New Cost-Cutting Measures in the Future for MotoGP

02/13/2009 @ 11:14 am, by Jensen Beeler1 COMMENT


By now you are well aware of the cost cutting measures that are on the table for MotoGP next season. It looks increasingly likely that practice and testing days will be reduced this year, along with more drastic measures, which include engines that must last for at least two races, and allow riders to have only one race bike instead of two.


Now it looks like the rule changes could come quicker than initially thought. Regulations enforcing extended engine life could be introduced ahead of schedule, and as early as the Indianapolis Grand Prix, which is being held at the end of August. Other measures being adopted include the dropping of the Friday morning free practice session, the reduction of the other sessions to 45 minutes instead of an hour, and the dropping of most of the post-race tests in Europe.

One question mark hanging over the introduction of the extended engine life is the penalty for breaking it. Two suggestions had been put forward to deal with this: having points deducted or being put to the back of the grid. Manufacturers seem unlikely to accept a points reduction, but being put to the back of the grid encourages gaming the system. 

And although extended engine life will allow savings on maintenance, something that will benefit the satellite teams, there will be a lot of pressure on racing departments inside the manufacturers to squeeze the same amount of horsepower out of an engine with greater reliability, which will inevitably involve an increase in R&D spending. This leaves considerable doubt as to whether actual cost savings will occur with this rule change.

Similarly, it is unclear how the changes in test days, practices, and qualifying sessions, will help teams cut costs when the real cost in these events is the expenditure of simply showing up. Once there, teams have only a marginal increase in cost, with the much greater benefit of having a better race day.

Source: MotoGP Matters