MotoGP Rule Change Imminent: ‘Intermediate’ Category To Be Added Between Factory Option & Open Classes

03/06/2014 @ 9:07 am, by David Emmett100 COMMENTS

MotoGP Rule Change Imminent: Intermediate Category To Be Added Between Factory Option & Open Classes Cal Crutchlow MotoGP Ducati Corse Valencia Test Scott Jones 07 635x423

The CRT-replacement Open class in MotoGP is causing an even bigger shake up of the class than was expected. The outright speed of the Forward Yamaha at the first two Sepang tests provoked a testy response from Honda, who claimed it was entirely against the spirit of the rules.

Then came news that Ducati was to switch to an Open entry, giving them the freedom to develop their engines and use more fuel, in exchange for giving up their own ECU software.

This provoked an even angrier response from Honda, Repsol Honda team principal Livio Suppo telling the MotoGP.com website that they were unhappy with the introduction of the new ECU software Magneti Marelli brought to the second Sepang test, which was much more sophisticated, though it was not used by the teams.

It seems Honda’s complaints have not fallen on deaf ears. Today, in an interview with Spanish sports daily AS, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta announced that a third, intermediate category is to be introduced for 2014.

The new category, which Ezpeleta dubbed ‘Factory 2′, will see Ducati start the season under the full Open regulations: 24 liters of fuel per race, 12 engines per season, not subject to the engine development freeze, unlimited testing, and a softer rear tire, in exchange for using the spec championship software managed by Magneti Marelli.

However, should Ducati win a race, or take two second-places, or three third-places, then they will lose some of their advantage. Fuel will be reduced from 24 to 22.5 liters, and the engine allocation will be reduced from 12 to 9 engines per season.

The measure is to be adopted as of 11th March, according to Ezpeleta. The Grand Prix Commission will meet to approve the new rules, though the FIM, Dorna and team association IRTA have already given their assent.

Given that this proposal was most likely made in response to pressure from the two Japanese factories still adhering to the Factory Option regulations, the MSMA are also likely to approve it.

The proposal will leave MotoGP with three categories, instead of the existing two. Factory Option: 20 liters of fuel, 5 engines per season, all engine development frozen and restricted testing, in exchange for the freedom to use and develop their own ECU software.

Open: 24 liters of fuel, 12 engines per season, engine development and testing unrestricted, and  a softer rear tire, but forced to use the Magneti Marelli software. And Factory 2: the same as Open, but with 22.5 liters of fuel and 9 engines.

What is not clear is what other restrictions will be placed on Factory 2 teams, whether testing will be limited, whether they will have access to a softer tire, etc. It is also not clear whether they will be freed from some of the restrictions on the electronics package, such as the freedom to use their own dashboard or sensor packages — at Phillip Island, Ducati ran the full Open spec electronics package, including Magneti Marelli dashboard.

It is also unclear whether the Factory 2 regulations will apply to the Forward Yamaha team as well, especially as the bike which Aleix Espargaro and Colin Edwards will be racing is now being entered as a ‘Forward Yamaha’ in the latest entry lists, rather than the ‘FTR Yamaha’ which it was originally called.

It is also unclear whether weather conditions will be taken into account when assessing results. When the engine allocation rules were first brought in, an exception was made for factories which had not had a dry win, the same logic could be applied here.

The trigger for the latest spat over the Open class was the introduction of a new, much more sophisticated software package brought to Sepang 2 by Magneti Marelli. Initial reports were that the new package was basically Ducati’s ECU software, handed over to Magneti Marelli.

As Mat Oxley wrote yesterday, however, the new package was not yet in use at Sepang, the software only being loaded so that the Open class technicians could get used to the way it worked, and compare it with the 2013 software, which was far less complex.

In the interview with AS, Ezpeleta explained that Magneti Marelli had the software for some time. The factories were asked in November last year to help develop the spec-ECU software, but Honda and Yamaha refused, Ezpeleta said. Ducati agreed, and provided assistance to the Italian ECU maker.

Magneti Marelli then built their software based on the input provided by Ducati, and this was the software introduced at Sepang 2. Ezpeleta was clear on why the upgrade was applied. ‘The objective is that in the end, everyone will run as Open entries,’ Ezpeleta told AS.

Source: AS & MotoGP.com; Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. BBQdog says:

    I hope they all get some extra broadcast time so that before every race the commentators can spend half an hour explaining what the difference between those classes are.

  2. MikeG81 says:

    What a sh*tshow this has turned into.

  3. KK says:

    if ducati helped develop the spec ECU, then why wouldnt they go open class? They now know what to expect

  4. Jonathan says:

    Honda’s definition of the spirit of the rules: “We have more money than you, so we get to decide what is fair.”

  5. Bruce Monighan says:

    What a wuss Carmelo Ezpeleta is. Just lost any respect for him. He sets up rules to move teams toward the spec ECU and when they do, and follow the rule,s and succeed, he punishes them because Honda whines.

    Get it together Ezpleta and get some cojones. You running things or is the Spanish Federation running things (Repsol, Honda Spanish riders)? The CRT class was a joke, only there to fill a grid and not threaten Honda. With the Open Class you got exactly what you wanted; competition. Now you don’t want it because they might actually win.

    Poor management to change the rules this year. Teams have looked at the rules, made choices, invested millions and now you want new rules. I think Ezpeleta must have been meeting with Jim France and taking lessons based on what they have done to AMA road racing. A lot of BS.

    For me, to see that Ducati might have a chance to develop their bike and be competitive or the Satellite teams have a fair shot at the front is great. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Lorenzo, Marquez, Rossi battles, but to see others up front and competitive would make it a lot more fun to watch.

    I have a suggestion; if Honda or Yamaha factory bikes win, hang 20 more kilos on them each time they win. Let’s punish everybody for winning.

  6. Jake R says:

    This is a joke. Now word is going out that the Spec software is actually Ducati’s factory software, so why wouldn’t Ducati go open class? They still get to use what is basically their factory software and all the concessions of the Open class rules. Again this is just a freakin joke. Dorna didn’t think this out and left way too many “loop holes” that are already being exploited. How Ducati’s software could have gotten approval for being used as spec is insane. How could that happen and anyone think it’s fair to anyone but Ducati?

    Dorna has just made dumb rule after dumb rule without really thinking it clearly. Bunch of knee jerk reactions that are making things worse instead of addressing issues

  7. Aj says:

    I echo the opinions above. The Japanese decided to stay away from assisting in the ECU development, and now they’re going to moan about it?

    God forbid Honda and Repsol might not be the dominant combination (eyes roll)

  8. alvaro says:

    such a mess.. here in argentina we call “cabaret” to this kind of shows in sport

  9. Mark says:

    Carmelo lost his nerve. What a spineless punk. I supported his goal, and still do, but I really do not like how he backed off. Come on, Carmelo, stick to your guns.

