Suzuki Getting MotoGP Engine Dispensation

07/21/2010 @ 1:36 pm, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

It’s hard to remember sometimes that Rizla Suzuki is a factory team in MotoGP. Afterall with Rizla Suzuki often trumped by the top satellite riders, there is nary a Rizla rider in the Top 10 for the Championship standings. With Laguna Seca marking the middle-point of the MotoGP season, things are looking even more bleak for the folks at Suzuki, as both Loris Capirossi and Alvaro Bautista have nearly used up their six motor allotment for the 2010 season. As such, Rizla Suzuki is on its way to getting special dispensation from Dorna, and will see its motor allotment raised from six motors to nine, likely starting this weekend.

So far this season, Bautista has taken use of his 5th motor, while Capirossi will likely do the same at Laguna Seca this weekend. With MotoGP’s rules levying a stiff time penalty on teams that go over their allotment of engines, this dispensation is a huge boon to Suzuki. Without this dispensation, Rizla Suzuki would have to start 10 seconds behind the grid, and from the pits, during each race they were over the allotment. Already flirting with the back of the field, such a penalty would be a death blow to the team.

This dispensation as MCN’s Matthew Birt explains, comes from a verbal agreement between the teams when the rule for an engine cap was drafted. Knowing that it would adversely affect Suzuki the most, it was agreed upon before the start of the 2010 season that Suzuki could get a dispensation should their motor usage exceed the rules. The reading between the lines here is that Suzuki likely would have pulled out of MotoGP if they didn’t have this handshake agreement.

As the MotoGP season continues on, we suspect we’ll see even more importance stemming from this rule, and engine strategy playing a further role in the racing results.

Source: MCN & MotoMatters

  • I was not aware of the Suzuki ‘verbal agreement’ till now, interesting. My opinion is that the six engine rule needs to go NOW for all teams. MotoGP is struggling to get numbers on the grid and another incident like the Lorenzo ‘blow up’ could have major ramifications. The rule was too restrictive at this level of racing and I understand teams are not allowed to ‘lift the head’ to check a suspect engine that could be refreshed at minimal cost and resealed to FIM appro. The rule may have been gazetted for ‘cost cutting’ but the result to date is not worth the risk to the sport.

  • I don’t think anyone outside of MotoGP knew about this agreement until now.

    I actually really like how this rule is shaping the sport. It’s limiting the cost to the teams, which in theory would let more teams get on the grid (be careful to distinguish between teams and manufacturers).

    We’re working on the motor data now, but a quick tidbit…Spies got on the podium with fresh engines. There’s a whole new level of strategy underway in the sport now, and it’s pretty exciting. Yeah, if Lorenzo blew a motor, it could mean the Championship. Even though he’s running away with the season, he still has to be on his game because it could turnaround any minute. That excites me.

  • Hi Jenny, understand where you are coming from, however MotoGP is the pinnacle of motorcycle racing and I cannot get my head around the fact that as the year progresses riders/teams whatever will be inhibited by the ‘engine miles’ of such a restricted batch of engines, engines which I understand cannot be opened for inspection or minor cost remedial work, a refresh if you will.

    I’m confident fans want great racing ‘throughout the season’ and have no idea, (and I’m sure they dont care) whether Ben, Vale, whomever has a ‘fresh or used’ engine, it is all about close racing. I think the rule stinks. Taking it to extremes we could have a last gasp procession in November at Valencia where a Suzuki ‘fresh engined’ bike might just win and all front runners engines fail, now that would look great for MotoGP (not).

  • You can make that same argument going the other way though.

    Do fans want to see the same rider(s) dominate the series? With the engine allotments, riders like Ben Spies have been able to get up near the front because they’re running a fresh engine against say Lorenzo’s older motor.

    Part of the impetus behind giving Suzuki an exception, is that their package is so uncompetitive. Even on fresh motors, Rizla Suzuki can’t touch even the rest of the teams.

    You have to realize the “limitations” as you call it has been going on all season. Most of the teams are on their 3rd motor, and have been juggling the motors around between the different sessions and tracks. Looking at the data, there’s clearly game plans involved here.

    At the 1/3 mark of the season, some teams had used only 1/3 or so so of their available motors, while it’s clear others are cherry-picking races they know they can do well in (Ben Spies being the more notable rider doing this).

    We should have an illustration of all this up in the next week or so. It’s interesting stuff to say the least.

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  • Sean

    Darly Beattie on the local MotoGP broadcast speculated that Spies and Edwards had performed so badly in the last GP because they had used old engines to save fresh ones for Laguna Seca.

  • Maxx


    Spies and Edwards are suppose to be getting same spec engines as fiat yamaha but they will be in last years chassis…… personally yamaha should step up to the plate and supply more up to date “M1’s” for their #2 team I mean Honda helps their private teams a lot better even Ducati helps their other teams…..

    Rant over and breath……..

  • mxs

    I wouldn’t blame Spies’ last two or three races on used engines. He made riding mistakes in parts of a circuit where it’s not about engine at all …