File this under “if you can’t compete on an equal playing field, we’ll just tilt the field for you.” After much ado, including consideration of yet a third class called Factory 2, the MotoGP gods have set rules that effectively give Ducati great advantages as the only Factory to go winless for more than a year. Ducati gets all the advantages accorded the Open category teams, plus it gets to develop and run its own software! Pretty sweet, but those advantages start to go away as Ducati gains wins and podiums, as described in the press release below. Oh, and every participant in MotoGP must run the spec ECU and software beginning in the 2016 series. The 2014 series opens in Qatar this weekend, and it will be interesting. Here is the rule announcement from Dorna:
1. The Championship ECU and software will be mandatory for all entries with effect from 2016.
All current and prospective participants in the MotoGP class will collaborate to assist with the design and development of the Championship ECU software.
During the development of the software a closed user web site will be set up to enable participants to monitor software development and to input their suggested modifications.
2. With immediate effect, a Manufacturer with entries under the factory option who has not achieved a win in dry conditions in the previous year, or new Manufacturer entering the Championship, is entitled to use 12 engines per rider per season (no design freezing), 24 litres of fuel and the same tyres allocation and testing opportunities as the Open category. This concession is valid until the start of the 2016 season.
3. The above concessions will be reduced under the following circumstances:
Should any rider, or combination of riders nominated by the same Manufacturer, participating under the conditions of described in clause 2 above, achieve a race win, two second places or three podium places in dry conditions during the 2014 season then for that Manufacturer the fuel tank capacity will be reduced to 22 litres. Furthermore, should the same Manufacturer achieve three race wins in the 2014 season the manufacturer would also lose the right to use the soft tyres available to Open category entries.
In each case the reduced concessions will apply to the remaining events of the 2014 season and the whole of the 2015 season.