  10. Bart says:

    I will not watch one Motogp race. This is a joke.

  11. smiler says:

    Jake R: Unlimted engine development, forcing Yamahahahaha and Hhhhhhonda down to their level. The Engineer formally known as the Genius at Aprilia has done Ducati a great service already.

    Now it is a series with 4 different types of bike. Factory, Factory 2, Factory Satelite and Open. Well actually:

    Factory, Factory 2, Factoty Satelite, Open: Factory Production, Factory Engine other chassis.

    Carmelo might as well roll out his ultimate scheme. 18 rounds in Spain, Spanish sponsors and riders, bikes by Bulataco, Gas Gas and Derbi and let everyone else go to WSBK. He is an idiot.

  12. meatspin says:

    the ducati was never going to be an open bike in spirit. That they would just give Magneti Marelli (an italian company btw) the software tailor suited to just their bike was never going to fly in the face of even competition. Honda and Yamaha could have kept their mouth shut and “helped” Ducati but anyone can see this was pure chicanery.

    It strikes me odd people are upset at Honda and Yamaha for this.

  13. AC says:

    Ducati has used Magnetti Marelli for years in the road bikes so it’s no surprise really that the spec ECU was originally based on Ducati software. While it might give Ducati an advantage at the start simply because they’re familiar with it, it’s not like it’ll give them an advantage once the other teams get up to speed, since Ducati will no longer be developing it.

    Honda is a just a big crybaby and frankly, they are sucking a lot of the joy out of the series. I’m really sick of watching Hondas and Yamahas on the podium every single race, for every single season. It’s time to level the playing field and give us some real competition.

  14. tony says:

    beginning to sound like f1 bullshit. pretty soon all motogp teams will need a politician on staff…

  15. L2C says:

    “This is a joke. Now word is going out that the Spec software is actually Ducati’s factory software, so why wouldn’t Ducati go open class? They still get to use what is basically their factory software and all the concessions of the Open class rules. Again this is just a freakin joke. Dorna didn’t think this out and left way too many “loop holes” that are already being exploited. How Ducati’s software could have gotten approval for being used as spec is insane. How could that happen and anyone think it’s fair to anyone but Ducati?”

    On the money.

    “Unlimted engine development, forcing Yamahahahaha and Hhhhhhonda down to their level. The Engineer formally known as the Genius at Aprilia has done Ducati a great service already. “

    On the money.

    “the ducati was never going to be an open bike in spirit. That they would just give Magneti Marelli (an italian company btw) the software tailor suited to just their bike was never going to fly in the face of even competition. Honda and Yamaha could have kept their mouth shut and “helped” Ducati but anyone can see this was pure chicanery.

    It strikes me odd people are upset at Honda and Yamaha for this.”

    Preach!

  16. Norm G. says:

    re: “This is a joke.”

    now you guys see what I’ve been on about.

    re: “It strikes me odd people are upset at Honda and Yamaha for this.”

    people often make decisions/form opinions while not in possession of all the facts. it’s what we do.

  17. John D'Orazio says:

    Absolute CRAP…Ducati made the right choice, a choice Honda could have made as well. As soon as it looked like there might be some real advantage to choosing Open Class, Honda goes all titty baby. Honda, if you want to race, bring it. If you want to practice politics, just stay home. Jeez

  18. Norm G. says:

    re: “What a sh*tshow this has turned into.”

    I’m down with MikeG and that ain’t no baloney…! (best Beastie Boy rapping voice)

  19. Harb says:

    MotoGP is now Who’s Line Is It Anyway?. The rules are made up and the points don’t matter. Honda wins, that’s all you need to know.

    Screw this.

  20. Jonathan says:

    “people often make decisions/form opinions while not in possession of all the facts. it’s what we do.”

    Just like assuming the Marelli software has been completely rewritten to tailor to the Ducati.

    Meanwhile A. Espagaro on a YAMAHA, has been doing quite well with that software upgrade.

  21. JoeD says:

    Becoming more like AMA/DMG shenanigans albeit with more races. It will only improve when some-one with a spine tells Honda and others like them to shove it. Honda has always controlled the racing with money and the threat of withdrawal. I’m just glad I have not subscribed to MotoGP. I MAY watch for free but I will not PAY for this excrement sandwich.

  22. Norm G. says:

    re: “Absolute CRAP…Ducati made the right choice, a choice Honda could have made as well.”

    if this were F1, neither would’ve had the choice to begin with. as we saw at Bahrain last week, Bernie had everybody on the same formula. Ferrari wasn’t their saying, aww screw these 1.6 turbos, were going to run our old (perfected) V8 to get a leg up.

  23. twoversion says:

    It’s a “prototype” series with a “spec” ecu, spec “tires” and spec “fuel and engine allotments” – it’s only a couple small changes from becoming nasbike.

    The smartest thing to do would be to deep six wsbk and turn MotoGP into a series based on modified production motorcycles.

  24. rob says:

    I’m a Honda fan and this is complete bullshit! Come on, let them be competitive and make the engineers and riders earn that top spot.

  25. Lance Boyle says:

    “If any team wins too many times on a Sunday with an even numbered date, they will be excluded from the next round having an even date, only being allowed to race on Sunday’s with an odd numbered date. Rules for the Assen race, held on a Saturday, are pending…”

  26. Frank says:

    @ meatspin: It strikes me odd people are upset at Honda and Yamaha for this.

    My thoughts exactly. Ducati’s interpretation of the rules were technically within the rules, but the result is that they are running an already improved GP14 with more fuel, more engines and the opportunity to develop their engine throughout the season. That is a MASSIVE advantage over the factories. Of course Honda was going to raise protest… they’ve been vocal about their position on MSMA vs. spec ECU for years. And yeah – it would seem funny to see Ducati on the podium this year given how far back they were in the last 2 seasons. I don’t think though, that this will be the case. I think that Dovi will be up around 6th or 7th and Cal will battle to crack the top 10.

    The quetion that I’ve had about Aleix has finally been answered though – and is also an interesting ‘interpretation’ of the open class rules. Forward Yamaha. NOT FTR. Nothing about that bike was ever going to be FTR. As soon as I heard that he was testing and lapping Sepang on a Yamaha chassis and swing arm, and that the FTR package was ‘coming’ I knew that we would never see it. The good news is – Aleix finally got the ride that everyone was claiming he deserved last year for 2014… a Satellite Yamaha. Pol and Bradley’s tech might be slightly more sophisticated than Aleix’s open ECU, but he will beat them on softer rubber with more fuel. Honda haven’t raised a stink about this yet but will Nakamoto be asking for the FTR chassis mid season when Aleix is sucking points from the championship…? Remember- the initial agreements were that Honda would build a production racer and Yamaha would lease engines. The swing arm/chassis thing came later and then it was announced that Forward NGM was a partnership of the chassis maker FTR and Yamaha.

