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2014 Yamaha MotoGP engine lease 'likely'
23 March 2013
The 2014 MotoGP control ECU rules are dependent upon 'the satisfactory conclusion of ongoing negotiations between FIM, Dorna and the Manufacturers concerning the supply of additional machines and engines for use by other teams from 2014.
'Contracts for the supply of these machines, engines, parts and technical support must be concluded between Dorna and the Manufacturers prior to the first event of 2013. Only then will the technical regulation changes be finally adopted.'
The first race of the new season takes place at Qatar from April 4-7, but so far there has been no announcement regarding the signing of such contracts. In return for making privateer (CRT) machinery available, the 2014 rules will allow the MotoGP Manufacturers to continue developing their own ECU software.
Honda has stated it is building a cut-price version of its RC213V, eligible for the CRT regulations, with Yamaha expected to make some of its M1 engines available to privateers. In an interview to coincide with Yamaha's MotoGP team launch, Motor Racing managing director Lin Jarvis confirmed that such a scenario is 'most likely'.
"The target... is to see this Championship grow into the future and to have a full grid and a competitive grid," he said. "I think the CRTs have been definitely a help to this sport last season. Whether the CRT will really disappear in the future, I don't know.
"Honda are working on producing a customer bike, where they will probably sell a replica of their RCV. Yamaha's side we are working on the proposal to lease engines, so rather than leasing complete bikes, which we do for Tech 3, we may lease engines.
"Most likely we will lease engines to additional teams so the target being that Yamaha and Honda can contribute to having a more competitive grid."
CRT regulations were introduced at the start of last season in response to plunging grid numbers, by clearing the way for privateers to use modified Superbike engines with bespoke chassis designs. Without CRT there would only be twelve bikes, not enough for a world championship. In order to approach MotoGP pace, the CRTs receive concessions in terms of fuel limit and engine changes, but most remain a clear step behind the full prototypes.
CRT status is awarded to each team, for one year at a time, by unanimous decision of the Grand Prix Commission to avoid any undercover factory entries. However some feel the class-leading Aprilia ART is not in the spirit of the CRT rules - being a complete bike from a mainstream manufacturer.
But since Aprilia have met the criteria, including having the bike (and technology) potentially 'claimed' by an MSMA rival, not to mention the GPC vote, they have provided a template that the Honda customer bike will now follow.
All CRT entries will run the full control ECU, software and hardware, in 2014 when the CRT fuel advantage will increase to four litres.
Ducati, which like Honda and Yamaha presently runs four prototype bikes, is not expected to increase its involvement next year. However Suzuki does intend to return to the grid.
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