MotoGP: MSMA Agrees To Freeze Electronics Ahead of 2016

04/14/2014 @ 8:11 pm, by David Emmett19 COMMENTS

MotoGP: MSMA Agrees To Freeze Electronics Ahead of 2016 Saturday Sachsenring German GP MotoGP Scott Jones 20 635x422

With the MotoGP series due to switch over to standard software for the spec Magneti Marelli ECU in 2016, there comes a point at which it makes no sense for the factories to continue developing their own electronics.

There is, after all, little point in spending money on software which will be discarded all the way to the last race of 2015, especially as the factories will need to start work on the shared electronics package for 2016 and beyond.

GPOne.com is reporting that the factories have finally agreed to a date for an electronics freeze to commence.

From the 2015 Assen round of MotoGP, all development of factory software will be frozen, Ducati, Honda and Yamaha Racing have the rest of the 2015 season with the software they have developed up until that point. Ducati had initially opposed the software freeze, GPOne.com reports, but finally settled for the Assen date.

From that point on, the factories in the MSMA will concentrate their attention on the collaborative effort to develop the standard software to be used by all of the MotoGP bikes from 2016 onwards. Development is to be done via a common portal under the control of Dorna, with all of the factories contributing functionality and code for everyone to review and use.

The one detail missing from the electronics freeze is how that will be enforced, as GPOne.com points out. It is hard to see how a development freeze is to be enforced without each of the factories handing over their software to Dorna, but that seems like an inconceivable option for the factories.

Source: GPOne; 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. L2C says:

    Wonder what was behind Ducati’s initial opposition. They have their own factory category. Don’t they get enough charity support already?

  2. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Fine. Ok freeze the electronics. Do something about the tires now. Let the tire manufacturers back into the show.

  3. Geist says:

    Ah the neutering continues……. This last weekend showed what happens when its only one supplier for a product. I agree with Chaz.

    I thought this was about competition not what company decides to pay off the sanction group for an advertising exhibition. Why try to improve if your the monopoly? It gets more and more sterile each year.

  4. Eddie says:

    @L2C

    Would you like some cheese with that whine?

  5. Damn says:

    What i don’t understand is Michelin WAS in MotoGP. But as far as i know Michelin left on his own. And because Rossi Dani etc etc all wanted the bridgestones to compeat with Stoner/Ducati, Ducati said to keep Michelin in MotoGP that they wanted to continue with them(Michelin) Michelin said tnx but left MotoGP. Bridgestone back then said: Its better if Michelin stayed because we like competition. So far so good but what i dont understand is, was there any rule that other tyre-factory’s couldn’t enter MotoGP?!? And why did Dunlop leave? they were with a Yamaha team if im not mistaken. Anybuddy awnsers???

  6. Gutterslob says:

    @Damn

    Bridgestone and Michelin both were in favour of competition. Small difference was that Bridgestone were happy with the rules at the time – no additional tyres brought in after FP1 starts – while Michelin wanted to go back to the situation a year or two ago, where they were allowed to take data from Friday practice and have better tyres sent to the teams come raceday, giving them a huge advantage in the European rounds due to the logistical advantages they had over Japan-based Bridgestone.

    Ducati wanted Michelin to stay because, with Rossi switching to to Bridgestone (Lorenzo was still Michelin at the time, iirc – that was the “official” reason for the wall between their pit garages), they feared Bridgestone would give special preference to Rossi and jumping to Michelin while Repsol Honda and Yamaha migrated in the opposite direction the following year would give Ducati “top factory” status with Michelin, hence most development dedicated to their bike.

    I have no idea which came first though; 1.Michelin deciding to leave or 2.Dorna/FIM mandating a single make spec tyre series. The first could’ve been a result of the second, or vice-versa. No idea about Dunlop’s stance in the whole thing either.

  7. Gutterslob says:

    INB4 Ducati finds another “loophole” to exploit.

  8. L2C says:

    @ Eddie

    You can crawl back into your tiny hole with your lump of aged sheep’s milk and stuff it. That means no in French.

  9. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    the move to spec software will be too little too late.

    If motoGP has many more races like that last one they’re doomed. …MM gapped the rest of the field so badly that any reasonable person would have stopped watching five laps into the race. What’s worse is the gap MM put on the field just about matched the gap Pedrosa put on 3rd place…what’s worse is the fight for 3rd place was the actual “race” and that only consisted of 3 riders…what’s even worse is after that motley bunch was another ridiculous gap to a bunch of bikes fighting it out for 8th? or 11th? or 15th?

    Boring racing, like what happened in Austin, is doomed to happen over and over this season. Moto2 is exciting. Moto3 is exciting. MotoGP this year is boring.

    Apply the spec software rule ASAP. Let the tire manufacturers back in. Call up Stoner and beg him to return. Find a time machine to transport Rossi back to 2009, Spies to 2010, and Hayden to 2006. …do these things and you might be able to save motoGP.

  10. jzj says:

    It seems there are exactly two schools of thought:

    1. Racing is about competition in all areas — not just the rider, but the engines and electronics and the tires, etc.: therefore, there should be as few equipment mandates as possible.

