The battle for the future of MotoGP continues to gain intrigue, as Yamaha is reportedly considering leasing to private teams the motor found on the Yamaha YZR-M1. The news is being reported by MCN, which heralds the event as the end to the CRT experiment, and while that last part seems a bit hyperbolic, Yamaha’s move could have a profound affect on the series if it comes to fruition.
Currently on proposal for the 2013 MotoGP Championship is a grid comprised of 12 prototype machines (four from each of the three remaining factories), with the rest of the grid comprised of CRT entries (production motors in prototype chassis). That landscape could change however in 2014, as HRC has tipped that it has a production-racer, based off the Honda RC213V in the works, which it will sell to teams for around €1 million.
Adding yet another dimension to the bike line-up, Yamaha is said to be considering leasing the M1 motor to private teams, who in turn could use the prototype-based engine design in their own chassis design, much in the same manner that is currently being done with the production-based motors.
Since the motor would come with an electronics package (Magneti Marelli, we presume), as well as development support from Yamaha Racing, the move could potentially limit the number of CRT entries on the grid, though it seems a bit ambitious to think it would replace every CRT on the grid, especially now as the Aprilia ART is approaching satellite-prototype capabilities at tracks like Phillip Island.
That is not to say however that such a move wouldn’t be a huge coup for the Japanese manufacturer, who like HRC, is likely keen to keep the MotoGP landscape at its current status quo. One important aspect of the deal is that Yamaha would be leasing, not selling, the YZR-M1 motor to private teams, meaning like in the satellite prototype teams, the competitiveness of the private team’s entries will also be second to the factory effort.
With the future of MotoGP set to enter a new chapter in 2014, one way or another, Yamaha’s concession is the latest movement in the posturing over the quiet power struggle that is going on within the premier-class. Whether the move is being made in earnest, or just another attempt by the OEMs to hold onto control of the series remains to be seen.
One thing is certain though, there have been quiet rumors within the GP paddock that we may not see Honda’s production-racer, despite news of a consumer-level equivalent.
Source: MCN; Photo: Yamaha Racing