    The Honda production racer is slow, but that’s because it isn’t cutting open-rules corners at this point. It would be great if Nicky could get pneumatic valves and a seamless gear box some time this year.

    Too many regulations require smaller, retroactive regulations to close the loop holes that the previous labrynth of regulations left open. It’s never-ending and absolutely frustrating. I echo a majority of the sentiment about this move by Dorna… it’s a joke. Let em race. Let’s see what an unlocked Ducati team can do against the big factories. What’s the worst that can happen…? Ducati wins some races… maybe Dovi battles for the championship exploiting the open class loop holes and the Dorna universe is upset for a year..??? In the meantime, I bet the racing will be better.

  27. twoversion says:

    The worst that could happen is audi dumps a fork ton of money into ducati motogp and the 20 million other major teams spend to chase after first each event goes up in flames

  28. John R says:

    so once ducati realized that they can’t beat honda/yamaha, now have to resort to “cheating”?

  29. JP says:

    Are you f***ing kidding me? you get penalized for winning and following the rule?
    I love Honda bikes, but man… Honda needs to stop whining

  30. Aaron says:

    Professional racing has always been about finding holes in the rules and doing whatever is legal (or sometimes illegal) to gain an advantage. Ducati found a advantage that was within the rules, period. Honda is just pissed they didn’t think to do the same thing and dropped a ton of $ into the poor performing RCV1000R.

  31. Gutterslob says:

    At the rate this is going, Ducati will probably get a 200cc engine displacement increase by the time the season starts.

  32. Jonathan says:

    “so once ducati realized that they can’t beat honda/yamaha, now have to resort to “cheating”?”

    They aren’t cheating. Ducati and Yamaha have helped Marelli develop their ECU in the past. Now it is more sophisticated than ever before thanks to Ducati’s more advanced algorithms. The spec ECU is, however, still designed to work for all 6 different types of entries from open/crt.

    Honda is mad because they anticipated the Marelli software would still be weaker when the season began, and all the much cheaper open class bikes, except their RCV1000R, are faster than expected. That makes them look bad, so of course they’ve got something to say about it.

  33. Frank says:

    @ Jonathan: and all the much cheaper open class bikes, except their RCV1000R, are faster than expected.

    Wrong. 2 bikes are faster than expected… Aleix’s Satellite Yamaha and Ducati. Everyone else is right about where we thought they’d be – back where the CRT bikes were last year. Ducati and Forward Yamaha were best at interpreting the rules, thus- they are faster. The rest of the teams commented that the ECU updates were initially too complex to benefit them. The Honda RCV1000R is right in the middle of that open class at the moment.

  34. Scott says:

    Honda’s strategy in racing has always been to win via the rules first and everything else second. Dorna is happy to go along with it since they have moved to Spanish riders.

    All Ducati is guilty of is exposing how thoroughly Honda has manipulated MotoGP. As soon as there were indications that they and other open entries might actually be able to win races rather than fill grid slots, of course Honda got upset and whined about the rules. Ducati giving their software to Magnetti Marelli is unfair? How? Sure, they get an initial jump on the learning curve, but everyone else using the spec ECU gets all of Ducati’s R&D for free. Talk about a bargain! If the ECU was turning the Ducs into rocketships and left the other Open bikes sputtering and misfiring around the track, that would be different. But the fact that it turned all of the teams with talented riders into legitimate threats was the absolute best thing that could have happened to the series.

    If they’re going to add a rule, it needs to be a combined bike and rider minimum weight. But that wouldn’t favor the Spanish jockey-wannabes so it’ll never happen.

  35. Jonathan says:

    @Frank

    You just repeated what I said. All the open class bikes are faster except the Honda. That’s 2.

  36. Jonathan says:

    ^^^ I wasn’t talking about the CRT’s.

  37. dc4go says:

    Honda flexing and changing the rules as always. They were responsible for the 800cc rule change that made Motogp boring as can be. Now that Ducati/Yamaha are running “open” bikes and are fast they are bitching and screaming all over again. Screw Honda hope they leave and race against themselves.

  38. L2C says:

    Mmm… Hold on, I need to get more popcorn!

  39. Yeeha! Stephen says:

    “Norm G. says:

    March 6, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    re: “What a sh*tshow this has turned into.”

    I’m down with MikeG and that ain’t no baloney…! (best Beastie Boy rapping voice)”

    Add my ditto to this!

    What a great time to start a new series. Kinda like the old original Formula Extreme used to be… Run What-Cha Brung!

    “If you build it, they will come.”

    Yeeha! Stephen
    Bedrock Texas

  40. Frank says:

    Hey Jonathan, there are no CRTs this year. It is factory and Open… and well, now it’s Factory, Factory 2 and Open. There are no more Claim Rules Teams in 2014. So I was referring to the rest of the Open field – Avintia, PBM, etc… I get what you mean – the proddie racer is slower than the other 2 factory’s ‘Open’ entries, but that is not ALL of the open teams that are sharing the spec ECU. And Nicky will certainly finish ahead of Yonny Hernandez and right around Colin Edwards this year, both on Duc and Yam open bikes respectively.

  41. TonyC says:

    If the Factory2 bike wins a race or gets 2 second-place finishes, the team will be bumped up to the Factory1.5 class where fuel is reduced to 21.75L and engine allocation reduced to 7. You also will have to install a CPU add-on kit – the “Factory Ultra Computer Kit”.

  42. Ray says:

    Wow. How can they get away with changing the rules so late? Ducati should quit in protest.

  43. MikeG81 says:

    “If the Factory2 bike wins a race or gets 2 second-place finishes, the team will be bumped up to the Factory1.5 class where fuel is reduced to 21.75L and engine allocation reduced to 7. You also will have to install a CPU add-on kit – the “Factory Ultra Computer Kit”.”

    And you get to run Shinko slicks.

  44. TexusTim says:

    so dorna didnt think this all the way thru?..why wouldnt you go open class if you not beating the “factory” teams? more gas, better tire selection and all for using spec software ? this is the spirit of the rules why add another class ? to make Honda feel good? cmon they cant even give there spec bike enough motor..they have nothing to complain about and dorna should not add another class to motogp, it looks weak and like there catering to honda.

  45. Norm G. says:

    re: “Too many regulations require smaller, retroactive regulations to close the loop holes that the previous labrynth of regulations left open. It’s never-ending and absolutely frustrating.”

    re: “How can they get away with changing the rules so late?”

    we’re going off the rails on a crazy train…!!!

