FIM

Those MotoGP Rule Changes In Full - GPS Ban Slips Under The Radar

The FIM today sent out a press release containing the full details of the rule changes announced by Carmelo Ezpeleta and Vito Ippolito at Jerez yesterday. Most of these have been discussed yesterday, but a few changes appear to have been missed by Ippolito when he made the announcements, and these are things which are certainly worthy of our attention.

Some of these had already been announced, such as the ban on electronic suspension and ceramic composite materials for brake disks. But others are new, and rather puzzling. Potentially useful technologies such as variable valve timing and variable valve lift is essentially old technology, and available on a number of road vehicles, including Honda's VFR800 sports tourer. But more mysifying is the ban on variable exhaust systems. The question is, will this ban mean that systems like Yamaha's EXUP system - going on for 20 years old - would not be permitted?

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The Rookie Rule, A Paper Tiger

 

At a press conference held today at Jerez, FIM president Vito Ippolito and Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta announced a range of rules aimed at two goals: Cutting costs and making the sport more attractive as a spectacle. We have been over the oxymoron of changing rules to cut costs ad nauseam here, so we will not continue to flagellate that particular moribund equine any more than is necessary - and frankly, that horse probably does need a little more flogging, just to make sure it is truly dead. Instead, we shall concentrate on another change, one aimed at helping the private teams in the series.

That rule is of course the ban on new entrants into the series joining factory teams. Under the new rule, any rider eligible for Rookie of the Year - that is, any rider who has not previously been entered as a full-time rider at the start of a MotoGP season - will not be allowed to join a factory team in their first year of MotoGP, and will instead have to serve an apprenticeship at a private or satellite team, before stepping up to the very top step of the very top series. The rule, drawn up at the behest of IRTA, is aimed at helping out the private and satellite teams by giving them a shot at signing the big, marketable names which will help them attract sponsorship.

On paper, this is an excellent idea. In theory, big name entries into MotoGP such as Marco Simoncelli, Alvaro Bautista and Ben Spies would help the private teams find the sponsorship they need so that they can afford to stay in MotoGP. It stops the factory teams from poaching the top talent, and means that the private teams will get the publicity they so badly need, and quite frankly, broadly deserve.

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New MotoGP Rules - 6 Engines And 1 Bike In 2010, And No Rookies On Factory Teams

In a press conference held today during the IRTA tests at Jerez, Vito Ippolito, the president of the FIM, and Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna, announced a series of measures aimed at cutting costs in MotoGP. More details to follow, but here are the rule changes:

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World Superbikes Goes Cost Cutting Crazy Too

More news from the ever-expanding cost cutting front. At the Phillip Island World Superbike round, the Superbike Commission followed in the steps of the Grand Prix Commission, heading down the road of rule changes aimed at reducing expenditure. And like MotoGP, the first casualty was Friday morning practice. As of the Valencia round of World Superbikes in early April, Friday morning practice will be scrapped for the Supersport and Superstock 1000 Cup, while free practice for the Superbike class will be moved to the afternoon. Technical inspection has also been moved from Thursday to Friday morning.

Unlike MotoGP, where the savings came mainly in the form of fewer engine rebuilds, the savings for Superstock and Supersport will come mainly in fuel, tires and crash damage. Both Superstock and Supersport engines regularly last multiple races, with some even lasting for an entire season. And though fuel and tires are fairly low budget items, in the low budget racing format of Superstock and Supersport, these measures could provide real savings.

More drastic than the changes announced at the meeting in Phillip Island is the subject of discussions for the next meetings of the Superbike Commissions. The FIM press release states that practice restrictions and engine limitations are to be discussed next. With limited potential for tuning and parts development, extended engine life for World Superbike machines may not produce the need for extra durability development that it is doing in MotoGP. But it remains to be seen whether such limitations will produce actual savings, or merely lead the teams to spend their money in other areas instead.

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Yamaha's Masao Furusawa "Engine Life Rules Will Increase Costs."

In times of crisis, drastic measures are necessary. That has been the thought behind many of the cost-cutting measures put forward to help MotoGP tackle the global financial crisis which has threatened to engulf the series since late last year. Yet the sense of urgency engendered by the seriousness of the situation can lead to hasty decisions, and cause those gathered round the table to jump to conclusions which, upon closer examination, turn out to have the opposite effects to what was intended.

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Those New MotoGP Rules: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

As we reported earlier today, the Grand Prix Commission has announced a slew of new rules for MotoGP, supposedly aimed at cutting costs in MotoGP. The measures contain a mixture of news for MotoGP fans, some good, some bad, and some seemingly incomprehensible. Let's go through the measures one by one, and examine the possible impact.

First up is the revised weekend schedule, which sees the Friday morning practice dropped, and the other practice sessions severely shortened. A race weekend will now look as follows:

Friday

13:05-13:45125cc Free Practice 1
14:05-14:50MotoGP Free Practice 1
15:05-15:50250cc Free Practice 1

Saturday

09:05-09:45125cc Free Practice 2
10:05-10:50MotoGP Free Practice 2
11:05-11:50250cc Free Practice 2
13:05-13:45125cc Qualifying Practice
14:05-14:50MotoGP Qualifying Practice
15:05-15:50250cc Qualifying Practice

Sunday

08:40-09:00125cc Warm Up
09:10-09:30250cc Warm Up
09:40-10:00MotoGP Warm Up
11:00125cc Race
12:15250cc Race
14:00MotoGP Race

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Grand Prix Commission Bans Electronic Suspension And Launch Control

The Grand Prix Commission met this morning in Geneva to discuss rule changes for the upcoming MotoGP season, and MotoGP.com has a preliminary announcement of what those changes will be:

  • An immediate ban on electronic suspension
  • An immediate ban on electronic and hydraulic launch control systems
  • The scrapping of the Friday morning free practice sessions
  • The reduction of the remaining sessions from 60 minutes in length to 45 minutes
  • From the Brno weekend, the riders will have only 5 engines to use for the remaining 8 races of the season.

We will report more fully on this once the FIM issues the formal press release announcing the full changes, but already, we can draw a few preliminary conclusions about the effect of these changes:

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