The Jerez test saw the latest stage in ongoing discussions regarding MotoGP rule changes for 2013 and beyond.

MotoGP commercial rights holder Dorna is pushing for major cost reductions, a healthy field of competitive customer bikes and improvements to 'the show'.

The manufacturers agree on the need to cut costs and help the show where possible, but want to ensure there is enough technical freedom for meaningful research and development.

At Jerez it was the turn of the three remaining MSMA members (Honda, Yamaha and Ducati) to hand Dorna its suggestions. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta told the official MotoGP website:

"[Dorna] put forward a proposal to the manufacturers, some ideas were accepted and others were not, and we now have to study their ideas [delivered at Jerez] so that when we sit down again in Qatar [round one] we can agree on how to make the Championship better, but also in a manner which is economically viable."

Ezpeleta said that the ideas discussed were: "Having a single bike per rider as in Moto2 and Moto3, limiting the number of mechanics per rider, setting a price cap on bikes and deciding that each manufacturer can only have two factory bikes and two satellite bikes, and many other things."

Reports from Jerez suggest that among the "many other things" were the introduction of a rev limit and further restrictions on the number of engine changes (currently six per season for manufacturer bikes).

But there has been little news regarding one of the most important issues - a clear vision of what the new CRT class should become and, related to that, performance 'balancing' between the CRT and full MotoGP prototypes.

"Two factory bikes and two satellite bikes" from each manufacturer is already the situation for 2012, so unless new manufacturers arrive almost half the future MotoGP grid will continue to consist of CRT machines.

For this year's debut CRT season, the superbike-powered privateers will be allowed three litres of extra fuel and the double the number of engine changes, plus some more minor concessions, relative to the factory/satellite bikes.

But only Aspar's Randy de Puniet so far looks capable of troubling the slowest of the manufacturer bikes, although the full potential of CRT under the present concessions won't be known until much later in the season.

Once the differences between the 2013 rules for CRTs and manufacturer bikes is known, it will become apparent if CRT is destined to remain a 'race within a race' - and possibly given its own points and trophy - or built-up to the point where there is little difference between the top CRT and best satellite bike.

Or maybe it'll be the other way around.

Perhaps the manufacturers, in order to meet a future price cap, will offer less competitive satellite bikes, dropping them into the hands of the CRTs.

Whatever is decided one thing is clear, the manufacturers will not tolerate overly generous rules that allow the privateer CRTs to threaten their full factory-team prototypes (under normal circumstances).

A possible solution would be to write regulations that gently reduce some CRT concessions, for each rider, once a rider achieves a certain number of points during the season. This would only be appropriate if MotoGP remains 'one' class and is not officially split into a separate CRT championship.

The introduction of some concessions to help the satellite teams (leased manufacturer bikes) might also be justified, depending on the 2012 results. A satellite rider has not won a MotoGP race since the final year of the 990cc era in 2006.


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment