MotoGP Claiming Rules Finally Released - It's The Factories Who Do The Claiming

The big question being asked when the concept of the Claiming Rule Teams was introduced to the 2012 MotoGP regulations was exactly how the claiming rule would work. The idea behind it is simple: to avoid CRTs pouring millions of dollars into engine development - in other words, to prevent factories hiding behind Claiming Rule Team entries - teams should be allowed to purchase the engines of the CRTs, thereby negating the benefits of high-spending engine R&D. There was good reason for scepticism about the claiming rules, as the rules once used in the AMA have been widely decried and were felt to be open to abuse, leading eventually to them being scrapped. Here at, we offered an example of just how the claiming rules could be used to circumvent the engine restrictions.

With claiming rules clearly capable of turning into a minefield, the details of the rules were eagerly awaited, and took a long time coming. On the Saturday of the Estoril MotoGP round, the Grand Prix Commission met to finalize the claiming rules, and issued a press release containing the new 2012 CRT regulations, which you can read below.

The CRT rules reveal an ingenious twist: It is not the Claiming Rule Teams who will be allowed to claim their competitors' engines, but instead, it will be the manfacturers, assembled in the MSMA, who will be allowed to claim the engines. The concept seems strange at first, until you think about the objective of the claiming rule: the ability to claim an engine was intended to prevent factories spending large amounts of money developing engines, then supplying them to CRTs to race with extra fuel and a weight advantage. By allowing only the factories to claim CRT engines, the Grand Prix Commission ensures that factories have little incentive to enter CRTs as a subterfuge, as they risk losing their engine technology - which all of the factories guard preciously. At the same time, they avoid the CRTs manipulating the rules to gain an even bigger advantage, by engaging in mutual buying agreements to obtain an extra engine allowance.

The right of the factories to buy the engines is limited, with the CRTs only liable to sell 4 of their engines to the MSMA, and each manufacturer inside the MSMA only permitted to claim an engine once from a CRT. The engines will cost 20,000 euros to claim including the gearbox (or 15,000 without the gearbox), and the CRT will be allowed an extra engine in their allocation if one of their engines is claimed.

The Grand Prix Commission also contained a few more interesting nuggets, mainly changes to grid procedure to ensure that tire warmers could stay on the bikes longer on the grid before the start. But there was also some detail on testing, with acknowledgement of the agreement between the MSMA that the factories would be allowed an extra 8 days of testing with 2012 MotoGP machines, a necessity given the change to 1000cc capacity engines. This rule change makes it clear that the tests run by Ducati (and scheduled by Honda) were perfectly legal after all, it's just that the agreement making them legal had not yet been made public.

More analysis of the CRT rules will follow in the next week. For now, you can read the rules for yourself in the press release duplicated below:

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), Hervé Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA), in the presence of Javier Alonso (Dorna) and M. Paul Butler (Secretary of the meeting), in a meeting held on 30 April in Estoril (Portugal), unanimously decided the following (Changes in bold):

Immediate Application

Sporting Regulations

1) Art. MotoGP Class

b) Practice during the day following the Portuguese Grand Prix (Estoril).
Practice during the day following the Italian Grand Prix (Mugello) or the Czech Grand Prix (Brno).
Practice during 2 days following the last Grand Prix (Valencia).

a) Any activity authorized by the Race Direction.

2) Art. 1.18 10

3 Minutes Before the Start of the Warm Up Lap – Display of 3 Minute Board on the grid.

Generators must be disconnected from tyre warmers and removed from the grid as quickly as possible.

In the 125cc and Moto2 classes, tyre warmers must be removed from machines on the grid.

At this point all persons other than two mechanics per rider in the125cc, and Moto2 classes, and three mechanics per rider in MotoGP, the person holding the umbrella for the rider, the TV crew of the host broadcaster and essential officials, must leave the grid.

The MotoGP riders must put their helmets on.

No person (except essential officials) is allowed to go onto the grid at this point.

11) 1 Minute Before the Start of the Warm Up Lap – Display of the 1 Minute Board on the grid.

Tyre warmers must be removed from MotoGP machines on the grid.

At this point, all team personnel except the mechanic(s) will leave the grid. The mechanic(s) will as quickly as possible assist the rider to start the machine and will then vacate the grid.

