The new season approaches and that means the time for a digest of the run in to the new season.
Yamaha got everyone whipped up by revealing their new livery for 2014….
Their bike launch may have amounted to so little change that it looked like someone had got some giant green ‘M’ stickers and added them to last seasons design effort, but not in a bad way, the 2013 bike was quite nice anyway, it just leaves the Yamaha looking a little busy. With lots of green’M’s on it (Movistar AND Monster).
The most important thing is that the bike is fast to guarantee some tight racing from Qatar and beyond. And at least Yamaha won’t have to spend too long pouring over the last minute rule changes that the paddock arrived to in Doha.
There were a few nuggets, really important nuggets of information inside the latest rule adjustments. Ducati are now re-classed (again!) as a ‘factory’ team.
As the only factory team to have not achieved a win in the previous season the new rule change keeps them under the ‘factory’ title but with the allowances they were aiming for with the open switch intact – until they hit a certain number of top three results (which is what the quickly abandoned ‘factory 2’ was all about).
By again being listed in the Factory class, Ducati will not need to use the Open class ECU software. Bonus.
A race win, two second places or three podium places in dry conditions this season change all that – they will have their race fuel reduced from 24 to 22 litres. If Ducati go on to win three races they will also lose the right to use the softer rear tyre available to the Open class. It will also apply to any new factory (Suzuki if they re-enter as planned in 2015, for example).
All other Open class concessions – twelve engine changes, no development ban – will be unaffected irrespective of results.
Hopefully that clears that up….
The other big news is that MotoGP now plans to impliment a standard ECU – both hardware and software – from 2016.
Full rules as laid out by the Grand Prix Commission below:
“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.”
A final word for Marc Marquez who went from “not 100%” for Qatar to revealing “Five days ago I was not able to walk but now it’s coming better”. That’s the words of a champion who is eager to repeat success. Hopefully Marquez, Rossi, Lorenzo and the rest of the MotoGP grid can provide the kind of edge-of-your-seat racing 2014 has been building up to.