The cancellation of the Qatar MotoGP season-opener also meant the homologation of each team's 2020 engine design and the first of its two fairings could not take place as planned.

Initially, it was intended that homologation would simply be done at the next available race. But the continued spread of COVID-19 means that has already been pushed back until May 3, at Jerez, with further calendar delays until June or beyond now widely expected.

There had been concerns MotoGP manufacturers would be forced to use the unexpected delay to continue developing their 2020 engines and aero or risk losing ground to their rivals - but that's also a much harder task for the European manufacturers, which face a government shutdown of their factories, compared to the Japanese.

With that in mind, all manufacturers agreed 'for reasons of equality and fairness' that the homologation process should be carried out as soon as possible. Although a deadline date wasn't mentioned in the official announcement, it will be this Wednesday (March 25).

As such, MotoGP has today announced the 'first event' homologation will be completed remotely by sending in sample engines and digital fairing designs. The exception to this is Honda, which had already provided sample engine parts in Qatar. Suzuki's engines are still in Qatar, where they will stay under FIM control, while Yamaha and Ducati will ship sample engines.

Concession manufacturers Aprilia and KTM can develop their engines as they wish throughout the year, but are still subject to the limit of two different fairings.

However, the MotoGP statement (in full below) makes clear that no new development freeze is being imposed and manufacturers can continue to develop all other parts of their bikes as normal, while the wait for racing continues…

'There are a number of questions that the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and subsequent delay in competition raises for the MotoGP World Championship, and one of those is the technical homologation. In the MotoGP class, the engine must be the same specification for the whole season – the only exemptions being for factories qualifying for concessions – and each rider also has the limit of two aero-body versions per season and per rider that they are allowed to homologate.

'Normally, the engine specification for the season is homologated on the Thursday of the first Grand Prix, as is the first of the two aero-fairings. Due to the cancellation of the MotoGP class at Losail, that wasn’t possible for every factory. However, the QNB Grand Prix of Qatar remains the official starting point of the season and the point at which the rules for homologation begin being enforced.

'Like every year, the 2020 engine specifications (except KTM and Aprilia machines as they qualify for concessions) must remain the same during the whole season and each rider has to homologate the first aero-fairing.

'The FIM, IRTA, MSMA and Dorna all agree that for reasons of equality and fairness the homologation must therefore be carried out remotely and digitally as soon as possible.

'Under normal circumstances, factories have two options. Either they can supply a list of sample engine parts to the organisation, providing a means of comparison with engines used throughout the season to verify no changes have been made, or they can supply digital drawings. Normally, each factory chooses to supply either a full sample engine or a sample for all the parts that the engine contains.

'This means that if a manufacturer has riders using different engine specifications, like for example an Independent Team rider using an engine design from a past season, they must supply every sample.

'Honda are the exception, as they were the only manufacturer that did supply all their sample engine parts at Qatar. The rest of the factories were not able to do so this year due to the extenuating circumstances, and have instead sent their sample engines to the organisation, which must match those in the machines at the first 2020 event.

'Digital drawings of each rider’s first aero-body must also be supplied and these must likewise be homologated if they are within the technical restrictions provided in the rulebook.

'The FIM, IRTA, MSMA and Dorna make every effort to focus on simplicity for both the manufacturers and the enforcement of the rules. MotoGP has never considered a shutdown period in which all factories must cease any and all development for a set period of time, at any time of year, primarily due to the difficulty of policing such a regulation.

'Development on any other part of the machine not subject to homologation may therefore continue, as is the case during any season.'

 

Latest 2020 MotoGP Calendar (March 11)

Round

Date

Race

Circuit

1

8 March

Qatar (no MotoGP class)

Losail International Circuit

2

3 May

Jerez

Circuito de Jerez - Angel Nieto

3

17 May

France

Le Mans

4

31 May

Italy

Mugello

5

7 June

Catalunya

Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya

6

21 June

Germany

Sachsenring

7

28 June

Netherlands

TT Circuit Assen

8

12 July

Finland*

KymiRing (Subject to circuit homologation)

9

9 August

Czech Republic

Brno

10

16 August

Austria

Red Bull Ring - Spielberg

11

30 August

Great Britain

Silverstone

12

13 September

San Marino

Misano

13

27 September

Aragon

MotorLand Aragon

14

4 October

Thailand

Chang International Circuit

15

18 October

Japan

Motegi

16

25 October

Australia

Phillip Island

17

1 November

Malaysia

Sepang

18

15 November

Americas

Circuit of the Americas

19

22 November

Argentina

Termas de Rio Hondo

20

29 November

Valencia

Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo

 

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