Privateer teams leasing Yamaha M1 engines in MotoGP next season will not be subject to the Claiming rule.
The current MotoGP grid consists of twelve manufacturer machines - from Honda, Yamaha and Ducati - plus twelve privateer entries, powered by modified superbike engines.
These privateers compete under Claiming Rule Team (CRT) regulations, which allow more fuel and engines changes relative to the factory prototypes.
However it comes with the caveat that any manufacturer can 'claim' their engine and gearbox for 20,000 euros.
Although unlikely to occur, the claiming rule exists to try and limit privateer costs by discouraging the use of expensive or confidential technology. That has not been an issue until now with even the most developed of the CRTs, the Aprilia ART, based on a Superbike.
But a big change will occur in 2014, when Honda will offer privateer teams a production version of its RC213V (recently on track at Motegi, see separate story
), while Yamaha will lease M1 engines to power privateer chassis designs.
Since the Honda is being offered for sale - and comes without the pneumatic valves or seamless shift gearbox of the factory bike - it could potentially fit within the existing CRT framework. But the M1 engines will be offered at a higher spec, "very close" to those of Yamaha's satellite Tech 3 team. As such, there is no way that Yamaha will allow the engines to be potentially 'claimed' by a rival.
"The M1 engines can be leased by Teams that conclude a Lease Agreement with Yamaha. The decision regarding which Teams will be selected will be decided by mutual discussion between Dorna and Yamaha," William Favero, communications manager of Yamaha Motor Racing, told Crash.net
"The specs of the engines will be very close to those of the Tech 3 Team which is why the engines will be leased and not sold. As a consequence, the property of the engines will always remain that of Yamaha."
Underlining the closeness in specification, Yamaha will not make use of the twelve engine changes possible for privateers and instead stick to just five, the same allowed for the factory prototypes. However the M1-powered bikes will join the other privateers in having four-litres of extra fuel available in each race, but must also run the full standard ECU system.
"The engines will run the Dorna Spec ECU and the spec software and therefore they will be eligible for the non-MSMA rules (currently called CRT). This means that the Teams using the leased YZR-M1 engines could, in theory, run up to 12 engines per season and will be permitted to run with 24 litres of fuel.
"The Yamaha Lease package foresees the supply of three engines - two of which will be reconditioned to effectively reach five engines per season.
"Instead, the MSMA [factory] entered bikes used by Yamaha Factory Racing and Tech 3 will use the spec ECU, but Yamaha's own software which imposes limits of five engines per season and 20 litres of fuel.
"In conclusion, it will not be possible for a rival manufacturer or team to 'claim' an M1 engine."
That being the case, either the claiming rule will be dropped entirely next year, so that two classes of bike - 'MSMA' (factory) and 'non-MSMA' (privateer) - will exist, or there is the possibility of three variations: MSMA, non-MSMA and the present 'CRT' (non-MSMA with claiming rule).