!!!!! Oh wait, they have been using limited engines for the last how many seasons? And limited fuel too? Well isn't that a strange coincidence.......

Total votes: 14

Engineering Challenge

The 20L fuel limit is an engineering challenge. The MSMA like it because it guarantees that the rich teams always win.

When people tried to change the rules, the MSMA claimed that fuel capacity limits would lead to production-relevant technology; therefore, the rules should not be changed. The production-relevant claim was mostly BS.

Total votes: 13

Engineering Development and new Environmental Regs

It's developing the people and tools to tackle the new challenge with, which will require all motorcycles in EU to be Euro4 by 2016 and Euro5 by 2020.

Fuel economy, combustion effecincy, electronics monitoring and controls are all required to meet this task. The factories must evolve and developed the people and tools to do this with, or will be out of buisness. It a matter if necessity.

If you like to ride motorcycles that have an engine, be happy that racing has alowed them a way to develop what they need to meet these upcoming regs.

Total votes: 17

They all have their own test

They all have their own test tracks, development riders, etc. MotoGP is not required for this. This is always a listed excuse but it isn't based at all in reality. A smooth surface, perfect conditions MotoGP race track is hardly the place for development of a road bike. A 350lb 270HP MotoGP bike with pneumatic valves, carbon discs, etc, has little to do or share with a road bike. Bollocks.
TC? Honda and Yamaha have test tracks in japan with rough pavement, pot holes, sprinkler systems where they can wet the track, etc.

Tired of this reasoning.

Total votes: 21

Not saying they are developing a bike for the road...

Just the people and tools which are transferable.

Total votes: 12

Not nonsense at all.

"A 350lb 270HP MotoGP bike with pneumatic valves, carbon discs, etc, has little to do or share with a road bike."

Pneumatic valves and carbon disks are old technology and really stupid examples of racing-to-road knowledge transfer.

How about developing new materials and processes to lower internal engine friction and provide greater durability?

Or using electronics to make an engine feel smooth AND burn clean at very low fuel/air rations?

Technology like that is what Honda has in mind and it will provide huge benefits to road bikes of all sizes.

Total votes: 7

Oh, what a tangled web we weave

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." William Shakespeare (see footnote)

The recent flurry of proposals by Dorna altering the rulebook to deliberately contrive the spectacle and outcomes would make Vince McMahon proud. This type of tinkering with the regulations and peculiar concessions to influence the outcomes by Dorna have been ongoing for several years, actually its been their modus operandi, though this last desperate outburst within two weeks has acutely exposed the true colors of the governing body; reflecting on the state of the sport, which has rightly been called a “farce” by some. The overwhelming response by fans to the news that Dorna would “imminently” add a new “intermediate” category called Factory 2 was met with both bewilderment and reproach; many declaring MotoGP had been turned into a circus, a mockery, a charade, the word most frequent used was “farce”. So repeated was this term that it apparently prompted a follow up “opinion” piece with the word “farce” in its title, seemingly an attempt at responding to fan reaction. The case laid out that this debacle wasn’t really all that bad, but rather the simple mechanics of timing were to blame, the crux of the “explanation” being generally as follows: the way it was “communicated” just made it ‘look’ bad. The message seemingly was: your reaction calling this episode by Dorna as a “farce” is an overreaction and perhaps even a mistake. One principal element blamed by the fans was HRC, for their documented dissatisfaction with Forward Racing’s entry and Ducati choosing the “Open” class option along with the standard ECU upgrade. Others blamed Dorna/Carmelo Ezpeleta for acquiescing to HRC’s criticisms which prompted altering the regulations. The focus of blame has apparently and ironically ‘changed’ from HRC’s influence to now the finger pointed at ‘particular Open teams who complained. This piece above stated as an absolute ‘matter of fact’ that it was due to the “Open” team’s complaints which resulted in Dorna’s proposal to alter the rulebook (apparently HRC’s criticisms and influence over Dorna had been previously overstate and nothing to do with this episode after all, except of course for this recurring theme argued throughout the Netsphere by journalist, insiders, and bloggers on the subject). Today (yesterday) arrived the news of the “final” regulations (well at least for now), and just in time too, given the season starts within days (one could count as hours). It appears the reason it took so long to implement (well… within a 10 day span of the original news breaking) was NOT to abandon the rules governing the shadow existence of the new Factory 2 category, but rather to simply eliminate the nomenclature for it! This is NEWSPEAK (a controlled language used and repeated by the media as a tool to limit threats to the governing body, see the novel 1984). Dorna simply supposes by not give us a name for it (Factory 2) that we will conveniently forget the parameters exist for such a category, counting that we will just swallow it whole as legitimate. Frankly, I suspect they will be correct in their assumptions with the overwhelming majority of fans, undoubtedly even the most “informed”. I suspect as soon as bikes begin to circulate, this latest regulations rigging will quickly fade into memory, and the work of revising the history of how it all occurred will continue in earnest. With Dorna to emerge as the hero, given the messaging which is repeated as justification for this latest usurping of the rulebook, as a step forward toward the implementation of Carmelo’s great and wonderful vision for the future.

