MotoGP Rules Update: 'CRT' Name Dropped, Replaced With 'Open'

When it was announced that the claiming rule was to be dropped and the rules would be changed for 2014, one of the main questions was what to call the new class. After some complaining early on, MotoGP fans had become used to the CRT name, and understood what was meant by it. With the choice of software now determining how much fuel and how many engines a team can use - 24 liters for the spec Dorna software, 20 liters for factories using their custom software with the spec Magneti Marelli ECU - there was no easy and obvious nomenclature for the bikes. 

Under the first draft of the rules, the bikes were divided into two categories: 'MotoGP' and 'MotoGP with factory option'. That appears to have encountered resistance, however, and so a new name has been found for the non-factory bikes: for 2014, non-factory bikes will be referred to as 'Open' entries. There is of course a small irony in the fact that the new 'Open' class bikes will have less freedom than the factory option bikes, having both ECU and software closed, but with more fuel available, they will at least not be strangulated by the factory option fuel restriction. 

It is not currently known whether Dorna will continue with the separate championship for the CRT bikes, now renamed 'Open'. If the customer bikes are competitive with satellite machinery, they may choose to drop the nomenclature, but if the Open class bikes are finishing around where Aleix Espargaro is finishing on the ART, then they may decide to keep it, to give the private teams some extra publicity. 

One concession has been made to wild cards, which could prove important. In the interests of reducing development costs, wild cards have been excluded from using the Magneti Marelli ECU and software. This opens the way for Suzuki to enter as a wildcard using the current version of its Mitsubishi ECU and software, while the engineers continue to work on porting their current codebase to the Magneti Marelli hardware. It also makes the newly discarded Aprilia ART bikes an attractive prospect for wild card teams: exempt from using the spec Dorna hardware and software, any wild card entry fielding the Aprilia ART machine can continue to use Aprilia's custom hardware and software.

Below is the FIM press release containing the details of the new name for the class:

FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
Decision of the Grand Prix Commission

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Ignacio Verneda (FIM Executive Director, Sport), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA) in the presence of Javier Alonso (Dorna) and Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting), in a meeting held on 12 October 2013 in Sepang (Malaysia), made the following decisions:

Technical Regulations

Moto3 Class – Effective 2014

Engine manufacturers will be required to make available six gearboxes, comprised of two specifications, and to allow teams to decide at the first event

MotoGP Class – Effective 2014

The temperature of fuel, which may not be less than 15oC below the ambient temperature, will now be checked in a separate container prior to the fuel tank being filled. This is due to the shapes of some fuel tanks making it impossible for a probe to measure temperature in all sections of the fuel tank. The fuel tank must be empty prior to filling from the separate container.

For practical and cost reasons, wild card entries in the MotoGP class will be free to use any ECU and software.

MotoGP class wild card entries will be permitted to use a maximum of three engines at each event.

Other Matters

MotoGP Class Categories

It has already been announced that MotoGP class entries opting to use the Magneti Marelli ECU but their own software will be designated as competing under the “Factory” option. The CRT designation which previously applied to the remaining entries is no longer relevant. In future these entries will be referred to as “Open”.

The full text of the regulations and the detailed technical specifications may be viewed shortly on:

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They keep coming up with acronyms all the time...none of which make any sense or sound right....

"Factory" and "privateer" class would sound more representative and logical....

Open sounds very wrong with the amount of restrictions. When I hear open, to me, it means the best of the best gets to duke it out, but those that are not so good can attempt to challenge.

So the Open class will use the most closed rules and machinery on the grid. And, wild cards can use anything they want despite there being severe restrictions on everyone else.

The FIM should change their name to FIRM - Fédération Internationale de Ridicule Motocyclisme!

What the hell is a wild card entry? And how does it make any sense to give some factories TWO extra engines per WEEKEND? How does it reduce development costs to let someone build what is, essentially, a race-by-race special that doesn't qualify for either category of MotoGP machine?

