MotoGP - The open class
With the factory Ducatis moving into the open class I thought it was about time we had a look at the new rules. We've had the CRT class for two years and the gap between them and the factory machines was obvious. With the recent tests the leaps forward in times by the new open class bikes is clear. Here's a guide to how the new rules will change things...
Engine numbers and development
One of the biggest reasons for Ducati's move to the open class has got to be the engine development rules. For full factory efforts there is a freeze on engine development in the season whereas open class engines are allowed to be developed. Ducati desperately need to get the bike working better so this will give them the chance to do that. Open class rules also allows use of 12 engines compared to the factories 5.
Factory bikes have been squeezed on fuel over the last few years with bikes often running out on the parade lap after the race because of the tight margins. This year they've lowered it again to just 20 litres, race management is going to be of high importance if the factory machines want to finish the race. Open machines will get 24 litres given them more fuel to burn.
Bridgestone have brought in a new batch of tyres for this year and the factories, namely Yamaha, already seem to be struggling on them. The open class machines get an extra super soft rear that the factories do not enabling them to get on the pace faster.
This is the big difference to the factory machines, all open class bikes will run a stock electronics package built by Magneti-Marelli and supplied by Dorma. Factory machines will still be able to develop their electronics.
MotoGP statement about the Open Class
From 2014, teams not directly entered by one of the major manufacturers as a factory team or satellite outfit, will be categorised in the so-called "Open class". Whilst all factory teams (MSMA entries) will have to use the spec Magneti Marelli hardware with their own software, the "Open class", regardless of its mechanical make-up, will run the spec hardware as well as software. From a mechanical standpoint, the "Open class" in 2014 will consists of full-blown prototypes (with Magneti Marelli software), prototype chassis with factory-spec engines, as well as heavily tuned production engines in prototype chassis.
So what does this all mean for the sport we know and love? Hopefully exactly what Dorma are after, closer more exciting racing with more bikes on the grid.
For more information visit the MotoGP website.
28.02.14 - Big Ed