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Ducati 'not happy' with MotoGP's Factory 2 development

Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall'Igna is 'not happy' that a last-minute Factory 2 class is being proposed for Ducati in MotoGP this season.
Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall'Igna is 'not happy' that a last-minute Factory 2 class is being proposed for Ducati in MotoGP this season.

However the Italian accepts that compromise may be needed, even if the Factory 2 race fuel level "is an important performance reduction."

Ducati plans to move all of its MotoGP entries from Factory to Open class, allowing greater freedom to develop its machine - which failed to claim a podium last year - in return for running the standard ECU software.

But although not stated in the technical rules, some - including Honda - believe the Open class is only for cheaper, less sophisticated machines.

The official reason for the Factory 2 amendment being tabled by Dorna and the FIM is that the other Open teams do not have the capability to use the latest, major software update.

This update appears inspired by Ducati's Factory software system - all manufacturers can contribute to Open software development and Ducati's complete switch to the class means they have little reason to hold anything back.

However, since Dorna's Magneti Marelli software must be shared by six different MotoGP machines, it will never be exactly the same as Factory electronics, optimised for a single engine/chassis.

Factory 2 - sitting between Factory and Open - would allow Ducati to run this latest software, but see their race fuel drop from 24 to 22.5 litres and engine changes from twelve to nine. The other Open class perks would remain.

“The Ducati [Open] decision makes someone not so happy, but this is not our intention. We would like to develop the bike and with the Factory option we simply couldn't do it,” said Dall'Igna, speaking at the Audi Forum in Germany, prior to this evening's unveiling of the 2014 team livery.

“To improve the bike it is important to change the bike and with the Factory option it is not possible to change the engine. Open has the possibility of twelve engines not five, we can develop the engines, we can test at more circuits. So the restrictions are less.

“For us the situation is quite clear and the option we choose is quite clear. And for sure this [Open] will be the future of MotoGP, because they have to reduce costs and this solution can help to reduce the costs of MotoGP.”

The Grand Prix Commission - composed of the FIM, Dorna, teams' association IRTA and manufacturers' association MSMA - is due to decide on the Factory 2 proposal tomorrow (Tuesday).

“It is really difficult to tell you what will happen. I know like you that the organiser is asking to introduce new Factory 2 rules. This is for sure something against us because the organiser is trying to reduce a little bit the possibilities of Ducati in MotoGP.

“But I have to live in the real world and so I can understand the organiser wants to introduce this rule change, because for sure the small teams cannot work like a Factory team. Like Ducati. And so for respect to the small teams, Dorna would like to introduce this new option, but we will see.

“For sure we are not happy, but we have to accept some compromises in life and I think this is one of these.”

While the engine reduction would be unwelcome, it is the fuel limit that could have most impact on Ducati riders Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso.

“You have to remember that the [Open] software that the organiser will give to us does not have all the strategies to reduce the fuel consumption. So 22.5 litres is not too much. For sure we have to cut the power, not in all races, but in some races. So for us it is an important performance reduction.”

The Factory class limit is 20 litres of fuel, one litre less than last year. Only Honda and Yamaha now remain in the Factory class, where manufacturers are allowed to develop their own unique software.

It has been suggested that Factory 2 fuel and engine limits would only apply once a certain number of podium results have been obtained.

Tagged as: Ducati

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March 10, 2014 5:43 PM

Changing the rules just weeks before the season begins is extremely unprofessional. How can it be that this happens at MotoGP level ?? Are we talking about a privateer series in Patagonia?? Or is this really news concerning a championship involving most major motorcycle producers?? How can this be? Looks like total incompetence to me, both on the side of the organiser as well as the side of Honda, who seem to be unable to read very simple rules the way they are written. Are we now racing on the basis of "what Honda thought the rules should mean" ??? In F1 everyone will read the rules very carefully, try to explore any loophole left and PLAY BY the RULES as written. And if a loophole needs to be fixed, it will be fixed with the necessary time to adapt, usually rule changes effect only the distant future and are well thought out. Here in MotoGP it seems that a rule against one single competitor is made up on a day to day basis. What about the open Yamaha ?? Seems to be last years facto


March 10, 2014 5:49 PM

Exactly, make rules so teams have a chance to follow them for the coming season. Then try to change them when a team actually uses its brain to find the best fit. As said Yamaha keeping their heads down. The vote will be interesting.

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