Effective 25 July 2009/prior to the MotoGP round in Brno, FIM instituted new engine rules, to which the manufacturers agreed.
For the remainder of this season the teams would be allowed five engines for the seven remaining races. FIM must be notified if the allotment is exceeded, and the Race Director can levy an appropriate penalty. That could include the loss of ten points.
For next year the proposed regulations would allow just six engines for 18 races, but they haven't yet been finalised.
In response to talk around the paddock that riders might be sitting out more during the track sessions, eliminating celebratory burnouts, cutting down revs on cool-off laps, etc, Steve Westlake, Honda PR Manager, said:
"Honda is not cutting down on practice time. Honda isn't particularly worried about saving engines by saving use. It's not such a big difference from the beginning of the season in terms of engine life. There are no concerns now.”
Referring to Sunday's MotoGP pole sitter Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), he added "Dani is not a big burnout man anyhow."
"We need to cut costs and everyone understands this," Westlake continued. "We all agreed to reduce or limit development costs on extending engine life. There is a development cost in extending new engine specs. But in the long run it will be cost effective. That's the plan."
Honda pointed out that even Valentino Rossi, who has been critical of the rule and sat out the start of Friday wet practice to save his engine, said in the press conference "You just manage it in a different way."
Yamaha supports the current engine rules as a cost-cutting measure and supports the rule as it stands now, also reiterating that the manufacturers have agreed.
However, Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was very vocal Friday about the new rules not being necessary, now that the economy had changed and he really didn't like the six engines for 18 races next year.
A Ducati spokesperson said Ducati has been working on improving engine life.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro) isn't riding any differently now since the Brno round, when the rule went into effect requiring five engines for the remaining races.
"For the moment, it hasn't had any effect on how Nicky races."
By Lynne Huntting