    2. Exciting racing comes from having great riders on essentially identical equipment (but for tuning the engine, electronics, suspension, etc.): let’s put everyone in MotoGP on essentially the same stuff like in Moto3 and Moto2, or at least let’s throttle down the options to mandate equipment equality.

    Survey says?

  11. Law says:

    Of for gawds sake just allow teams to BUY what ever tires they want to run.

  12. smiler says:

    By which time the global economic downturn will be long gone and the next one will likely not be for another 8 years. Well done Dorna. Epic, really.

  13. @smiler: There’s more to it than an economic downturn or lack thereof; a lot of the sponsorship money has left the sport. Assuming the tire wars are reinvented — something that I maybe wouldn’t mind — who’ll pay for it? Until a lot more money comes back into sponsorship across the board, supporting a tire war would be difficult. As it is now, we’re seeing teams dropping the number of bikes they’d planned to run because of financial constraints.

    If we bring back the tire wars with per bike/rider offerings, the gap that everybody wants to see diminished would likely be increased, as the mid-field and back teams would be getting nothing better than off-the-shelf compounds and construction. It’s worth recalling that the last ever non-factory win was done on tires that were rejected by a factory rider and passed on to another team. Personally, I miss the days when a privateer or wildcard rider could seriously mix it up or even win. Remember Norick Abe’s wildcard ride at Suzuka? EPIC. Those things won’t happen again with such a big technological gap between the factories and the rest of the field plus special tires.

    @jzj: I’m all for the direction that the MSMA and Dorna have laid out. In theory, the 2016 MotoGP grid should be a lot closer together, with the entire top 12 qualifiers within a couple/few tenths of another. It should make satellite teams have an honest opportunity for dry wins rather than the occasional 3rd place. In theory, 2016 should give us the most competitive racing across the board that we’ve seen in the premier class in many years.

    While I admire and respect the views that prototype racing should mostly be unconstrained by anything other than safety regulations, it’s a realm of expense that few teams can handle. Look at Honda’s seamless gearbox. That gearbox alone costs teams €75,000/year to lease and is worth a couple of tenths perhaps per lap. At some point, you’ll escalate to millions of Euros/year in the pursuit of thousandths, etc.

    I think keeping costs down to sane levels while encouraging technological development is an ideal combination. The spec tires and spec ECU level the playing field in those areas and push the engineers to find other means of eking out that last bit of performance. We’ll still see the factories generally having the edge, but keeping overall costs in line enables smaller factories, e.g., Suzuki and Aprilia, to enter the fray. Recent seasons were a drought for me, not having the Rizla Suzuki girls in the paddock. *lecherous grin*

    Yes, I’m shallow. I’m in it for the paddock girls.

  14. Bob says:

    One way to get sponsorship money to go around again is to allow the alcohol and tobacco companies back in. I seem to remember things were good until they were banned. There’s only so many telecomm firms to go around.

    Tire wars? With choices, they can get back to giving away or discounting the tires to the teams who are willing to use their product. As everyone uses the same tire, there’s no longer a reason to romance the racer of their choice. As a result, teams’ tire budgets went way up when the one tire rule happened. They had to start paying for them. With choices, tire manufacturers go back to being sponsors instead of just suppliers.

  15. Rantz998 says:

    GOOD! Freeze this electronic BS and plz get ride of traction control!! Also let other tire manufacturers come back to GP. I am sick of this Bridgestone monopoly. Maybe stoner will make a comeback.

  16. Dave says:

    quote: “INB4 Ducati finds another “loophole” to exploit.”

    INB4 the losers start blaming Honda, again.

  17. L2C says:

    Direct advertising of alcohol and tobacco in motorsports, and athletics in general, is illegal in many countries. Even if Dorna encouraged teams to court sponsorship from alcohol and tobacco companies, the companies would only be able to sponsor teams in the manner that Marlboro sponsors the Ducati factory team. That is, it would have to be done in such a way as to go unnoticed by the general public. Still, the livery of Ducati’s factory bikes are red and white for a reason.

    And if you have ever paid close attention to McLaren’s logo, you are sure to still get a whiff of Marlboro, even though the relationship between the two companies ended a long time ago.

    Freixenet sponsors MotoGP’s podium ceremonies. So some types of alcohol advertising and sponsorship are still permitted in athletics and motorsports.

  18. L2C says:

    Direct advertising of alcohol and tobacco in motorsports, and athletics in general, is illegal in many countries. Even if Dorna encouraged teams to court sponsorship from alcohol and tobacco companies, the companies would only be able to sponsor teams in the manner that Marlboro sponsors the Ducati factory team. That is, it would have to be done in such a way as to go unnoticed by the general public. Still, the livery of Ducati’s factory bikes are red and white for a reason.

    And if you have ever paid close attention to McLaren’s logo, you are sure to still get a whiff of Marlboro, even though the relationship between the two companies ended a long time ago.

    Freixenet sponsors MotoGP’s podium ceremonies. So some types of alcohol advertising and sponsorship are still permitted in athletics and motorsports.

  19. Bob says:

    I completely forgot about the legality issues with motorsports and alcohol and tobacco. I probably forgot because I think it’s a stupid law created by the holier than thou personal agenda pushers. It’s just money. No one is forcing people to drink or smoke these evil substances.