An FIM announcement during last weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix gave further details on how the new-for-2012 MotoGP 'Claiming Rule Teams' will be governed.
The Claiming Rule Teams (CRTs) are a new initiative to help boost privateer entries in the MotoGP class, and coincides with the start of the new 1000cc engine rules.
The CRTs will compete alongside teams running factory-built prototypes - which currently comprise the entire 17-rider MotoGP grid - but with concessions in terms of fuel-tank capacity and engine changes to give them a fighting chance.
In order to avoid the abuse of such concessions, in other words to stop any undercover factory efforts, CRT status must first be approved by the Grand Prix Commission.
This is how the latest FIM rules, released at Estoril, define a Claiming Rule Team:
“Four stroke motorcycles participating in the MotoGP class must be prototypes. Those that are not entered by a member of MSMA [Manufacturers' Association] must be approved for participation by the Grand Prix Commission, and teams using such motorcycles may ask the Grand Prix Commission (GPC) for the “Claiming Rule Team” (CRT) status by December 31st of the year before the season they intend to race.
“Approval of CRT status is subject to unanimity among all the members of the GPC, and CRT status is given only for one year at a time. The CRT status is approved by unanimous decision of the GPC in order to ensure fair competition, and based on the same consideration it can be withdrawn at any time by a majority decision of the GPC members. In case of CRT status withdrawal the GPC will inform the team at least one race in advance of CRT status being withdrawn.
“The CRT status affects the requirements of engine durability [CRTs can use 12 engines per season instead of 6] and fuel tank capacity [CRTs have a fuel tank limit of 24 litres instead of 21].
“CRT's are subject to the Claiming Rule and must not represent any MSMA manufacturer, as defined solely by a GPC majority decision.”
That brings us to the 'Claiming Rule' itself. This is basically an attempt to further limit costs by forcing teams to allow rivals to buy their engine(s), should they wish to do so.