FIM

How The Claiming Rule Teams Will Make A Mockery Of The Engine Restrictions

There are many who hope and believe that admitting production engines in prototype chassis into the MotoGP will be the saving of the series. Finally, there could be a way for privateer outfits to build and race machinery on a more or less equitable footing with the factory teams.

To ensure that a balance is kept between the manufacturers and the privateer teams, the inclusion of so-called Claiming Rule Teams has been announced from 2012. Under the new rules, engine capacity rises to 1000cc, but but bore size is limited to 81mm, and the number of cylinders restricted to a maximum of four for both factory and CRT teams.

The big difference, though, is in the amount of fuel and the number of engines the factory and CRT teams will be allowed. While factory teams will still be restricted to 21 liters of fuel for each race and six engines per season, as is the case with the current regulations, CRT teams will be allowed 24 liters of fuel per race, and twelve engines to last the season.

The thinking behind both of these rules is sensible, and aimed at keeping costs low. By allowing the CRT teams three extra liters of fuel, the teams will not have to spend so much time and money on eking out the maximum performance from the allotted gasoline. And by giving the CRT teams twice as many engines, the privateer efforts will neither need to spend huge amounts on R&D in order to get the mileage from the engines, nor feel required to throw a new engine at every race weekend, to maximize performance.

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125s To Be Replaced By Four Strokes From 2012

With the success of the switch from the 250cc class to the four-stroke Moto2 formula - in terms of cost, and certainly in terms of grid size - the many fans of the two-stroke engine have been fearing the worst: the disappearance of the last two-stroke formula from the MotoGP paddock. At Assen, news is unofficially emerging that their fears have been confirmed. For the members of the Grand Prix commission are close to an agreement on replacing the 125cc class, and the bad news for two-stroke enthusiasts is that the smallest of the Grand Prix classes is about to turn four stroke.

From 2012 - or possibly 2013, according to some rumors - the 125s will be replaced with a 250cc four-stroke single. Contrary to earlier reports, though, the bikes will not be based on the existing four-stroke engines being used in motocross bikes such as Yamaha's YZ250F or Honda's CRF250R. The engines will have a maximum bore of 81 millimeters, making for much higher-revving short-stroke motors. 

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Herve Poncharal: I Don't Think There Will Be Any 800cc Bikes In 2012

On the Saturday of the Jerez MotoGP weekend, the Grand Prix Commission met to further hammer out the regulations which will govern the MotoGP class from the 2012 season. It was feared that the meeting would fail to come up with a clear definition of the bikes to be run by the Claiming Rule Teams, the privateer teams expected to enter MotoGP with production-based engines in prototype chassis. So it came as no surprise that the minutes of the press release of the Grand Prix Commission merely modified the penalty for using an extra engine in the 2010 season, dropping it from 20 seconds to 10.

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Hayden On New MotoGP Engine Penalty: "You'd Lead Into Turn 1 At Valencia"

MotoGP's rule-making body, the Grand Prix Commission met today, and as expected, did nothing to clarify the 2012 MotoGP rules, and especially to provide a definition of exactly what constitutes a Claiming Rule Team. Instead, what they came up with was a relaxation of the penalty for infringing the engine allocation rules: Instead of starting from the pit lane 20 seconds after the red lights go out for the start, any rider using a 7th (or 8th, or 9th) engine during the 2010 season will have to start just 10 seconds later.

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FIM Officially Announces Postponement Of Motegi MotoGP Race - Finally

While news of the cancellation of next week's MotoGP race at Motegi has been seeping out to news outlets from teams, riders and officials inside MotoGP's organizing bodies, the official status of the race was that it was not canceled until the FIM (the sanctioning body for MotoGP) had spoken. Unfortunately, however, the discussions and decision-making all took place over the weekend, a period during which the FIM's offices in Switzerland are closed. Now that the weekend is over, the long-awaited official confirmation is here: The FIM has finally issued a statement announcing that the Motegi MotoGP race has been postponed until October 3rd, 2010. Here is the FIM statement:


FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix

Postponement of the Grand Prix of Japan

The recent vulcano eruption in Iceland has resulted in an ash cloud cover infiltration. Air traffic space over Europe has stopped all international travel in and out of Europe.

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Vito Ippolito Interview: On Costs In MotoGP, WSBK vs MotoGP, Moto2 And Electric Vehicles

When MotoMatters.com learned that FIM President Vito Ippolito would be visiting Utrecht, just a few miles from MM HQ, we seized on the opportunity to corner the Venezuelan and ask some of the burning questions surrounding motorcycle racing. Questions such as: How will the new MotoGP rules help to cut costs? Exactly what definition of "production bike" is used in the contract between the FIM and Infront Motor Sports for World Superbikes? How will Moto2 affect rider development? And what about electric vehicles and the TTXGP?

