The FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motorcyclisme) and Dorna have proposed to the Grand Prix Commission the introduction of ‘Factory 2’ entries in the premier class of MotoGP™ to compliment the ‘Factory’ and ‘Open’ entries.
Javier Alonso, Managing Director of Dorna’s Events Area has explained the philosophy behind the plans, which are submitted for approval by the Grand Prix Commission on March 11.
The proposal would see Factory Honda and Yamaha bikes competing with a 20-litre fuel capacity limit, five engines sealed at the beginning of the season and without the Extra-Soft tire. The Open entries have 24 litres of fuel, 12 non-sealed engines and a softer tire option. There would then be an additional Factory 2 class as explained by Alonso.
“The proposal which has been made relates to Open entry manufacturers achieving podium results, specifically three third positions, two second places or one victory, in dry race conditions. They would then have certain limitations applied relating to the Open class (22.5 litres of fuel reduced from 24) and less engines available (the total reduced from 12 to 9),” stated Alonso, Dorna Managing Director and Race Direction member.
He added, “We looked at the Sepang test results, especially the second test, and it’s clear that of the two software versions used, the second developed by Magneti Marelli offers great performance. The fact is that the only manufacturer ready to use that software is Ducati. That gives them some advantage when combined with the Open rules, so we have therefore made this plan to the GP Commission, to find a balance which does not give one manufacturer too much of an advantage.
“As a championship we aim to allow everyone to have the best possible technology, including this type of software, but from talking to the private teams they are not yet set up to be able to use this ‘full software’.
“Clearly Ducati were not at the same level as Honda and Yamaha last season and what they have done is to look for a way within the rules to improve their grid and race results. We understand that by making some changes they can be closer to the other constructors but we do not want them to have too much of an advantage, as it would be unfair for them to beat the rest of the manufacturers with greater ammunition. So we think the proposal on the table is a good solution.”
The Dorna Director also confirmed that the rule changes now taking place have a long term objective of creating a more level playing field in terms of technology. The goal is for all MotoGP entries to be Open by 2016.
“The ECU and software development work is being undertaken now with the objective that soon everyone uses the same ECU, like this season, and eventually the same software,” Alonso explained.
“Our duty is to ensure that the very best software is developed and that the manufacturers can make the best of it with their bikes. In fact, we are asking the factories to help us with this software development.
“We are saying to them, ‘look we have this piece of software and if you think you can improve it and we can apply it, then the only thing we’re asking is that it can be used by the rest of the field.’ Whenever we find that improvements can be made, we want to make them.”