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:

  • At the end of the 2009 season, teams will only be allowed to use 5 engines for the last 7 races. This leaves the previous rule unchanged, answering speculation that the number of engines could be reduced after the Hungarian MotoGP round was dropped from the calendar, which would have meant 5 engines having to last for 8 races.
  • For 2010, each rider will have 6 engines to last the entire 18 race season. The engines will be sealed, and Dorna will be able to monitor remotely which engines are being used as the riders exit the pit lane.
  • The penalty for any infraction of this rule is that the rider will be docked 10 points from his championship points total. The manufacturer will also have 10 points deducted in the manufacturer standings, regardless of whether the rider was on a factory bike or a private bike.
  • Testing will be limited to 8 days in total next year, with just 2 tests during the season after the races at Catalunya and Brno.
  • As of 2010, only one bike per rider will be permitted. Teams will be allowed to scrutineer one machine for each rider. If a rider damages a chassis, a replacement chassis will have to be offered for technical inspection.
  • Friday is under discussion. Talks are still ongoing about whether the Friday afternoon practice session will be dropped.
  • Wheel rim widths are to be limited to two different sizes for front wheels, and one different size on the rear.
  • Only 5 technicians will be allowed to touch the bike during practice sessions. Once practice sessions are over, more people will be allowed to work on the bike, but this number will be limited to 5 during practice.
  • The minimum weight will be increased by 2kg for all engine configurations.
  • In 2010, no rider eligible for Rookie of the Year will be allowed to go straight to a factory team. Instead, they will have to go to a private or satellite team for at least one year, after which they will be eligible to join a factory team.

On the Moto2 series, the MSMA had put forward a proposal to turn the series into a spec engine series. The MSMA felt this would be the best way of preventing costs spiralling out of control, by basically removing the pressure of competition, leaving the teams free to focus on chassis development.


Mike Webb, technical director for MotoGP, clarified the rules on wheel rim width for us. "It was a spot of poor translation," he told us, when we asked about the wheel rim widths. The information published earlier that the rim width would be limited to two inches on the front and three on the rear was incorrect. It is the quantity of permitted widths which has been limited, not the width itself.

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Krop, are you getting an early start on April Fools Day???

"Wheel rim width is to be limited to 2" on the front and 3" on the rear"

Manufacturers will have to brace for significant development this year for next year's bike (same as it was in F1 last year) as they scramble to find the envelope on the current rules.

What's the point of the rookie rule? Seems arbitrary to me.

Spec engine in Moto2 is a good rule in my opinion. Nothing creates better on track racing, IMO, than spec equipment. I agree with people who argue that the whole show is degraded by spec equipment, but I don't follow the show of the support series, I only watch the races.

No rookies on factory bikes:
This rule will make sure that enough effort is put into the satellite teams and their riders. If you want to have a good rider on your bike next year, you'll get him good parts for his satellite bike this year ?

It was an error. The story has been updated to reflect the actual rules. We are still waiting for a press release from Dorna and the FIM.


Other than in the title its not mentioned elsewhere, any more details?

I'd say anyone coming new into the class - riders or teams - is seriously screwed for at least a year before they have any chance to be competitive. Great way to open MotoGP for more bikes on the grid...

Control of the now ridiculous cost of MotoGp is a knee jerk reaction, a reactive approach that in turn raises costs further. Limiting the amount of time brand exposure is on TV, or photographed reduces the amount of money a sponsor will throw at the sport.

Frank Williams of F1 fame said it best, if you want parity, then stop changing the rules, technology trickles down to the can't affords and becomes cheaper. Rossi re itterated the point this week, in saying if cost control was the objective , then why would they have gone from 990cc to 800cc ? Making engines last longer is not as simple as reducing rpm. Redesign is required adding cost. If I am a satalite team owner, and discover the next Rossi, who wins against better factory squads because he is better, I am still going to loose him to a squad that will pay the most money, no other reason.

During GP's heyday, cost's were lower because Yamaha and Honda, + Suzuki sold customer bikes to offset the cost of the elite factory bikes ( WHAT A CONCEPT ? MAKING $ SELLING RACE BIKES ) , the difference in performance could easily be put down to the best riders being on the factory bikes. That changed with the arrival of Gary McCoy,who showed clearly the rider is the difference. Gazza won races, and was a feature in the results because he could ride up any difference between the 2 specifications of bikes.

This is the very model that is growing WSBK, and bringing great racing and larger grids to the forefront of motorcycle racing. Change will bury Motogp if it follows the trend they started. The last 2 teams to drop out Team KR, and Mario's Ilmor were up front and very vocal with what killed them, they could not find the sponsorship required with ever increasing costs of being competetive. Both these teams got free tyres, and did limited testing scheduals because they could not afford it.

The very best racers racing is what people pay to watch, the show. Vale Casey and a sellect few are the MotoGp show, that is hemoraging revenue, stop dumbing down whats left.
Factories sell motorcycles to make money, aftermarket companies follow that money, producing parts as seen on TV, soon there will be no reason to justify Motogp,
Rossi retires this series will die, for Rossi is the only reason 1/2 the world has tuned in for the last 3 or 4 years. Motogp is doomed, the latest is the now banned KERS system by KTM in 125cc , and how much is the new 250cc replacement going to cost, and who will buy it?

Motorcycle company's signed a CONTRACT with MotoGp, when it is time to renew, if this economy continues they cannot go back the the board of directors and state as they always have " Win on Sunday, sell of Monday " cause they ain't selling, and nobody is buying. RT