Ippolito was extremely forthcoming on all these subjects, and answered the questions with patience and clarity, helping to clear up some of the biggest mysteries in motorcycle racing. For a man who had just arrived after an international air journey, the FIM President was helpful, patient and graceful, and went out of his way to answer our questions. The man's passion for the sport and for motorcycling in general shone through, making Vito Ippolito one of the most interesting interviews we have had to date.

As the interview took place on February 17th, shortly after the Grand Prix Commission had issued a statement with the new 2012 MotoGP regulations, allowing 1000cc and 800cc bikes to run together in the same class, and introducing the concept of the Claiming Rule Teams, basically privateer teams allowed to run production engines, that's where we started our questioning:

MotoMatters: Have you seen the new rules issued by the Grand Prix Commission from today at Barcelona?

Vito Ippolito: I didn't read it all, because I was flying during the meeting.

MM: They announced that 800cc and 1000cc would be racing together, plus a new category, the so-called Claiming Rule Teams.

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FIM Releases Updated MotoGP, Moto2 And 125 Entry Lists

The FIM today released the latest - though still officially provisional - entry lists for all three classes of the MotoGP series. Though largely unchanged, there have been one or two minor modifications to the 125 and Moto2 field.

The MotoGP class remains officially unchanged, though that in itself is news. The FB Corse team had earlier announced that they had been accepted on to the official entry list, but were later forced to retract that statement and announce they will attempt to qualify for entry again prior to the Jerez round on May 2nd. This means that the MotoGP field remains just 17 riders, with hopes that the field could be expanded to 18 by Jerez, and with wildcards from the Spanish Inmotec project later in the year.

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MotoGP 2012 1000cc Regulations: More Fuel, More Engines, "Claiming Rule"

The agenda for Wednesday's meeting of the Grand Prix Commission  - MotoGP's rule-making body - was clear: To thrash out some of the difficulties arising from their previous decision to revert MotoGP to 1000cc. Their hope was that after this meeting, the main points of the rules would be clear to everyone involved, and manufacturers and privateers could go off and start working on the machines which they will contest the 2012 MotoGP championship with.

Sure enough, after the meeting, the FIM issued a press release containing the new regulations agreed by the GP Commission, and it should come as no surprise that a host of details remain to be sorted out. The changes noted in the press release do point to some fascinating developments. Here are the main points for the 2012 regulations, which we will go into in more detail below:

Technical Specifications for 2012 for the MotoGP class

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Manufacturers Want 800cc Bikes To Remain After 2012

The news that MotoGP is set to change capacity and formula again for the third time in 10 years has caused as much concern as it has joy. Almost everyone concerned has welcomed the return to 1000cc, not least the riders, and many people also expressed the commonly-held opinion that the switch to 800cc was the worst thing to happen to the class. But many observers also pointed out that the change of formula, though aimed at cutting costs in the long term, meant yet more expenditure in the short term as the factories would be forced to develop a brand new engine once again.

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Peter Clifford Interview Part 2 - "The Privateers Are At The Whim Of Politics"

We continue today with the second half of our interview with Peter Clifford, the manager of the former WCM team, who we asked to get his take on the new rules for MotoGP, which are scheduled to come into force in 2012. In yesterday's episode, Clifford expressed his opinion that privateer teams running production-based engines would find it impossible to be competitive without spending equivalent amounts to the factories. Today, Clifford talks about the problems presented by ever-shifting rule changes, the political risks of the new rules in MotoGP and Moto2, and how long Moto2 is going to remain an affordable class.

PC: The other thing is, we were talking about the Flammini reaction, and it is interesting that he's not saying "I'm going to take everybody to court," and all this sort of stuff. Of course, we still don't know what his contract with the FIM says, that's still secret. He may just feel that what he was relying on in the old days was the way the contract was read, not the words in it. And he had his people at the FIM who read the contract the "right" way, and went in to bat for him and took us off the grid and carried on like that. What he may be waiting for, of course, is another election at the FIM, make sure that he gets the right people in, and they will read the contract in the way that he would like it to be read and this idea would be kicked out, and maybe even the Moto2 rules as well.

MM: Right, and of course that's a huge risk, because if we get a new FIM president who interprets the contracts a different way to Vito Ippolito, because Ippolito has a Grand Prix background, and whenever I've spoken to him, he's said again and again, "what we need are the TZs, the production racers."

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