  46. huzz g says:

    just stick to wsb, not that many rules, just a pity dorna is running it

  47. Norm G. says:

    re: “this is the spirit of the rules why add another class ? to make Honda feel good?”

    no, to fix their (dorna’s) screw up.

    look, dont confuse honda’s protest to mean they were the only ones with an axe to grind. like normstradamus only pointed out WELL BEFORE any of this latest clusterfukk, ducati’s presence in the OC harms like 8 or 9 other teams.

    the satellites, the privateers teams, remember them…? yeah, well they have neither a 4-stroke title nor the resources to go head to head with ANY factory… they need the “performance balancers” of the OC all to their lonesome.

  48. It seems that the bottom line here is that if any non-factory team has even a prayer of winning a race, they will be penalized for their impertinence. The reality of these late-breaking rule changes is that any claim of improving the show is just empty words. In 2014, only factory Hondas and Yamahas are allowed to win, or else.

  49. Mark says:

    Honda further cements its position and reputation as the Evil Empire of big time road racing. No doubt Putin’s favorite team. ;-)

  50. r0do says:

    Shame on you Ezpeleta :\

  51. Norm G. says:

    re: “they will be penalized for their impertinence”

    placed in burlap bags and beaten with reeds… pretty standard really.

  52. GHN says:

    The people writing these comments are like children. No understanding of the situation.

  53. Norm G. says:

    re: “However, should Ducati win a race, or take two second-places, or three third-places, then they will lose some of their advantage. Fuel will be reduced from 24 to 22.5 liters, and the engine allocation will be reduced from 12 to 9 engines per season.”

    see entry for ASININE.

    http://m.dictionary.com/definition/asinine

  54. Looter says:

    re: “No doubt Putin’s favorite team.” LOL even the Honda CBR1000RR SP is painted like the Russian flag!

  55. crshnbrn says:

    re: “the satellites, the privateers teams, remember them…? yeah, well they have neither a 4-stroke title nor the resources to go head to head with ANY factory… they need the “performance balancers” of the OC all to their lonesome.”

    Agreed!

    To allow Ducati the same breaks as the Satellite and “true” Open Class entries wouldn’t be fair to either group, but Ducati has agreed to use the Magneti-Marelli spec ECU, adoption of which comes with the reward of more fuel than the Factory teams which have chosen to continue to develop their own ECUs/software. No disrespect to Dovi or Crutchlow, but if either of them win a dry race against Marquez, Lorenzo, Pedrosa, and Rossi on the four best bikes on the grid then Ducati will truly have an unfair advantage considering where they were finishing last season. I think the Factory 2 category is a good idea, and that is where Ducati should start the season.
    As for Ezpeleta buckling to Honda’s objection, so what if he did? Just because Honda may get what it wants, doesn’t mean Honda gets what it wants. Was Honda not a proponent of 800cc displacement? No Honda-mounted rider won a MotoGP Championship until the last year of that era (2011) and then it took Casey Stoner to do it.

  56. dc4go says:

    Force all teams to run a “SPEC ECU” without t/c therefore bikes will slide again, chew up tires , and Honda would quit and go home. Then everyone will be happy and racing would be fun again.

  57. Nick says:

    This is so ridiculous that it seems like an A&R april fools joke… but it’s not April.

  58. Westward says:

    I’m guessing KTM’s win over Honda in Moto3 last year stings more than they are letting on. Not to mention that KTM virtually dominated the series along with Kalex.

    This is why I almost never cheer for HRC (save for Simoncelli and Marquez) HRC has the far superior budget, and they want to penalized a boutique manufacturer like Ducati, that clearly lacked a competitive bike for the last few years.

    I find it hard to believe that HRC want to claim any legitimate championship title while their competition are mostly bikes that can’t compete mainly due to economics. They had the best bike that last two seasons hands down. The only reason Lorenzo won his second title was because Stoner got hurt. Part of the reason HRC won last year was because Lorenzo got hurt. Now HRC have yet again the best bike, and the new Bridgestone compound favours their bike this season, and they still whine. Grow a pair…

    Honda and Yamaha had the same chance to contribute to the Spec ECU and they chose not to. Don’t Bitch now because Ducati did. Notice Yamaha is not complaining much. Maybe its because both Yamaha and Ducati have Open class bikes that are working well with the spec ECU, and Honda’s effort in the Open class sucks.

    MotoGP has become more and more of a farce every time Honda gets to dictate terms. It was already bad when their input made it impossible for satellite bikes to win races since the 800 era…

    So what happens if Pedrosa accidentally goes down due to a Marquez mistake and both Honda are out and Ducati makes it on the Podium, then the following race weekend both Ducati’s make the podium in the rain. Does Ducati still get penalized ?

  59. TheBrain says:

    “I don’t want to stir up the controversy, I’ll strictly stick to the facts. I would like to understand in which section of the rule book it is written that the Open should be a ‘low cost’ option.”

    “The rule book went public months ago and, as I said, we respected it. It doesn’t say the Open category is limited to privateer teams. Truth to tell, considering how the rules have been written, it looks more a singularity the Factory option than the Open one. To have the chance to develop their own software, they have to submit to limited engines and fuel”.

    -Ciabatti, Ducati Corse

    Most people commenting get it. This is bull shit Honda GP: Others can play but ride in the back of the bus. @!#$ u HRC.

  60. smiler says:

    HYonda would never have made the same choice. They make 1 million bikes a year and spend much more than anyone else in MotoGp. They have clearly said the reason they do it is development. There is no Magnetti Marelli or Bisch in Japan, so Hinda have to develop the electronics themselves.

    There are now 5 categories:
    Factory – Honda
    Factory 2 – Ducati
    Factory Satelite – Gresini Honda
    Factory Open – RCV 1000 Prodn’ bike
    Factory Engine and A.N. Other chassis. NGM Forward

    The Spanish really should not be running MotoGP. They have no heritage in motor racing of any kind and are simply making it into a Spanish money maker. An international race series with 3 manufacturers. Like no other in the world. A Joke.

  61. Brian says:

    I’m not going to complain about more convoluted rules and racing, something that seems to happen every year. What annoys me is that this change is coming so close to the start of the season. And not to mention they are basically punishing teams who are successful following rules that they themselves created.

    SBK is now offering live streaming video online!

  62. Chester says:

    My gut reaction was: I want my VideoPass refunded if they go through with this. I understand both sides but to change it so suddenly so near the beginning of the season with the intent of basically punishing success seems ludicrous.

  63. TwoWheelLoo says:

    Wow… whaaaat a shit show in all ways; Ezpeleta scratching his head and playing middle school teacher, making up rules on the spot so the kids would shut up and play nice. Honda, the rich kid pouting because the poor kid is ‘showing’ some promise.

