Dorna director Javier Alonso has stated that the last-minute Factory 2 class has been proposed due to concerns that Ducati will have "too much of an advantage" under the Open class MotoGP rules.
This follows a recent major update for the Open ECU software
, which Alonso says only Ducati is so far capable of using.
Ducati has broken ranks with Honda and Yamaha by leaving the Factory MotoGP class to join the new Open category - which offers advantages in terms of race fuel, engine changes, testing, tyres and engine development.
In order to make the move, Ducati simply needed to swap its bespoke Factory ECU software for the standard Dorna-supplied software, being developed by Magneti Marelli.
But that is no longer the disadvantage it once was, especially since it is now clearly in Ducati's interest to make its Factory software available to the Open class development team.
“We looked at the Sepang test results, especially the second test, and it's clear that of the two software versions used, the second developed by Magneti Marelli offers great performance,” Alonso told the official MotoGP website.
“The fact is that the only manufacturer ready to use that software is Ducati. That gives them some advantage when combined with the Open rules, so we have therefore made this plan to the GP Commission, to find a balance which does not give one manufacturer too much of an advantage.”
Alonso added: “As a championship we aim to allow everyone to have the best possible technology, including this type of software, but from talking to the private teams they are not yet set up to be able to use this 'full software'.
“Clearly Ducati were not at the same level as Honda and Yamaha last season and what they have done [by moving to the Open class] is to look for a way within the rules to improve their grid and race results.
“We understand that by making some changes they can be closer to the other constructors but we do not want them to have too much of an advantage, as it would be unfair for them to beat the rest of the manufacturers with greater ammunition. So we think the proposal on the table is a good solution.”
An Open class manufacturer would be moved to the Factory 2 class once they achieve three third positions, two second places or one victory in dry conditions.
This would mean that their race fuel would be reduced from 24 to 22.5 litres and engine changes cut from twelve to nine. But what if some Open riders have already changed more than nine engines during the season?
The Factory class limits are 20 litres and five engines. It seems the other Open concessions would be unaffected by moving to Factory 2.
Ducati has stated that the main reason for changing from Factory to Open is in order to develop their bike.
Alonso did not mention the front-running form of Aleix Espargaro, on the new Open class Forward Yamaha. Ducati and Forward Yamaha are the most likely manufacturers to meet the Factory 2 criteria.
The Factory 2 class is due to be formally approved on March 11.
Regardless of which class - Factory, Factory 2 or Open - all riders will fight for the same 2014 world championship titles.