Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Who’s cheating now? is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.

Who’s cheating now?

So that’s the 2014 MotoGP championship dusted, best talk about something else…

We’re going to talk about rules, not MotoGP rules, World Superbike rules, and not so much the rules themselves, but the breaking of those rules. There’s been quite a lot of that going on in WSB during recent years, if paddock whispers are to be believed.

Race-winning and title-winning factory teams have been running cheater frames, trying to find an edge over their rivals. It’s got to the stage where pretty everyone is doing it, but all that’s about to change.

The FIM – who still have a say in WSB, unlike MotoGP, which they fully sold off to Dorna – want to get on top of the problem. The man in charge of doing that is racer Scott Smart, recently inducted as the FIM’s World Superbike technical director.

The word has already gone out to teams that cheater frames will no longer be tolerated and, in theory, they should already have disappeared from the grids. The legality scrutineering has yet to start in earnest because Smart has to devise a method of checking the frames, not merely for geometry, but also for thickness of different frame sections and so on.

Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.

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It will be interesting to see which teams are affected as the rules are policed?
Glad to see Scott Smart involved too, he is a smart guy by name and nature!

I'd love to see the FIM be able to exert more control over MotoGP rules and get it on track to being a series where the bikes have a life outside of Grand Prix.

If there were national championships run using MotoGP machines and rules, the costs would suddenly become more realistic and last years bikes would have a value!
The national championships would become feeders to MotoGP and there would be a good supply of wild card entries around the world!

Did anyone else imagine this was going to be a discussion about the constant moto2 rumours that MM93 was running dodgy engines / mods to win? Pretty clear now what his advantage was. Brilliance! He clearly is a special talent.

Interesting piece; WSB will surely benefit from making it easy for national series riders to 'wildcard' into their national round. I think this is one of the reasons the WSB attendances have been plummeting.

I am w Max Power re piqued interest re who is going to lose out most w a return to more OEM chassis characteristics. Same re interest in having all the SBK regulations fairly homogeneous for the good of all. Plus, cheaper racing. Plus decreasing the advantage of the monied few teams. Plus perhaps we will get to see more of the reality of our production bikes on the track, and vice versa later generations of bikes we buy being more track tailored rather than street compromised? Little need for our liter bikes to be engineered as potential touring machines, eh?
Bring the change!

Efforts to level the playing field between factory and privateer teams has backfired in the past. Some factory teams seem to insist on preserving their technical superiority, no matter how they acquire it. It is interesting that BSB was able to contain cheating, but do they have factory teams in that series? What happens if the factory teams quit? Can WSB survive with no factory teams on the grid?

I am completely flummoxed by what Dorna is doing in MotoGP and World Superbikes. The rules are getting to be a bit like doing mental gymnastics and I wonder if the rules with all their complexities will tie down teams to follow them or liberate them to explore new things where if a rule is invoked they could possibly say that the subsection of that very rule permits things. I never thought there will be a bureaucracy being established in the racing world but I can clearly see that F1, MotoGP and World Superbikes are on the road to bureaucratic hell.

I really am surprised by this recent 'news' on frames.
At this level it should be expected that top teams follow the rules.
If anyone has won a world championship using illegal parts it will be akin to Lance Armstrong and the Tour de France in my book.
In Club racing cheating has long been part of the game, and as long as it didn't really affect the results who really worried whether rider X had a slipper clutch or not (or the '750' was a thou'!)if all it did was help him get to mid-pack? The guys racing him may have been annoyed, but it wasn't like stealing the crown jewels.
We have a right to expect higher standards at the top levels of sport. They have the resources to test and alter frames, and update the manufactured item as necessary (as per Honda's 'blade SP).
Naivety or not, it just shouldn't happen.
No wonder I cannot keep up with those guys on track days; I don't have that trick frame......

I've heard several times that you'd be mad to turn up at a WSS race with a frame from a bike off the showroom floor... specifically with respect to Kawasaki. But this has a long, long history: Pierobon used to openly state on their website that they previously manufactured the Ducati WSBK frames, and there were stories in the early days of Kawasaki engine mounts not lining up with a stock frame.
I had expected it would be reduced in SBK due to the liberty of the rules: you can move the steering head and change the rake a fairly large amount, re-locate the swingarm pivot and add bracing (look at the ZX10R frames just in front of the swingarm pivot).

A thicker rule book simply provides more pages to find places to cheat. Why hasn't anyone in the world controlling racing realized that every attempt to "equalize" racing through cost reduction has had the reverse effect? It takes more money and more engineering to extract that last tenth out of a tighter platform than it does coming up with a clean sheet out the box idea. Look at racing history. The "good ole' days" they hunger for were the days when a designer could add two more wheels to a car to beat the likes of Ferrari. Loosen the rules and watch the John Britten, Michael Czysz, Bruce Mclaren, Dan Gurney and Carol Shelby types come out of the wood work. What happened to MotoCzysz in MotoGP is a prime example of cost cutting measures ensuring only factories can play.