19 December 2014
2016 MotoGP fuel limit agreed
All MotoGP competitors will race with 22 litres of fuel from 2016, two litres more than the present Factory limit.
The Grand Prix Commission has decided that all MotoGP competitors will race with 22 litres of fuel from 2016.
That is two litres more than the current level for the Factory class, meaning official Honda and Yamaha riders will get a fuel increase for the first time since limits were introduced.
A shared ECU is the centrepiece for the 2016 rules, which will see the current classes - 'Factory' for Honda and Yamaha, 'Factory 2' for Ducati, Suzuki and Aprilia, 'Open' for standard ECU teams - replaced by one set of regulations.
As part of the transition to the new ECU, to be jointly developed by the manufacturers, Factories will stop work on their own bespoke software at the end of June, 2015.
"It was already announced that Factory teams in the MotoGP class must move to using unified software
with effect from 1 July 2015," said an FIM statement. "It has now been confirmed that different teams, using machines from the same Factory, may use different versions of the unified software."
In terms of the fuel figure, 22 litres is midway between the existing Factory and Open class limits. It is likely to have been argued that the amount must rise from the Factory minimum due to the less sophisticated ECU software.
But if riders and fans are celebrating at the extra fuel, the need to conserve every drop having been blamed for dulling race action, some of the manufacturers may not be.
The ever-shrinking MotoGP limits have made fuel-saving technology a key ingredient for track success, as well as relevant to road machines. Honda is especially keen to 'challenge' its engineers in this area and the extra two-litres for 2016 will be viewed as beneficial for the other manufacturers.
Honda and Yamaha have won all the MotoGP races since 2010.
Suzuki and Aprilia are returning to MotoGP next year and will thus race under the same rules as Ducati, meaning they can use their own software and still enjoy the Open class concessions.
The rule-making Grand Prix Commission is composed of Dorna (Commercial rights), MSMA (Manufacturers' association), IRTA (teams association) and the FIM. The addition of Suzuki and Aprilia to the MSMA is significant, since the greater the number of members, the lower the chance of a unanimous opinion.
“If you don't have unanimous [agreement over the technical rules] in the MSMA, it's a majority opinion and then finally it can be decided by a third party,” Yamaha Racing manager director Lin Jarvis recently confirmed.
With the ECU and fuel limit now decided, plus a change from Bridgestone to Michelin tyres, engine changes are due to be the next 2016 piece to fall into place. As with fuel, most expect the new engine limit to be somewhere between the five currently allowed for the Factory class and the twelve per year for all other riders.
“It is anticipated that matters like the number of engines to be available for the  season and the minimum weights of machines will be finalised and announced early in February 2015,” confirmed the FIM statement.
Rule changes for 2015 decided at the December 16 meeting in Madrid included a €70,000 price limit for MotoGP brake packages - discs, pads, calipers and master cylinders. Teams may choose a package that does not include calipers for a maximum of €60,000.
In Moto2, rear tyre pressure sensors will become compulsory, to "enable the Technical Director to enforce existing regulations that require riders to use the pressures approved by the official supplier."
It was also agreed to incorporate into the regulations "the new version of SCAT3. This is the Sport Concussion
Assessment Tool which is already used by a large number of sporting bodies to evaluate injured athletes
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