3) The Grand Commission has accepted the proposal of the MSMA for testing opportunities for machines eligible under the 2012 Regulations.

Machines Eligible under 2012 Regulations- "1000cc Machines".
During the 2011 season teams may test for a total 8 rider/days with their contracted riders. This will apply retrospectively for the 2011 season.

Application 2012

MotoGP Class

Technical Regulations

2.2 Classes

2.2.1 The following classes will be accommodated, which will be designated by engine parameters:


MotoGP: Up to 1'000cc – maximum four cylinders, maximum cylinder bore 81mm.

Four stroke motorcycles participating in the MotoGP class must be prototypes. Those that are not entered by a member of MSMA must be approved for participation by the Grand Prix Commission, and teams using such motorcycles may ask the Grand Prix Commission (hereinafter GPC) for the "Claiming Rule Team" (hereinafter CRT) status by December 31st of the year before the season they intend to race.

The GPC will reply to any CRT status requests within one month of receiving the official request. Approval of CRT status is subject to unanimity among all the members of the GPC, and CRT status is given only for one year at a time. The CRT status is approved by unanimous decision of the GPC in order to ensure fair competition, and based on the same consideration it can be withdrawn at any time by a majority decision of the GPC members. In case of CRT status withdrawal the GPC will inform the team at least one race in advance of CRT status being withdrawn.

The CRT status affects the requirements of engine durability (Article 2.3.7 FIM Grand Prix Regulations) and fuel tank capacity (Article 2.6.5).

CRT's are subject to the Claiming Rule (Article 2.2.2) and must not represent any MSMA manufacturer, as defined solely by a GPC majority decision.

2.2.2 Claiming Rule:

MSMA manufacturers have the right to purchase the engine of a motorcycle entered by a CRT immediately after a race, for a fixed price of:

  • 20,000€ (twenty thousands Euros) including gearbox/transmission, or
  • 15,000€ (fifteen thousands Euros) without gearbox/transmission.

A maximum of four engine claims can be made against one CRT in any one racing season. An MSMA manufacturer may not claim more than one engine per year from the same CRT (i.e. a different claimant for every claimed engine of the same CRT).

To lodge a claim under the Claiming Rule, an MSMA manufacturer must inform Race Direction in writing after the start of the race. In the case of more than one claim lodged against the same team, the claim lodged first will be recognised, and other claims dismissed. Provided that the relevant CRT has not already been subjected to the Claiming Rule four times that season, Race Direction will request the Technical Director to securely identify the used engine immediately after the race. The CRT must make that engine available at Technical Control within two hours after the identification, to be handed over to the successful claimant by the Technical Director. Race Direction will inform IRTA of the successful claim, and IRTA will ensure payment and receipt of the claiming fees between the two involved Teams.

2.3.7 Engine Durability

In the MotoGP class the number of engines available for use by each rider is limited to 6 engines per permanent contracted rider for all the scheduled races of the season. The following exceptions will apply:

Permanent contracted riders entered by an MSMA member participating in MotoGP for the first time since 2007; limited to 9 engines for all the scheduled races of its first season.

Permanent contracted riders entered by a CRT; limited to 12 engines for all the scheduled races of the season.

If a CRT loses an engine due to Art. 2.2.2 Claiming Rule, an additional engine will be allowed in the affected rider's allocation.

The number of engines available for use by each rider using a machine entered by a CRT can be changed during the season by a majority decision of the GPC, with the aim of ensuring fair competition. The number of engines allowed after that point will be determined by the GPC, based on half the number of engines remaining in the CRT's allocation, numbers rounded up. (eg. 9 engines remaining /2 = 4.5, rounded up = 5 engines allowed)

Should a rider be replaced for any reason […].

2.5.1 The following are the minimum weights permitted:


MotoGP up to 800cc capacity motorcycle 150kg

801cc to 1'000cc capacity motorcycle 153kg

2.6.5 The fuel tank capacity limit in the MotoGP class is:

  • maximum 21 litres, for motorcycles that have not been entered by CRT's,
  • maximum 24 litres, for motorcycles that have been entered by CRT's.

The maximum fuel tank capacity for motorcycles entered by CRT's can be changed during the season by a majority decision of the GPC, with the aim of ensuring fair competition.

In defining fuel tank capacity […].