But before that lets reiterate a few feature of what occurred these two weeks in regards to the last minute rules change. The urgent alteration was a reaction by Dorna in response to Ducati electing to enter as an “Open” option, under the already codified rules. If Ducati does not choose the Open option, there would have been no last minute rules change. The implications of such an 11th hour rigging of the rules, against one member which abided by the rules (in an attempt to contain it), could very well end here, but lets continue. The previously codified rules that called and mandated for the spec ECU to be continually developed and upgraded (which by request was provided by Ducati while refused by Honda and Yamaha) resulted in further impetus by Dorna to change the rules in haste. HRC’s complaints (as it was well document here) and additionally certain Open team’s objections (though now they are solely blamed) further increased the impetus for Dorna to ram through rules changes. This capricious rules change which was formulated and implement ‘on the fly’ (regardless of attempts to characterize it to the contrary) was done with disregard for impartiality and disregard for the rules which were established for this season! Rather than calling out this failure of integrity and inconsistency by the name many have reverberated here, as a “farce”; the reporting as such has mirrored much of the same characteristics of this debacle. (Footnote, the quote above was from a poem by Sir Walter Scott, not Shakespeare. But who cares about facts).

Total votes: 21

Its a result

It's a real result if you ask me.
It opens the door to other manufacturers to come in with much less restriction.
It lets Ducati develop to a point they are competitive, and it gets the whole championship to stock software a year early.
What's no to like.
I can't believe Honda are happy, but who cares.

Total votes: 18

Am I to gather from all this,

Am I to gather from all this, that Ducati needs a special break because their bike is a turd? Is that what this all boils down to?

Total votes: 16

The concise version of the rules

Yes, that's basically what this boils down to. If Ducati hadn't been allowed these concessions, they would have spent another year in the doldrums making only small progress, both their riders would have tried to leave at the end of the season, and Philip Morris would have pulled their support. Ducati would have been on the verge of pulling out of MotoGP. This has kept them on board.

Total votes: 16

What I don't like about this

What I don't like about this change is before, when Ducati was going to Open, they made a concession - stop using proprietary software - for the other advantages of the Open class. I was fine with that - you give a little, you get a little. If Honda or Yamaha found out that was too much of an advantage, then they could do the same. Give up your software, go to the spec stuff, and compete again. Now, because Honda and Yamaha have won races, they don't have the option to go Open, and Ducati seems to have been granted favors because they are not winning. So if they do start winning, or at least placing, then they get slowed down. So if Ducati does well, they get punished for succeeding, while Honda and Yamaha can continue on winning simply because they went about it a different way than Ducati did. It's OK to win if your software is good, but it's not OK to win if you just build a fast bike and let the rider ride it.

It's re-complicating something that had pretty good clarity to begin with - spec software = Open, proprietary software = Factory Option. That was easy to understand, and the software was the determining factor.

Total votes: 17

Exactly, surely there could

Exactly, surely there could have been a more direct way to the same result but at least they finally get a chance to catch up.

Total votes: 11

Need to find a new sport to follow.

Time to say goodbye to MotoGP - now a series where manufacturers without the engineering resource to develop world-class motorcycles are given sops-all in the name of bringing costs down. It is like asking Usain Bolt to run wearing lead boots just because he is faster than others. Never have the also-rans had it so good. If it is reducing cost they why even have prototype 1000 cc motorcycles -125 and 250 cc are just as entertaining.

Total votes: 12

MotoGP??

What MotoGP?? I can fully agree on your comparison about Usain Bolt and what is happening now in MotoGP, it's becomming a real joke if this is the true reason about the whole new regulation. Screw the four strokes and bring back in the two strokes without all the electronic garbage and carbon disc brakes/fearings and let's go back racing again at very low costs.

Total votes: 12

If 2-strokes had stayed

If 2-strokes had stayed they'd have just as much electronics by now as the 4-strokes do. Maybe even moreso given the generally more violent nature of a 2-stroke powerband.

Total votes: 15

Re 2strokes

You should read my comment better Ghostdog6, I said without the electronic garbage and yes if we still had two strokes I'm sure the electronic pakkage would not be any smaller then what we have today. Thats also the reason why I say that we should ban all this from motorcycle racing and F1 to get some competition again.

Total votes: 13

I agree with you, but the

I agree with you, but the chances of getting rid of electronics (or ever preventing them in the first place) is slim to none, and slim left town.

Total votes: 11

Fine, let's have a series

Fine, let's have a series with Yamaha and Honda only then. 4 bikes from each mfr for a grid of 8. Under the current rules the remaining bikes (majority) are just fluff and grid fillers any way.

But hey let's tell them to do as you said, it'll be the Honda/Yamaha show, 8 bikes only, and really 4 only as the sat bikes have been neutered since 2007 and are the best of the rest. So let's skip the bull and have a grid of 4. MM, JL, DP, and VR. Yeah that will be the pinnacle of motorsport.

Cash rules everything around me and rules MotoGp as well. Like I have stated prior. If you don't like it, then put your own hard earned cash into the series then. If not, then deal with the fact that money has its' limitations.

Total votes: 16

If Honda and Yamaha are that

If Honda and Yamaha are that good building bikes, then force them to run bikes with the spec software and let God sort them out at the track.Frankly this computerized motorcycle era has numbed down the racing spirit.

If I wanted a software competition I'd be a geek watching computer racing.

Total votes: 11

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