The 'claiming rule' for privateer MotoGP machines is to be dropped.
The rule change will be effective immediately “for any CRT entry using the official Magneti Marelli hardware and software” before being cancelled completely for 2014.
Forward Racing (FTR Kawasaki), Avinitia (FTR Kawasaki), Ioda (Suter-BMW) and PBM (PBM-Aprilia) already use the standard Magneti Marelli ECU, which will be compulsory from next season.
Aspar (ART), Cardion AB (ART) and the second PBM entry (ART) are currently using Aprilia electronics, while Gresini (FTR Honda) runs a Cosworth ECU.
The main purpose of the claiming rule was to limit the use of expensive or secretive technology among the privateers.
Dropping the claiming rule means the present (CRT) motorcycles continuing in MotoGP next year will need to upgrade their engines to fight at the front of the class, especially given the new wave of manufacturer-backed privateer machinery from Honda, Yamaha and possibly Ducati.
The claiming rule - CRT stands for 'Claiming Rule Team' - was introduced for the new breed of Superbike-powered bikes that joined MotoGP at the start of last season, in order to boost dangerously low grid numbers. CRTs now form half of the 24-rider grid, alongside official prototypes from Honda, Yamaha and Ducati.
'Claiming' of the engine and gearbox, which can only be done by an MSMA (Manufacturers' Association) member rather than a rival team, has never occurred and the rule was always intended as a deterrent.
However, as previously highlighted,
Yamaha's game-changing offer of prototype M1 engines for privateers next season, which the factory will not allow to be offered for 'claiming' due to their high spec, confirmed that MotoGP faced two main options for 2014:
Remove the claiming rule, so that only two classes of bike - 'MSMA' (factory/satellite) and 'non-MSMA' (privateer) - exist.
Allow a third variation: 'MSMA', 'non-MSMA' and the present 'CRT' - comprising of any privateer machines that continue to be part of a claiming rule.
The Grand Prix Commission has decided on option 1.