I swear, we'd just be better off if every entrant made up its own rules.

The Mad Hatter would be looking at this and going, "F**k, I dunno ..."

Edit: Just looked through the rulebook. No definition of wildcards as it applies to manufacturers.

Why not just Factory and Privateer or Non-Factory? That's really what it is. No? When again is it slated that the next part of the rule changes go into effect mandating spec software? Wasn't that to be in 2015 or 2016? Then they will all just be MotoGP bikes. Much ado about nothing I say. Couldn't care less what they call them. As long as they get more competitive.

So what qualifies a wild card, but I guess my real question is what is the limit. Could Suzuki travel the entire season and compete each race under the guise of a "wild card" entry? 3 engines per race but how many over the course of the season? Anybody know something about this?

I would think that won't be allowed, although there doesn't seem to be any language in the current rule book that specifies. It could be specified somewhere else, though. Anyway, I'd guess it would be included in the next draft of the rules for next year. Or it shoud be.

Are the non factory machines required to be purchased or can they be leased like the factory machinery? I still can't seem to come up with a good name for that either. i really dislike the leasing situation. There was something special about retired GP bikes showing up at club races. In my second race weekend ever (April 1984) it only took Randy Renfrow (on an RS500 triple)3-4 laps to lap me at Pocono. Hey I was racing on the track at the same time as a bike that could have been in a GP that weekend. I know things change and I have to move on, but they shouldn't all go to the crusher.

It is really clear that all the rules they make up cannot cover up that racing in its current form is way to expensive. Back in the old days if you had a good mechanic he really good do something for you. As it is now, if you don't have a factory bike you won't be able to win races or even compete with these bikes.
The simple reason for that is that it is no longer possible to level up a proddy bike to a level where it can come even close to the factory machinerie. With a two stroke engine this is more easy to achieve, also because there is/was less electronics on the bike.

Can someone please give an example of any other top level sport that allows different sets of rules for people competing for the same ultimate goal?

If this is to be the case, they might as well just have separate championships and point systems similar to Le Mans and other series where different categories compete on track at once.

It's a long shot, but let's just say these "open" bikes end up nabbing solid results or a few podiums. I seriously doubt the Factory teams would continue to support this stupid format. IMHO the big boys are only playing nice because the impression is they will dominate the top spots as usual.

The phrase "tripping over the dollars to pick up the pennies" comes to mind with all of the "cost reduction" steps being taken.

What you want--one class--is what they're moving to gradually. When the current agreement with the MSMA expires, that's likely what we'll get. In terms of technology, it's probably not moving in the direction you would like, though.

In any case, the class cannot continue with unchecked spending. I agree that some of the methods for cost-cutting probably only shift spending to other areas but until there is some way to bring more brands and teams into the class, we'll have an ever widening gap between the haves and have-nots, only two of which will be the former. In essence, we'll be stuck with the tiered-system we already have only worse. Or the alternative is just to have Honda, Yamaha, and maybe Ducati field four bikes each and duke it out.

How about WSBK? 1200cc for twins and 1000cc for fours. Also, from next year you have the EVO subclass.

How about Supersport? 750cc for twins (though there are none in the class at the moment), 675cc for triples and 600cc for fours.

Or, did you mean a completely different sport altogether? How about golf?

I've suggested it before and just for fun I'll mention it again, the names should be: Factory bikes=winners and everybody else=losers.

Sure, they are more restricted in the ECU software department, but more engines, more fuel and, probably most important of all, no engine homologation (engine development freeze). I think that sounds like the more open option.

must be the dumbest and most confusing thing Dorna has done yet. OK, lets get ready to explain to MGP noobs why 'Open' bikes are nowhere near the front...

They used to race alcohol fueled superbikes against 250 GP bikes and everything in between. "Run what you brung" almost. What about expand the Open rules more. Would it be too embarrassing to Honda that they were beaten by a 600 2 stoke with direct fuel injection, electronic intake and exhaust controls ? The technology is there and it would be cheaper.