We have already extensively reported the coming rule changes for the 2014 MotoGP Championship season (most recently the conclusion of the engine claiming rule), so the news today is really more about the FIM has giving its blessing to the new direction that Dorna is taking for the premier class.

Drawing a new distinction now as to how teams are classified as “factory” entries, and thus subject to differing fuel, engine, and entry requirements, the real crux of the equation revolves around whether a team uses the the spec-electronics software from Dorna, or decides to use its own software (note: all teams will be on a spec-ECU from 2014 forth).

For the Ducati Corse, HRC, & Yamaha Racing factory (old definition) teams, things pretty much remain the same: though the OEM-backed teams will race in 2014 with one fewer engine for the year (a total of five for the season now), and with only 20-liters of fuel. Each manufacturer will be limited to four “factory” machines, though OEMs can still fill the ranks with “non-factory” machines.

What is a “non-factory” machine you ask? Pretty much any motorcycle on the racing grid that runs Dorna’s spec-software. This means teams are free to use so-called “production racer” prototype equipment, i.e. re-spec’d Ducati Desmosedici GP13, Honda RC213V, and Yamaha YZR-M1 race bikes that will have to be updated to use the spec-ECU, which will be loaded with the spec-software.

Non-factory teams get the benefit of 12 engines for the season, and 24 liters of fuel during a race, which creates an interesting situation where private teams running “non-factory” equipment could be more competitive than the OEMs “factory” hardware, which is entirely the point of the new provisions.

Perhaps most interesting from the FIM’s announcement is the freeze on engine development for the factory houses, and that new-entry “factory” teams will be allowed nine engines for their first season in the big show. For the engine freeze, OEMs will have to pick their bore and stroke before the season begins, and will not be able to deviate from those specifications for the entire 2014 season.

The big bone of contention though will be what OEMs will count as being “new entries” into the premier class. Suzuki seems not to have been given this blessing by the Grand Prix Commission, and thus will take another year to further develop its inline-four prototype race bike to meet the tighter engine and fuel restrictions.

However the verdict appears to still be out for Aprilia, which has shown that the ART package can be quite potent when given a WSBK-spec engine, which Aleix Espargaro has been using to embarrass prototype riders the latter part of the season thus far (Randy de Puniet is said not to have the same spec machine). Time will tell whether the Aprilia ART can get the same power and reliability though with only 12 engines for the season.

FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix – Decision of the Grand Prix Commission:

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Ignacio Verneda (FIM Executive Director, Sport), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA) in the presence of Javier Alonso (Dorna) and Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting), in a meeting held on 13 July 2013 in Sachsenring (GER), made the following decisions:

Technical Regulations

MotoGP Class – Effective 2014

Electronics (ECU) Regulations

A detailed specification and permitted options were confirmed.
The use of the official MotoGP ECU, including an internal datalogger, and the official MotoGP software package is compulsory.

Maximum fuel capacity is 24 litres.

Maximum number of engines per rider, per season, is 12.

Factory Status

Each Manufacturer, (including motorcycle manufacturers and chassis manufacturers), can choose to enter up to 4 riders for the season who will participate with “Factory” status.

The use of the official MotoGP ECU is compulsory. However manufacturers are permitted to develop and use their own software.

Maximum fuel capacity is 20 litres.

Maximum number of engines per rider, per season, is five. (Nine Engines for the first year of participation by a new manufacturer).

Engines are subject to the engine homologation regulations which mandate frozen engine design and internal parts. (New Manufacturers are not subject to frozen engine design and internal parts in their first season of participation).

The full text of the regulations and the detailed technical specifications may be viewed shortly on: www.fim-live.com/en/sport/official-documents-ccr/codes-and-regulations/

Source: FIM; Photo: © 2013 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0 (Online Only)

  • coreyvwc

    Don’t forget that the Non-MSMA teams also get to use the “CRT soft tire” that Aleix espargaro is having so much success with. The same tire that Dovi and Hayden REALLY want to try out but aren’t allowed to. With 24 liters of fuel and the soft tire, the production racer Ducati might just be better than the full factory prototype..

  • lawbreaker

    Coreyvwc….. I’d LOVE to see Hayden on a leased/production Desmosedici with more fuel and the softer carcass tire.

    And then promptly SPANK everyone and shut people up finally!!!

    Hey, I can dream cant I..

  • “Don’t forget that the Non-MSMA teams also get to use the “CRT soft tire” that Aleix espargaro is having so much success with.”

    Has that distinction of tires for MSMA vs. non-MSMA entries been strictly defined? I haven’t seen it mentioned for 2014. If the ‘soft tire’ gets nixed, I can see Ducati having a lot of leftovers that nobody wants to buy/lease.

  • ricky

    @lawbraker.. i may say you’re a dreamer.. but you’re not the only one

  • ba wild

    Going on usual practice of recent years, I think it is naive to think that the facories will permit the leased/sold production racers to be faster than their own satellite machines.

    Honda have already nobled their proddie racer by making the fuel tank carry 21litres only (and before someone suggests teams could ‘simply’ create their own larger tank- it would be hard and more to the point Honda et al would’ve considered this and taken steps to ensure their far more lucrative satellite bikes remain further ahead).

    Yamaha have said their lease engine package will be ‘almost’ the same spec as T3 but will require being serviced and accompanied by a Yamaha tech whom no doubt could push a button to lower levels as required.

    The only saving grace of these third tier bikes is the competition between themselves- Honda will want their proddie racer to beat Yamaha’s leased re framed machines and vice versa. It will be interesting, perhaps, how they balance these wishes. Sadly few in the UK will be able to watch.

  • JW

    Confused, does this mean repsol could add 2 more riders to the 2 they have now for 2014? Repsol is the only “factory Honda” in 2013 team right?

  • manofleisure

    Since the engine design and internals of factory teams are frozen, one has to wonder if Honda and Yamaha second tier engines are a way to further development. How will the factory teams use the knowledge learned from non-factory engines?

  • sunstroke

    “Confused, does this mean repsol could add 2 more riders to the 2 they have now for 2014? Repsol is the only “factory Honda” in 2013 team right?”

    The factory designation is probably related to the engine freeze. The GP Commission has decided it wants the manufacturers to build just one engine variant per season; however, it would be virtually impossible for technical direction to disassemble and scrutinize every engine. MotoGP already has an engine limit, and technical direction already homologate and seal engines. MotoGP will probably change the homologation procedures to “freeze” engine development.

    Long story short, the current regulations allow the manufacturers to do in season development, and they allow the manufacturers to build special variants, like “heavy-duty” practice mules or quali/race grenades. If technical direction require the manufacturers to homologate all engines at the beginning of the season and then technical direction randomly distributes the engines equally amongst the “factory” bikes, the GP Commission can effectively restrict the manufacturers to just one engine variant per season. In theory, costs will be reduced.

  • Jet

    Lets face this the racing is a bore most of the time unless your brain cells like this kinda crap.Once a factory bike is in frist its all but over,its all about the start,plain and simple.Lets get these bikes on all even plain and see what guys like spies and edwards can do,just my opinion gentlemen.

  • Neil Carlyle

    A question on eligibility?

    are there rules that wiuld exclude a chassie design such as the recumberent: ‘Rugged Exodus Motorcycle by Suprene Machinery’ that has popped up on blogs recently?

  • MrSkipper

    I believe Rossi will go non factory before wsbk