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Ducati MotoGP: Open or Factory? The wait continues…

Less than one week to go until the start of the new MotoGP season and it's still not clear which rules Ducati will be racing under.
Less than one week to go until the start of the new MotoGP season and it's still not clear which rules Ducati will be racing under.

Ducati has applied to switch its official MotoGP team from the Factory to Open class, in order to avoid increasing restrictions on engine development.

“We would like to develop our bike and with the Factory option we simply couldn't do it,” new Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall'Igna, seeking to raise the team from its first podium-less season, reiterated on Monday.

As well as in-season engine development, the Open class allows four litres of extra race fuel, twelve rather than five engine changes and a softer grade of rear tyre.

Honda has made clear it feels these concessions were aimed at helping independent teams, rather than official manufacturers, but that distinction is not in the rules.

Instead the only technical requirement for entry to the Open category is use of the Dorna-supplied standard ECU software, rather than bespoke factory software.

However the Open software has also become a contentious issue after a recent high-performance upgrade, rumoured to be inspired by Ducati's input, proved too complex for all but Ducati to use.

The Dorna/FIM proposed solution was for a 'Factory 2' class, with Ducati running the latest software - and keeping the Open class benefits - but then having its race fuel and engine changes reduced if it achieved a certain number of (dry) top three results.

“Ducati asked to enter as Open riders. But it created a lot of 'reaction', so this is under consideration. After all the registration is upon the discretion of the Grand Prix Commission,” MotoGP director of technology Corrado Cecchinelli told the official MotoGP website earlier this week.

“The proposal from Dorna/FIM is to refuse the [Ducati] entry as Open and create a new technical package [Factory 2] to enter in the Factory option.”

That proposal was to be put before the Grand Prix Commission on Tuesday yet still nothing has been announced, suggesting opposition to the plan.

Meanwhile practice for the season-opening Qatar MotoGP gets underway on Thursday evening...

Tagged as: Ducati

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March 14, 2014 12:06 PM

Vilas46: What i call stupidity...
Really Vilas? What about the "unfair advantage" the standard tires give to some and not to others, AFTER the winter tests? What about your beloved Rossi sunday specials? What about Honda seamless gearbox, that doesn't comply with any spirit of the rules, and is allowed? What about the rookie rule being dropped for the new DORNA approved hero of motogp? What about Yamaha being able to basically run a satellite bike in Open? What about engine limits including the mounting points, basically screwing Ducati more, because of their unique bike construction? What about all the lease bikes bull**** that creates a rigid status quo? You want to talk about Ducati bending the rules? I hardly ever saw anything in Ducati's favor in motoGP regulations, ever.


March 14, 2014 11:29 AM

Carmello's job does not look very safe, as the controlling interests who pay his wages can not be favourably impressed by his constant dithering and ineptitude. Dorna stated a firm date for teams to notify them which class they would be contesting. Ducati complied within the time allowed and announced they would enter Open Class. Now Dorna are breaking their own Rules by contemplating a different class than those originally specified. By definition, any Factory 2 team has therefore already missed the application cut-off date and are therefore NOT eligible to compete in any class. Call this "Management" ? I call it "Stupidity".

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