    Pretty soon the teams will be able to get away with using more engines than they can just because everyone’s too fuggin’ confused about the rules to make any sense of it.

    Ducati to open class eh? So does this mean Ducati will sell this bike in a couple years as a Desmosedici RR part 2?

    Oh look! SBK offering live stream at a cheaper price? *walks away slowley…..*

  64. proudAmerican says:

    Thinking back to AMA from a few years ago:

    Now all we need is for Buell to jump into the fray, and create another sub-category! :-)

  65. Jake R says:

    @smiler

    The rules may not have stated low cost but that was the intent of both CRT and the Open class. A low cost racing option so that the smaller non-factory teams supposedly had a viable racing option to be competitive. I don’t blame Honda, Yamaha or Ducati for this miss. This whole situation is because of the short sightedness of Dorna and the FIM.

    But the problem here with Ducati is simply this. How is it fair. MM has customer software and then had custom software that was specifically developed for factories like Ducati and Yamaha. So how is it fair that the Ducati package becomes the defacto standard? That gives Ducati an edge and how that was allowed by Dorna & the FIM is amazing. Especially considering they thought Yamaha or Honda wouldn’t complain. One factory or team should not be able to stear this so called spec hardware/software. Everyone has been saying the electronics have been a major part in deciding competitiveness and now they not only given Ducati an obvious advantage in that area, but also the allowances of extra fuel, engines and developement.

    I personally don’t think losing should be rewarded and winning punished but apparently the powers that be do. Despite what Dorna thinks they need the factories otherwise this whole pennicale of bike racing stuff is just crap. and this type of incompetent rule making does not help. It is just a mess. After being a fan for almost 20 years these last few years have given me more and more reasons to not watch MotoGP anymore. All the stupid politics and rule changes that are obviously designed to help a specific rider or team win. It’s why I stopped watching AMA racing. Why it’s getting harder to watch SBK (rules designed to make MotoGP look better) and why I just really stopped watching MotoGP. No plans to watch it this year.

  66. Kaw4Life says:

    What Honda wants, they get.

  67. Ricardo says:

    I would suggest, as the next step, to rename the series from MotoGP to Law/Business GP. What a buch of bullshit, really, MotoGP has become. Much in the same fashion as F1 has.
    No wonder people with real motorsports interest are “drifting” into other series .

  68. L2C says:

    @ Westward

    “I’m guessing KTM’s win over Honda in Moto3 last year stings more than they are letting on. Not to mention that KTM virtually dominated the series along with Kalex.”

    A completely separate issue that has no bearing on the premiere class, and Honda has been spending less than KTM in Moto3. This is one of the contributing reasons for KTM’s recent success.

    “This is why I almost never cheer for HRC (save for Simoncelli and Marquez) HRC has the far superior budget, and they want to penalized a boutique manufacturer like Ducati, that clearly lacked a competitive bike for the last few years.”

    Yet you still cheer for HRC. Sorry, you can’t have it both ways. I’ll deal with your assertion that Honda wants to penalize Ducati later.

    “I find it hard to believe that HRC want to claim any legitimate championship title while their competition are mostly bikes that can’t compete mainly due to economics. They had the best bike that last two seasons hands down. The only reason Lorenzo won his second title was because Stoner got hurt. Part of the reason HRC won last year was because Lorenzo got hurt.”

    Just another off-topic mini rant. Whatever, dude. And you didn’t allow Dani Pedrosa the same concessions. Pfft.

    “Honda and Yamaha had the same chance to contribute to the Spec ECU and they chose not to. Don’t Bitch now because Ducati did. Notice Yamaha is not complaining much.”

    Honda has always been the point man for the MSMA. It’s not a surprise that Honda would be the one to voice the mutual dissent of both Honda and Yamaha.

    The other issue is that both Honda and Yamaha’s success with their own proprietary ECU software makes it much less likely that they would want to use anything other than their own software. Their machines are developed in tandem with their ECU software, both teams have total control over those variables, and so it makes no sense financially or otherwise to want to use ECU software developed by Ducati/Magnetti Marelli.

    You’re trying to say that both Honda and Yamaha lost out on a missed opportunity. Not so. Both teams outright rejected the opportunity because it represented a significant loss of financial investment and human resources. There was no incentive to do otherwise.

    Contrast that with Ducati whose ECU software could not make up for the design and mechanical flaws of its machine. Of course they would be willing to give their ECU software away to Magnetti Marelli for further development. When Gigi Dall’Igna arrived, Ducati’s entire MotoGP program was practically a write-off to begin with, thus the monumental restructuring at Ducati Corse, so donating software to the Open Class cause was not a difficult decision to make.

    And don’t be naive, it wasn’t an altruistic gesture. Ducati donated the ECU software to protect their advantage over the privateer teams and to maintain, if not increase their competitiveness with Honda and Yamaha.

    Had Ducati been more successful than Honda and Yamaha, you can bet your donkey that Ducati would have raised concerns and objections if Honda/Yamaha followed the same Open Class route that Ducati has recently taken.

    Here is another point that you are fond of overlooking: Just because Honda has the finances to be successful at going racing, doesn’t mean that it is solely because of its finances that Honda is successful. How much has Ducati lost on its MotoGP program over the past 6-7 years or so? They have significantly outspent the privateers, competeted in every area and on every point with both Honda and Yamaha — and yet with the exception of Casey Stoner’s tenure, Ducati’s program has been an utter disappointment. Failure. That is why Dall’Igna is there now, to save the day.

    Money isn’t everything.

    Here is yet another nugget: Honda’s costs to develop its RC213V have most likely decreased dramatically over the last two seasons because most of what they do now are updates and tweaks to an already proven and successful machine. Honda is well past the initial costly stages of research and development and experimentation. They have their program down to a T now, they really understand their machine and their riders. Having to throw all of that know-how away to embrace the championship software of Ducati/Magnetti Marelli represents great losses and significantly increased costs in both financial and human terms.

    Does it make any kind of sense that Honda would choose to use Ducati/Magnetti Marelli ECU software on its RC213Vs when they already have their own ECU software that works exceedingly well?

    Yamaha is in the same situation. This is why very little development has been done on its M1 since Jorge Lorezno has been winning titles and remaining competitive. Yamaha, too, have begun to reap the longterm benefits of being a successful racing team. (Though, in my opinion, it’s time for YFR to turn it up a notch. See Valentino Rossi + Movistar.)

    Only Ducati, whose costs are now skyrocketing, stand to benefit from the Open Class rules. For Honda and Yamaha, there aren’t enough carrots on that Open Class stick to get them abandon their proven formulas that they have already paid for. What sense does it make for Honda and Yamaha to essentially start all over again in the Open Class, as Ducati have done, when Honda and Yamaha are both in the refinement stages with their respective machines?