Moto3 Class, 2012

The following clarifications were approved.

See document


1. ANNEX 1

Examples of permitted valve timing systems with a single chain as the principal drive mechanism (NB. general concept illustrations only, not an exhaustive list. Other layouts may be possible provided they comply with Art. 1.10)S

2. ANNEX 2

ECU specifications, dimensions, connector and pinout.

3. ANNEX 3

Moto3 Engine Manufacturer Entry Form.

4. ANNEX 4

Compatible dashboard and idle stepper motor, as per 5.4

5. The decision on the tenders for fuel/oil and for tyres to be supplied to Moto3 remains pending.

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And this encourages new engine manufacturers? How?
They come up with a gun engine & the factories can
just take it? Who is going to give up their intellectual
property for nothing?

The CRTs aren't supposed to be developing technology, they are supposed to be tuning production based motors.

If they are developing technology, they are acting like a factory team and should therefore be subject to the same rules as the factories (21L of fuel, 6 motors, etc) instead of the CRT rules (24L of fuel, 12 motors).

It is actually a fairly interesting idea and far more ingenious than I expected.

In 1973 Kim Newcombe came within one point of winning the 500cc championship before his tragic death at Silverstone. The Koenig engine he used was built for marine applications and his low budget use of it shows what original thought can do. John Britten built a motorcycle in his garage in NZ and made the factories look ridiculous. These are two examples of original thought.

Now we are not allowed to have original thought in the MotoGP class. There seems to be a large group of people who just swallow whatever is served up to them and justify their acceptance of same with "These are the rules just get on with it" akin to "The law is the law". This is just rhetoric and in no way constitutes an argument. I believe these are the same people who think that MotoGP is a prototype class. When in fact it is a control class with the rules mostly dictated by a small club of factories.

"If they are developing technology, they are acting like a factory team and and should therefore be subject to the same rules as the factories (21L of fuel, 6 motors, etc) instead of the CRT rules (24L of fuel, 12 motors)"
By this logic anyone who develops something original is now part of the MSMA and can have the same voting rights as Yamaha et al.

I for one hope I live to see a true prototype class where original thought and talented riders can flourish. MotoGP lap times are only slightly better than that of WSBK a situation I would describe as pathetic. When enough voices echo my sentiments maybe we can return to true racing .

1973 is about 40 years ago but that isn't really the issue. The real issue is that "true prototype" racing has brought us to 17 bikes and 3 factories. More important to me is that the tires, suspension and electronics are all basically spec since all of the factories use essentially the same suppliers. Original thought and talent are no longer a part of the game.

On the track things are heading MotoGP is done. What do you do about that? Pure prototype racing is a great idea but that idea has run its course. Now it is time to let the guys with good ideas build bikes that are interesting without worrying about trying to compete with the factories in engine design.

Or do you believe that there is someone just waiting in the wings with a prototype motor that can take on Honda?

your example is used to bury the moronic, insidious CRT engine claiming rules the FIM, Dorna and the other associated scumbags have engineered to stifle ANY chance of an " outsider " providing any competition to the cartel members.

E20,000 amounts to blackmail to coerce transfer of intellectual property. It's a pity no team has a sharp brief with an interest in racing who could examine the legalities of such rules under EU Competition Laws.

In 1973 500cc Gran Prix had a 4-cylinder rule. The 4-cylinder rule was in place from 1968 until 2001--34 seasons. The unintended consequence was that Grand Prix motorcycles switched to 2-stroke, and 3 decades of 4-stroke racing development were never realized. MotoGP was actually a return to engine prototyping, but as it was predicted by 4-stroke experts from other disciplines, the MSMA were/are not capable of managing a 4-stroke prototyping contest. After Kato's death, they introduced a terrible system of horsepower limiting measures that have basically killed the sport.

What do you want to happen? If MotoGP is an open engine formula, one particular design usually dominates, and everyone who can't/won't build that kind of engine drops out. A Cosworth DFV era begins (IF they are willing to lease), and engine variety is non-existent anyway.

The problem is that MotoGP has sold out to a group of manufacturers who don't care about motorcycles. If MV, Aprilia, and Ducati ran the sport, it would be a completely different sport (with different problems as well) b/c the Italians would know that 21L racing is self-deprecating and damaging to the entire industry regardless of who is winning.

