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GP Week : Issue 160
Hopes that vital new technical regulations for 2015 would at least near completion at the GP Commission meeting at Assen were dashed, when the matter was left off the agenda, and only minor changes relating to 2013 were decided. Dorna’s push to bring the dumbing- down changes including a control ECU and a rev limit in as soon as 2014 appears to have run out of steam, while the factories fight to preser ve their tenure at the top of the premier class. Instead of the sweeping changes demanded by Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta in his quest to level the competition between factory and CRT machines, the most significant decision was to abandon proposals for one bike per rider. Last year Ezpeleta set an end-of-May deadline to finalise 2015 rules, threatening a CRT-team-only championship if this was not done. Earlier this year the deadline was extended until the end of June, but that has passed with little apparent progress. Dorna’s only important victory was that (as expected) the rookies rule of 2008 was cancelled – giving golden boy Marc Marquez freedom of passage directly to the Repsol Honda MotoGP team next year. Another step towards cost-cutting came in an unexpected new rule decreeing that engine bore and stroke must remain as it is now until the end of 2014. This will only make a difference if, as many suspect, Ducati is using an under-size 930cc engine in a quest for higher revs with the standard 81mm bore. It means they cannot now change to a full-size engine, should they wish. The other significant technical restriction was to limit alternative ratios for the six-speed gearboxes to 24, and for a maximum of four alternative primary-drive ratios. These are adjusted to change overall gearing while preserving the wheelbase. The more usual method of changing drive and wheel sprockets means adding or removing links from the chain. In addition, factory entries were restricted to two works riders and two satellite riders. Destroyed engine might mean costly pit-lane start CRASH COSTS LORENZO MORE THAN THE POINTS fuchs lubricants.com Our partnership with Jason Lepley Motor- sport and the FUCHS Titan Race MkII Escort, continues to bring success in the historic rally championship events across the UK. Yamaha’s Jorge lost more than 25 points when he was spear-tackled at the first corner of the Dutch TT. He also lost a brand-new engine, the third of his allocation of six, and now fears he may have to make a pit-lane start at the end of the season if he is forced to take a seventh engine. “It was a big disaster for us,” he said, after landing safely after a heavy crash and then watching his M1 rev itself to pieces lying on its side in the gravel, emitting plumes of oil smoke. MotoGP bikes have a cut-off switch to avoid damage when the bike is horizontal and the oil no longer circulates, but in races it is set with a few seconds delay, in case a fallen rider can pick up and rejoin. Lorenzo’s M1 engine was barely 200 km old, and had been broken out as per schedule the day before the race. Its total destruction means Lorenzo will take the fourth of his six engines one race before the mid-point of the season. A misunderstanding with Race Direction actually left Lorenzo with the initial impression that he would be granted an extra engine free of penalty, because the crash was not his fault, and he wrote as much (thanking the officials) on his Twitter feed. The news prompted threats of a protest from Honda, until it turned out that Lorenzo was mistaken. Last year, Rossi made a pit-lane start after exceeding the allocation ... not through wear or accident, but because the latest Ducati chassis was tailored to different engine casings, and he was unable to use the remainder of those already homologated. NEW RULES ... SECOND DEADLINE PASSES 12 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> NEWS MOTOGP >>> NEWS