    So, no, Honda is not out to penalize Ducati for going Open. Honda is out to protect its economic future and what it has successfully built.

  69. L2C says:

    “I don’t want to stir up the controversy, I’ll strictly stick to the facts. I would like to understand in which section of the rule book it is written that the Open should be a ‘low cost’ option.”

    “The rule book went public months ago and, as I said, we respected it. It doesn’t say the Open category is limited to privateer teams. Truth to tell, considering how the rules have been written, it looks more a singularity the Factory option than the Open one. To have the chance to develop their own software, they have to submit to limited engines and fuel”.

    -Ciabatti, Ducati Corse

    That’s Ciabatti spinning the press. Plain and simple. Sounds good to those who support Ducati. Sounds like baloney (bologna) to the rest of us. I respect Gigi Dall-Igna’s move, but I completely disagree with the rules that allowed him take it.

    Ducati has a distinct and sizable advantage over the privateer teams. With Marlboro, Audi, and the VW Group — Ducati has exactly zero ways to make it appear that they are just one of the other teams. The Open Class label just doesn’t cut it.

    Ducati are an exception, they are not like IODA Racing, and are just like Honda and Yamaha. The details of the deal doesn’t change the complexion or the substance of the players at the manufacturer level.

  70. smiler says:

    @Jake R

    How is it fair that Honda have by far the biggest wallet and because Repsol, the biggest sponsor are Spanish they can lean on Dorna, Spanish as much as they like to ensure they get a Spanish winner.
    Why was the rookie rule dropped for Merguez, especially asfter Simoncelli was killed?
    Why have Dorna backed down?

    There are three manufactuers in MotoGP. Would you prefer there are 2. Ducati used a loophole in the rule to their advantage. The idea that MM have developed software specifically for Ducati is a nonsense. Given that their bike is new, and that the new team has not been in place for long MM would need significant time to do this. There is no way they could do it without Yamahaha or Hinda finding out. However their use of the std software helps Dorna.

    The idea of not aiding failure (a common American phrase) is fine idea when there is room to take on the dominent in any market and you are not 1. Poor. 2. Not able to influence development (tyres) 3. Do not have the deck stacked because the 2 biggest players collude and exert much more influence. 4. You cannot introduce a step change to undermine the dominent player, like Apple did in the phone market. Honda and Repsol are Microsoft. This, like Rossi sacking his engineer is the only manoevre they could control.
    Honda should have seen it.

  71. Norm G. says:

    re: “What annoys me is that this change is coming so close to the start of the season.”

    3 words…

    MOVING

    THE

    GOALPOSTS

  72. Norm G. says:

    re: “The rules may not have stated low cost”

    correct, Ezpelata already stated it ad-nauseum when he asked the factories to sell rather than lease kit at a price cap of 1 million. that’s how we got here.

  73. L2C says:

    @ smiler

    “Honda should have seen it.”

    I have no doubt that Honda did see it. The question was would Ducati actually make that move knowing that the other two factories wouldn’t. The surprise was that Ducati did make the move.

    Now Honda has played some of its cards in response to Ducati’s move, and it’s no surprise that many people HATE Honda for it. Honda is competing just like Ducati are competing. Ducati exploited the rules to the maximum benefit, Honda is using its influence to its maximum benefit.

    All’s fair in love and war.

  74. Jake R says:

    @smiler

    having discussions on forums is hard because people don’t put their biases aside. but try to be objective and look at the facts

    1) Yes rules have always been suspect in favortism and this goes beyond the rookie rule crap back to all the concessions made to keep Rossi up front. When the head of Dorna specific saying one person needs to be up front there is a problem. Period. In a perfect world the rules should apply to everyone evenly and teams should go focus on fair competition instead of trying to expliot loopholes to gain advantage.

    2) Money doesn’t always equate to winning, just ask a lot of F1 or NBA teams with big pockets. It does’t hurt but it’s no guarantee. But I’m sick of small teams trying to compete against big teams and then complaining about it. Racing isn’t cheap. But if Honda takes racing seirously and allocates a budget for it how is it their problem? Ducati use to have a seemingly unlimited SBK budget which forced other factories to step up. But again it’s about choices.

    3)Sponsorship? I don’t have an answer to that. It’s not something that anyone can control. If Honda has strong ties with Respols deep pockets and Ducati with Malbaros well what is anyone supposed to do?

    Now back to the topic at hand. This is not a loop hole. Do your research it isn’t hard. Yes MM makes special specific software for Ducati and Yamaha. Even without a spec MM ECU this specific software would not be purchased by anyone but Ducati and Yamaha. So for Ducati to get Dorna, FIM and MM to agree to make what is reported to be Ducati’s MM software package how can that not be beneficial to anyone but Ducati? So how is Ducati trying fitting into the spirit of the Openclass rule? They have what is basically their factory software and all the benefits of the openclass. It would be the same if Yamaha had done the same thing. You can’t compare this to the forward racing bikes. Just because those bikes are competitive doesn’t mean they are cheating. That situation is one where you have interpetation of the rules, where Honda built bikes to sale and Yamaha went retro and leased engines and frames. Ducati waited util the last sec to go Open class which also just happen to line up when MM upgraded the software to what is reported to Ducati factory. That just doesn’t seem on the legit. How is that fair to the other open class teams?

    No I don’t think the rules should be designed to favor a particular team or rider. But the rules have to be fair across the board and shouldn’t be changed simply because a team happens to have success. Everyone is complaing because Red Bull and Vettel have been dominant. The rules should not be changed to influence that. That team played buy the same rules and conditions and have been successful. Ferrari, Mclaren, Mercedes have gotten it wrong.

    The rules have to be better thought out and implemented and most importantly enforced. The spec tire rule is the dumbest of all and it does not work. The same teams that were at the front before are still at the front (in every series that has adapted this rule). The point was to take tires out of the equation. But now people talk tires even more beause now you have to design bikes around tires and hope Bridgestone, Pirelli or whomever doesn’t change them mid season. Which is completely stupid. IMHO a better solution would have been to simply require all tires to be homologated, price capped and allocated by race officials.

    I am not pro or anti Ducati, Yamaha, Honda, etc….. as it obviously seems you are anti Honda. Honda has not been dominant. They had a great year last year. Yamaha the year before, then honda, yamaha, etc……. It’s about again being fair to everyone. The season is about to start and people should be talking about the racing and instead it’s all about the rules and it’s stupid that this stuff hasn’t been sorted out.

  75. n/a says:

    Only for Marquez in MotoGP, I’d be demanding a refund for my season pass.