Open formula is a pipe dream, but if you want MotoGP to sell out to better people, tell Dorna.

"John Britten built a motorcycle in his garage in NZ and made the factories look ridiculous"

This is a myth that deserves to die.

There is no doubt that Britten's achievement was amazing... but:
-Which factories did he make look ridiculous? It won a BOTT race at Daytona against a bunch of road bikes hotted up in other garages;
-The bike was full of non-standard ideas, but many of them were driven by cost. If you speak to people who rode it, the leading-link fork was not a great success. None of the ideas were really new, either.
-If the bike was really revolutionary, ideas it introduced would still be around.
leading link carbon forks? No.
underslung shock? No.
Engine as main frame member? Well Ducati are persevering, but no one else seems too keen.

In 1973, GP racing was still a low-key affair with little serious engineering input. Today, you can do a computer simulation of every detail of an engine and predict its performance within 1% before it's built... if you have the software and the skill to use it. Even if you do: remember Imtech and their F1 engineering pedigree? They built a dog. Or the result of Kenny Roberts bringing in John Barnard? "Boat anchor" was KR's summary. There was also Sauber's attempt at a 3 cylinder motor for the Foggy Petronas... rescued from complete failure by Suter, but doomed by the idea of putting the cylinder head on backwards.

The guys that rode the thing the most Jason 'Hippy' McEwan and Andrew Stroud both thought it a bit of a pig. It also won in McEwans hands the NZ 'Superbike' title with rules rewritten to accomodate it's 1100cc engine over the 750cc Japanese fours. It was however truly avantgarde and deserving of it's place in motorcycling iconography.

Least not cost and strung out fields.

The question becomes do you want technology to rule the roost or rider talent? Talent won the title last year with 800's from the three major manufacturers being very close in performance thanks to control rules.

9 engines for MSMA members who have not competed in the 800 era. Come on in Aprilia and BMW?

Cost? How much does it cost to lease Honda's MotoGP engines even if that were possible?
You want power? A forced induction 600cc engine would surpass that pile of junk at a fraction of the cost.

Strung out fields? If horsepower is cheap it only remains to sort out the electronics mess and any rider can qualify can get in there and have a go. Not just the anointed ones.

Your response is a perfect example of what I am talking about.

Two set of rules within one championship is a disaster waiting to happen. Balancing those two will always bring issues / lead to discussion. Especially when a CRT will regularly win.

Why not Formula 1 style, combine stable engine rules with factories making engines available to chassic builders. Interesting for the factories ($$$) as well. OK, the factories always will have a small advantage. But at least the private teams will have a shot at a good result.

I know the 21 liter rule is held sacred by the factories. But although R&D is important, marketing is THE factor why factories go racing.

Audiencies do not care if 21 of 30 liter is used per race. They care about exciting racing. Not a parade like yesterdays' race.....

The original plan, talked about in 2009, was for the factories to provide the satellite teams with engines at a much lower price. The factories were just not interested, quoting a price for the engine alone around 70% (if memory serves) of the price of a full bike. The factories really don't want to hand their engine technology over to anyone else.

After a couple of races, the CRT machines are regularly beating the satellite protos. The MSMA screams for them to be limited to 22L of fuel.

Dorna and the FIM wave a list of CRT applicants:
"We're thinking of new rules next year. We could call it Moto1. Prototype chassis and modified production motors from BMW and Aprilia.
We can fill the grid."

I also hope that the CRT teams can force the MSMA to increase fuel capacity. They'd have to develop a common engine by paying someone like Cosworth to do a first-class tuning job on the S1000RR engine. Play by the spirit of the rules for half the season, then roll out the big guns. They will certainly be classified as factory, but they threaten insurrection which would shrink the MotoGP grid back down to 15.

Forcing up the fuel restrictions would require IRTA to adopt unabashed belligerence towards the MSMA, and they'd probably have to do it without the support of the FIM or Dorna. If the 21L rule were scrapped GP might lose Honda and Yamaha, but I reckon Ducati and Suzuki would hang around. Manufacturers would join quickly to steal marketshare off of the Japanese.

MotoGP would be very unstable for a short time, and Dorna would bemoan the loss of Honda and Yamaha, but it would be a celebration of motorcycles and a much better entertainment property.