When the rules limiting the number of engines each MotoGP is allowed to use were first introduced, their usage was followed hawkishly.
After pressure from veteran US journalist Dennis Noyes and myself, and with the assistance of Dorna’s incredibly efficient media officer, IRTA and Dorna were persuaded to publish the engine usage charts.
These were pored over constantly, searching for clues as to who might be in trouble, who may have to start from pit lane, and who would manage until the end of the season. How the world has changed since then.
With the 2013 MotoGP season at its halfway mark, now is a good time to take a look back and examine the engine usage for the teams and riders.
In 2012, with the engine durability regulations in their third full season, the factories appeared to have the situation pretty much under control. The only excitement arose when something unexpected happened, such as Jorge Lorenzo have an engine lunch itself after he was taken out by Alvaro Bautista at Assen last year.
For 2013, the engine allocation was reduced from six to five engines per season. Each rider now has five engines to last the entire season, for use in all timed practice sessions during each race weekend. With three seasons already under their belt, no real drama was expected, yet that is not quite how it has turned out.
The Grand Prix Commission has announced a slew of new rules for MotoGP, supposedly aimed at cutting costs in MotoGP, and thus allowing the manufacturers and teams to compete despite the world’s economic situation.
The new measures include the following:
- Race weekends will be rescheduled with Friday’s practice dropped completely, and Saturday’s sessions shortend.
- From the Czech GP onward, a maximum of 5 engines can be used in 8 races. No changing of parts will be permitted except daily maintenance.
- Only 2 post race tests will be allowed at the Catalunya and Czech GP’s for development purposes, and only using test riders will be permitted.
- Ceramic composite materials are not permitted for brake discs or pads.
- Electronic controlled suspension is not permitted.
- Launch control systems are not permitted.