Ducati's decision to run its two MotoGP factory motorcycles under Open-Class rules has prompted yet another MotoGP rule rewrite. Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall'lgna based the decision on the concession of 12 engines for the season and no 'freeze' on engine development.
The Ducati decision would have left only Honda and Yamaha with entries in the Factory Class, Honda was unhappy at a rival factory entering what was intended to be a lower-cost class, as well as gaining concessions including four liters more fuel for the race and access to softer Bridgestone tires.
Bbut the new rules mean Ducati runs in the Factory Class, but with concessions because it has not won a race since 2010. IT will even use its own software – unlike the Open Class machines which must run Dorna's control ECU and software. The new rules also allow concessions for intending 2015 entrant Suzuki, by creating a Factory sub-class (dubbed Factory 2 class). Should Ducati win a race, achieve two second placings or three podiums in the dry in 2014, it will have its fuel allowance reduced from 24 to 22 liters. Should it win three races in 2014, it will also lose access to the softer Open Class Bridgestone tires.
But wait, there's more. All teams will have to use mandatory the ECU and software from 2016. Teams will be allowed to contribute to development of the championship software pachage.
HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto was on record as saying Honda would leave MotoGP racing if it could not use the class to develop software to, for example, save fuel. But Grand Prix promoter Dorna has been pushing for more control of electronic costs and less rider aids.