  76. Jake R says:

    Also this thing about Ducati being small factory. It’s the same old story and just completely BS. In SBK they were the only factory to regularly homologate hi spec bikes simply so that they could race them. It was well within the rules and more power to them for doing it and having success. Ducati had success in MotoGP as well even against Honda’s bank accounts. Ducati’s issue has always been it’s ego. When their vision works it’s great, but when it doesn’t unlike others they refuse to adapt. They took a competative package and developed it into a pig. When their riders told them that, that got rid of those riders. They aren’t the first and won’t be the last to do that. But they shouldn’t complain about the rules.

  77. Norm G. says:

    the following 10 people: Martinez, Poncharal, Sacchi, Cruzari, Cechinello, Gresini, Romero, Bird, Campinoti, and Abraham all just threw up in their mouth’s a lil’ bit…

    they are absolutely SICKENED by laymen inability to see this as anything but a Honda/Ducati row.

  78. shane says:

    thought this was the whole point in the new rules make all open class teams have/find an advantage so that honda and yamaha switch then all bikes same rule.
    honda/yamaha instead of crying switch like ducati have done and all teams should develop the e.c.u with mareli like ducati have done – then same electronics for all.ezpeletta what the hell is going on in your head???

  79. jzj says:

    Let’s try to make this as simple as possible, and no simpler.
    1. Engines: Does the number of engines really matter? Only if you’re building so close to the edge that you need a new engine for each race. I think 10 for a season gets the point across without over-regulating.
    2. Tires: Does tire compound matter? Very much. Behind power, tires are the most important element. Ultimately, they don’t cost that much. Let everyone use whatever compound. But, because tuning for qualifying lap time is silly and expensive and not reflective of the race bikes, just get rid of ultra-soft tires.
    3. ECU: While the idea of a spec ECU ‘with modifications’ has now instantly been demonstrated to be an uncontrollable temptation, there needs to be a clear determination: the only choice you get to make is either a locked-tight ECU with only, say, two choices of wheelie and traction control, and that comes with unlimited fuel, or you can choose your own custom ECU and a limited amount of fuel.

    A last thought: electronic control is the modern way of all things, but it is anathema to racing where you want to see a man control a fierce machine. You could get rid of EC, and racing would be exciting, but it would also be unacceptably dangerous (at least on 4-strokes over 600cc). And if racing is to improve the breed, we do need EC racing to encourage its development for production. So, like it or not, EC is here to stay.

  80. TP says:

    So now a team will be persecuted for winning a race. Why race? Oh what has come of MotoGP, sad.

  81. Tomas says:

    It is a well known fact that Dorna has loaded Moto 1&2 and GP with Spanish riders. I just wonder how much money HRC hands over to them to keep their “ciclista” on the podium?. How is this last minute rule making… NOT obvious bias?. THE only result is that more and more fans will follow and enjoy the racing in WSBK. I truly hope that WSBK is not next on Honda’s list of “buy-outs”.

  82. tonifumi says:

    The people running MOTOGP are clowns.

  83. Norm G. says:

    Q: “How is this last minute rule making… NOT obvious bias?”

    A: when it’s obviously just Dorna incompetence.

    the collective hate for Honda is really just mindless “parroting”. the same parroting I see laymen do with 10,000 other topics. nothing new here.

  84. thebrain says:

    Rules were established

    Decisions where made

    Testing provided a glimpse

    Last min rules were changed to protect the dominant (/championship team). Reason? Due be fair… but to who?

    How anyone can defend dorna / honda (yamaha involved in this) is beyond me…

  85. dokterdewe says:

    So when any other manufacturer beside Honda and Yamaha winning… they gonna change the rule right ???

    Ezpeleta you suck man! C’mon! this is race so just race! don’t make thing get overly complicated just like world politics! insanity it is…

  86. thebrain says:

    The goal is to have everyone running under ‘Open’ classification by 2016

    But Ducati are penalized.

    I shall call the Factory 2 classification. ‘The Ducati rule’

  87. L2C says:

    “So now a team will be persecuted for winning a race. Why race?”

    I am sure you will find many commenters on motorcycle racing blogs, including this one, and in this very thread, “persecuting” Honda for actually winning races and being successful as a team. For some reason, Honda hate is thick in MotoGP, even though it has played by the same rules as all of the other constructors.

    Ducati hasn’t won anything. With the exception of the Casey Stoner years, in the distant past, where has Ducati been? Ducati are not being penalized for winning. The lot of you need to stop.

    The new Factory 2 rules that have been proposed are crap indeed, just not for the reasons you think. The proposed rules still allow Ducati all of the major advantages of the Open Class, while still recognizing the fact that Ducati is indeed a constructor with all of the advantages that come with being one.

    More fuel, more engines, more tire choice, more testing freedom, complete freedom to develop engines and the bike. The proposed Factory 2 rules will not take any of these things away from Ducati.

    With a direct pipeline to Audi, and an indirect pipeline to technology available to all of the players that comprise the VW Group, Ducati is now in a position as a constructor that virtually makes it an equal to both Honda and Yamaha.

    Take your blinders off.

    Again, under the proposed rules, Ducati will still be allowed to develop every aspect of its machine throughout the season. The proposed rules will not issue any major blows to the team. And when contrasted to the restrictions that are imposed on Honda and Yamaha –two factory teams that are under those severe restrictions because of actually winning and winning and winning and winning some more– Ducati’s advantages cannot be made any clearer.

    The main reason why the proposed rules suck is because they create another class of constructor, thereby creating another class of racing on the MotoGP grid. Another major reason why the proposed rules suck is because Dorna sucks at making rules.

    And in case any of you still don’t get it, the proposed rules are FACTORY CLASS RULES. That means if Honda or Yamaha or Suzuki or any other constructor decided to take advantage of the benefits of the Open Class, they too would still be subject to owning up to the fact that they are constructors and not privateers.

    Still, those rules suck. No surprises from Dorna after all.

    Why aren’t any of you supporting the Open Class privateers that were supposed to be the ones to benefit the most from the Open Class rules? The proposed Factory 2 rules were made as a concession to them! –not Honda.

    Read the news. Get your facts straight.

  88. Norm G. says:

    re: “The goal is to have everyone running under ‘Open’ classification by 2016″

    the goal was for the Titanic to pull into New York ahead of schedule…

    turns out, that wasn’t a good idea either.

  89. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Absolute train wreck…which I look forward to watching!!

    Thanks for the soap opera motoGP…the story lines, plots, back stabbing and bitching–my girlfriend and all her friends are probably going to get hooked too.

    Also, I put the blame for all this on Honda. Thank you honda for being a bully and a biyatch.

  90. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    All the massaging of the rules has happened to appease the fat cry baby Honda.

    Honda pitches a fit=rules get tweaked. Every time. And every time for the worse.

    How did we get to this point today? Honda threatening to quit the series if they don’t get their way is how.

