Today, the FIM announced that the Grand Prix Commission had decided on revised engine allocations, for both the MotoGP and Moto3 classes. And in doing so, they gave a hint at how many races a 2020 MotoGP calendar might contain.
The GPC announced that in the MotoGP class, concession manufacturers (Aprilia and KTM) would be allowed 6 engines per rider for the season if the season consists of 11 races or less, and 7 engines if the season consists of up to 14 races.
Non-concession manufacturers (Honda, Ducati, Suzuk, Yamaha) would have 4 or 5 engines in the respective cases.
The Moto3 engine allocation is a little more complex. Normally, Moto3 riders have 6 engines to last a season.
If there are between 12 and 14 races held in 2020 – including the first race of the season, which was held back in March – then the riders will have 4 engines, and if there are between 14 and 18 races, then they will have 5 engines.
If it isn’t possible to hold a total of 12 engines, then this year’s engine allocation will be combined with 2021, giving a grand total of 9 engines to last for both seasons.
The MotoGP engine allocations seem to point to a realistic calendar, with two possible scenarios: if MotoGP can only race in Europe, and no races can be held overseas, then a calendar of around 11 races seems likely. If it is possible to travel overseas – Thailand and Sepang seem the most likely candidates to host a race in 2020 – then there could be up 14 or so races.
The Grand Prix Commission also stepped in to ban private testing by the Moto2 and Moto3 teams. The decision was made on the grounds of fairness, and of finances.
Budgets in the smaller classes are already under very heavy pressure due to the COVID-19 crisis, amplifying the advantage of the richer teams over the poorer teams.
Add in the fact that travel restrictions vary hugely from country to country, and it is obvious that some riders and teams will be able to test, while it will be impossible for riders who can’t travel. Add in the limited availability of tracks, and it made sense to ban private testing altogether.
A test is due to be held on the Wednesday before the Jerez round on July 19th, with all three classes getting sessions on track.