New MotoGP Rules for 2014: Spec-ECU, Spec-Software, Fewer Motors, Less Fuel, & Combined Weight for Moto2

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After an almost interminable period of discussions and debate, agreement has at last been reached over the technical regulations to be applied in MotoGP for the 2014 onwards. The agreement has been a compromise, with both sides of the table being given something to satisfy them.

The new rules see the introduction of a compulsory spec ECU and datalogger, and the ECU now acts as a divide between the two classes of teams in the paddock. MSMA members will be allowed to use their own software for the spec ECU, but the punishment for doing so will be a reduction in the fuel limit from 21 to 20 liters for a race.

Teams electing to use the spec software supplied by Dorna will be allowed 24 liters. The MSMA members will also be limited to 5 engines a season, while the rest will be allowed 12 engines. The reduction in fuel and engines was made at the request of the factories, to give themselves an engineering challenge to conquer.

An engine development freeze was also announced, preventing engine development during each season, and in addition, the bore and stroke of the MotoGP machines will be fixed for three seasons, from 2013 to 2015.

The technical regulations are not final, however. The rules will only be made final if the MSMA members agree to supply teams with engines or complete bikes for the 2014 season onwards. This basically commits Honda to building its production RC213V and Yamaha to supplying engines to teams, subject to the penalty of a completely new set of rules for 2014 if they fail to do so.

A major change in Moto2 was also announced, but that too had been expected. A combined rider/weight limit of 215 kg was announced, a solid balance between the lighter and heavier riders. Given that the minimum weight for the Moto2 machines is 140kg, then theoretically, the average rider weight complete with gear is taken as 75kg.

Take away leathers, boots, helmet and gloves and that puts the average weight of a rider in the region of 65kg. Still a little on the light side, but better than the unregulated system that exists at the moment.

Below is the FIM press release announcing the new regulations:

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 10 November 2012 in Valencia, decided on the following:

Sporting Regulations

Effective immediately:

Teams and their contracted or nominated riders become subject to all regulations with effect from the start of the “season”. The season is defined as starting on the day after the last race of the preceding season. The effect of this change is that all contracted teams and riders are subject to the same test restrictions.

In the case of an interrupted race then a penalty of starting from pit lane which had been imposed on a rider for the first part of the race will be replaced by a penalty of starting from the rear of the grid whenever the first part of the race has completed more than 50% of the original race distance.

The dispensation to allow MotoGP class “Rookie” riders to participate in one three day test during November/December is cancelled.

The penalty for speeding in pit lane has been increased from €70.00 to €150.00. However, subsequent penalties in the same event will also be €150.00 rather than the previous penalty of €370.00

Further detail sporting regulation changes were approved but publication of these will be postponed until after the next Grand Prix Commission meeting on 13 December.

Technical Regulations

Effective 01 January 2014:

MotoGP Class

The use of the ECU and datalogger provided by the Championship organisers is compulsory.

MSMA manufacturers, supplying machines for a maximum of four entries per manufacturer, will use their own electronics software but in this case are subject to a maximum fuel capacity of 20 litres.

All other machines must use the ECU, datalogger and software provided by the Championship organisers and these machines may have a maximum fuel capacity of 24 litres.

The maximum number of engines that may be used in a season is limited to:

  • MSMA manufacturers machines (Maximum four per manufacturer) 5 engines
  • MSMA manufacturers in their first season of participation 9 engines
  • All other entries 12 engines

Engines are frozen for all races of the same season.

In addition to the changes effective 2014, bore and stroke dimensions are frozen for the three year period 2013 to 2015.

Important Note: The above regulation changes are subject to the satisfactory conclusion of ongoing negotiations between FIM, Dorna and the Manufacturers concerning the supply of additional machines and engines for use by other teams from 2014. Contracts for the supply of these machines, engines, parts and technical support must be concluded between Dorna and the Manufacturers prior to the first event of 2013. Only then will the technical regulation changes be finally adopted.

Moto2 Class

Effective Immediately:

The minimum weight for this class will now be 215 kg being the combined weight of the machine and rider, including the rider’s protective equipment, on bike, camera, etc. Ballast may be added to achieve the minimum weight.

Further detail technical regulation changes were approved but publication of these will be postponed until after the next Grand Prix Commission meeting on 13 December.

Best Grand Prix

IRTA had agreed that the Best Grand Prix, previously decided exclusively by IRTA members should instead be nominated by the Grand Prix Commission representing all parties involved in the Championship. The Commission decided to confirm the Malaysian GP at Sepang as the best Grand Prix of 2012.

Source: FIM; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.