OPINION: Two Downsides To The 2010 Regs

 In MotoGP

The FIM has today released the full official version of the regulation changes based on their Jerez meeting of 28_03_09, as agreed by the Grand Prix Commission….

MotoGP Class

For immediate application (2009)

1. Engine restriction from Czech Republic Grand Prix included:
a) A rider can use a maximum of 5 engines until the end of the Championship.
b) New engines have to be sealed before use (practices, warm up, race).
c) A new engine will be deemed to have been used when the motorcycle exits the pit lane.
d) All used engines will have the exhaust ports additionally sealed at the end of each event.
e) A sealed engine can be reused at any time.
f) The penalty for using an unauthorised engine will be a deduction of 10 points from the total point of the Championship ranking of the rider concerned.
2. 2009-2010 tests: 8 days in total. Venues and days will be announced.
3. Ceramic composite materials shall not be permitted for brake discs and pads.
4. Any pressurised hydraulic powered system is not allowed. Also engine lubricating oil cannot be used for any other purpose.
5. Electronic controlled suspension shall not be permitted.
6. EGR (Exhaust Gas Re-circulation) shall not be permitted.
7. Testing with non-contracted riders is allowed at any track, at any time, but it is subject to the following limitations:
a) Only tyres coming from the Tyre Supplier are allowed, and not more than 240pcs. per Manufacturer can be used from the 1st of January to the 31st of December including after-race tests.
b) After the MotoGP season has started, testing before a race included in the MotoGP Championship is limited to 2 tracks, and no later than 14 days prior to the race.
8. Testing for contracted riders:
a) Contracted riders are allowed to 2 after-race tests. The tyres used by the contracted riders will not be counted.
b) The winter test ban will be extended up to January 31st.

For 2010

1. Only one machine can be used during each MotoGP event.
2. A rider can use a maximum of 6 engines for the entire Championship.
3. A new event schedule will be announced.
4. Carbon composite front brake discs must be of one diameter only and two types of mass. The diameter will be 320mm only.
5. The maximum fuel injection pressure is 10 Bar.
6. MMC (Metal Matrix Composite) & FRM (Fibre Matrix Material) shall not be permitted.
7. Temperature sensor for the tyre will not be permitted.
8. From 2010 to 2012, the rim width shall be limited to 2 sizes for front and 1 size for rear for each manufacturer. Wheels diameter shall be limited to 16.5 inches only.
9. Variable exhaust system shall not be permitted.
10. Variable Valve Timing system and Variable Valve Lift system powered by electric and/or liquid, shall not be permitted.
11. Connecting rod shall not be a hollow structure but less than 2mm oil pass tunnel is permitted.
12. Twin clutch system (known as DSG) shall not be permitted.
13. Automatic transmission shall not be permitted. But manual transmission assisted by small force shall be permitted.
14. Consecutive Variable Transmission shall not be permitted.
15. Only DORNA can supply GPS unit just for entertainments such as TV broadcasting, which can’t connect to CPU unit by any kind of system.
16. Electric/electronic steering damper system shall not be permitted.
17. Minimum weight of motorcycle shall be the existing one + 2 kg. (ex: 150 kg for 4 cylinders).
18. Only 5 persons can work on the machine in the pits.
19. Riders who enter the Championship for the first time (Rookies) must be entered by a non factory Team.


WE SAY: You can end up dissecting rule changes, their motives and their likely outcomes till the cows come home. This is particularly so in respect of the genuinely “technical” regs.
However, there are a couple of clearly *standout* points here; one of which is crucial to fans and another is crucial to Alvaro Bautista fans…

Point 3 of the 2010 changes states that “a new event schedule will be announced”. From ideas bandied around so far, it seems very likely that this is destined to mean considerably less track time each race weekend. For fans who attend the races – and also for fans who follow the events on TV and online – the reduction in activity is a definite downer. And it has to be said that it is likely to have a negative effect on the racing too… riders and bikes need to acclimatise to the circuits and conditions over as much time as possible ahead of qualifying.
It could easily be argued in fact that insufficient preparation may even make events more dangerous. It seems to be a case of “cost cutting – but at what cost?”

Point 19 of the 2010 changes states that “riders who enter the Championship for the first time (Rookies) must be entered by a non factory Team”.
The implications of this on Alvaro’s MotoGP career should be obvious, and I’m certainly not impressed. It should be left to the discretion, experience and intelligence of individual teams, managers and riders as to whether a particular individual is ready for a particular ride. We know that Jorge Martinez has been strategically planning a route into the top class for some time, and that of course Alvaro would be his prime choice of rider. Surely he, and not an arbitrary regulation, is the best judge of whether that’s right.
Let’s be honest, on the whole Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo made fine debut seasons in factory teams (apart form Jorge’s injuries, and Dani’s Estoril indiscretion!).
There’s no reason why Alvaro would not do even better of course, and I for one resent the idea that he could be prevented from making the most of his move up to the top class without a genuinely comprehensible reason….
There’s another take on this rule – from a broader and more political perspective; really good reading – here at motogpmatters which is less about the kind of partisan approach that I can’t help but suffer from, but which equally foresees all kinds of issues coming in close attendance to such a change.

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