  91. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    MM and the rookie rule changes. Honda would you like to answer that one?

  92. Neil_V says:

    To paraphrase from one of Jake R’s post I believe:

    “Money doesn’t always equate to winning, just ask a lot of F1 teans”

    True, just ask Honda how 2008 went for them in F1 despite a $400m budget!

    Coincidentally 2008 was not only the last year for Honda F1, it was also the first year for F1′s spec ecu. Though hardly a fair comparison given Honda’s limited success in the years before the spec ECU, they did have their worst championship result of the 3 years of Honda F1.

    HRC is doing their very best Ferrari impression at the moment, the questions you have to ask;

    Is HRC as important to MotoGP as Ferrari is to Formula1? and if so; Would they actually leave?

  93. L2C says:

    “There was also a major meeting of the Open class teams at Qatar, where they gathered with Dorna’s technology chief Corrado Cecchinelli and Magneti Marelli staff to discuss the latest version of the spec software. The Open teams were unanimous in deciding not to run the latest version of the software – extremely powerful and complex, and based on the software provided by Ducati at the end of last year – as they simply did not have the knowledge or the staff to set it up or manage it. They will continue to run the 2013 version of the software for the rest of the season. Ducati, with factory budgets and levels of staffing, can get the most out of the upgraded software, and will run the 2014 version of the software. This appears to have been the reason for Carmelo Ezpeleta to have created the Factory 2 class. Given the fact that Ducati managed easily last year with 5 engines and 21 liters, running with 9 engines and 22.5 liters should be trivally easy.

    http://motomatters.com/results/2014/03/08/2014_qatar_motogp_test_day_2_times_bauti.html

  94. L2C says:

    If anybody doesn’t understand the significance of that quote, and wants to continue bashing Honda, LOL, whatever, man.

  95. Norm G. says:

    re: “Why aren’t any of you supporting the Open Class privateers that were supposed to be the ones to benefit the most from the Open Class rules?”

    been thinking on this on this one, and the only thing i can conclude is maybe we actually hate the OCP…? as much as we hate BIGRED…?

    (epiphany alert!)

    the difference being while “Honda Hate” is conscious and therefore vocal…? our hate for the OCP (no not Dick Jones) is subconscious and displays itself as APATHY and indifference to their plight.

    shades of Classism. oddly enough, the SAME behaviour we exhibit in everyday society. who’da thunk…?

  96. Westward says:

    To clarify. I am a fan of motorcycles first and far most, then I have my favourite pilots, after that, I am partial to a few brands. I don’t hate any of them. However, certain personalities can rub me the wrong way, and the politics of a teams racing management can be less than desirable.

    See, motorcycles and their brands I have nothing against. For instance, I have nothing against Honda, it’s HRC that I find irksome.

    Simoncelli and Marquez I like, they brought certain personality to the paddock. A positive one much like Edwards, Crutchlow, and or course Rossi. People like Pedrosa and Stoner I like less, they mostly complained and point fingers, and blamed others for their results. They basically bring the mood down. Lorenzo is a hybrid, he has personality but he also is a complainer. He just is not sure who he wants to be quite yet.

    “Just another off-topic mini rant. Whatever, dude. And you didn’t allow Dani Pedrosa the same concessions. Pfft.”
    -L2C

    In regards to injuries affect on a championship. In the grand scheme of things, Pedrosa can be counted on to sustain an injury that will effectively end his title bid ever year without fail. That’s not satire, it’s fact. And none more obvious than the last two seasons.

    Now, why I have a dislike for HRC. Simple. Honda is the biggest corporation in the world when it comes to motorcycles. Realistically they can out spend the competition to create the illusion of superiority. They have on paper technically the best bike in the paddock and arguably so since the 90′s. Yet, they whine like children. But like Burgess said, “Winning in MotoGP is 20% machine and 80% pilot.” (though I would argue 70% Pilot, 20% Machine, & 10% Tyres)

    It took Rossi’s defection to Yamaha in late 03′ for them to realize that all the technology in the world does matter if they didn’t have a pilot talented & healthy enough to win it all. Luck was a big factor for HRC winning in 06′ and even they knew it. The 800 era was essentially their baby and they were beaten by their own game. Ducati with Stoner came out of the blue, and Rossi & Lorenzo made Yamaha seem like better tech even though it was an under powered machine. It finally took Stoner on their bike and Rossi’s ill fated move to Ducati to bring them back to glory.

    Stoner’s retirement broke their hearts, and HRC pinned their hopes on Pedrosa staying healthy, and the chance that Marquez would be more like Rossi and less like Pedrosa in terms of potential.

    Marquez won (Yeah, I predicted as much), but even if you look at it subjectively, it was as much luck as it was talent that won them the title.

    One would think a Goliath like Honda would be secure in their position but they are not. See, they use to think they had the best technology money can buy. But in half a years time back in 03′ a competitor plucked their best pilot and developed a new bike and proved that all the money in the world didn’t matter.

    It came down to ideology. HRC thought their bike made the man, and they told that pilot so. So, to prove a point, that pilot left and proved that man is the ghost in the machine.

    There is a big picture scenario happening here. Even though they had the title in hand before the season ended last year, Lorenzo’s resurgence in the last part of the season was a concern. Also, a boutique company like KTM dominated Moto3. The previous year before that, rumours in the Moto2 paddock suggested Honda was showing favouritism, and both their MotoGP pilots were injured. This year, Their Open-Class production racer is under-performing, and their Satellite bikes are being bested by an Open-Class rival.

    HRC is in a little bit of a panic. Their technical prowess and integrity is under siege. Cause if Last year was a fluke like 06′ (Personally I think Marquez is legit), a healthy Lorenzo suggests there may be a concern. Plus, Rossi is showing improvement. Aleix is turning heads on a Yamaha, and the combination of Crutchlow, Dall’Igna, and an OC bike could be a darkhorse like Ducati was in 07′…

    Honda is complaining out of fear not moral principal….

  97. Westward says:

    Ooops, I meant :

    “Honda is complaining out of fear not moral principle….”

  98. “In the grand scheme of things, Pedrosa can be counted on to sustain an injury that will effectively end his title bid ever year without fail. That’s not satire, it’s fact. And none more obvious than the last two seasons.”

    That sounds marvelous except for the fact that 2012 (two seasons ago), Dani was completely injury-free. I completely agree with you that he tends to scuttle his chances with injury on an all-too-regular basis, but 2012 was an incredible season any way you look at it. He won 6 of the last 8 races.

  99. paulus says:

    Could some rich benefactor please come forward and develop a REAL showcase for the latest in ultimate motorcycle technology? Just hoping….

  100. BartC says:

    Does anyone has a list of who is riding in what class?