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GP Week : Issue 198
The latest step in the battle by the FIM and Dorna to freeze the development of electronics took a turn in the lead-up to the season- opening Qatar GP, with the news that MotoGP will run with a standard eCu from 2016. All bikes in the premier category will use identical units, in hardware and software. until the end of the 2015 season, all bikes in the Factory category – which are Honda and Yamaha’s works bikes – will be able to continue with their own electronics. They will continue to be restricted to 20 litres of fuel per race and five engine changes per season. The FIM and Dorna also clarified the status of Ducati’s entries this season. Its bikes will continue to be classified as Factory entries but will still have access to the privileges of Open entries – 24 litres of fuel and 12 engines per year – until such time that its riders achieve certain results. should a Ducati rider, in the dry, score a win, two seconds or three podium finishes, all Ducati riders will have their per race fuel allowed cut to 22 litres. After three wins, they will lose access to the Open class’s softer rear tyre. Any new manufacturer will also be subject to similar restrictions. suzuki is due to enter MotoGP next season, and may participate in some 2014 events as a Wildcard entry. at BriEFly » Bridgestone will take 2013-spec tyres to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Production delays with its 2014 tyres meant that the Japanese manufacturer is unable to guarantee a full allocation of the 2014 spec medium rear tyres to the whole MotoGP grid. » Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi cannot stay away from each other in Qatar. Last year, the pair finished the 22-lap MotoGP 0.301s apart, Rossi holding out the debutant for second place. This year, the margin was 0.259s, but Marquez’s reward was a win... » Two Moto2 riders were given a one-point penalty in Qatar. Belgian Xavier Simeon scored his after went down in a first-lap clash with Josh Herrin, Johann Zarco and Alex de Angelis, and then shoved Herrin while both were standing in the gravel trap. Sandro Cortese copped his for slowing down on the racing line late during Qualifying. The incident caused a collision between Cortese and Jordi Torres which, to add injury to insult, left Cortese with a broken bone in his ankle. » The ‘home’ audience for Jack Miller’s first GP win was not as big as it would have been had it happened last year. The Qatar race was the first Moto3 race not to be broadcast on free-to-air television 'Down Under' after off-season changes saw Moto2 and Moto3 races and MotoGP Qualifying moved onto Pay TV. » There were a rash of fast laps at Losail but only in the under classes. Moto2 rookie Maverick Vinales set a new class record of 2:00.168s, 0.5s under Marc Marquez’s 2012 mark. In Moto3, Frenchman Alexis Masbou lowered the old record by nearly a full second to 2:05.862s. On the other hand, the 800s still rule in MotoGP. In spite of the return to 1000cc bikes in 2012, both Casey Stoner’s lap record and Jorge Lorenzo’s pole time from 2008 stood up again this year. ElECTRONICS 2016: IT'S A FREEZE MOTOGP >>> nEWs Ducati status clarified by FIM The long-running dispute between Austin’s Circuit of The Americas (COTA) and former World Champion Kevin schwantz has been settled. The two parties have been in a legal conflict since 2012 when the 1993 world champion sued COTA and its president Steve Sexton. The suit claimed that the parties had encouraged DORNA to end an agreement it had with Schwantz’s company 3four to participate in the promotion of the circuit’s MotoGP events. As a part of the settlement, Schwantz will now take on the role of an official ambassador for COTA for the upcoming Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas on April 11-13. “Kevin is a great champion and partnering with him gives us an opportunity to learn from his deep knowledge, as well as continue to celebrate his accomplishments,” Circuit Chairman Bobby Epstein said. “Kevin and I have always shared the desire to see him be a part of COTA, and it’s awesome to finally see it become a reality. A great American track and a great American champion in the same city can’t be kept apart. As a result, casual riders, current racers, future stars and the fans all win.” Said Schwantz; “I look for ward to being the ambassador for two -wheel racing for COTA, especially as the 2014 MotoGP season begins and returns to Texas. Grand prix motorcycle racing has been my life, and to help COTA market and promote that moving for ward is exciting!” SChwANTZ/COTA SuIT SETTlED 14 GPWEEK.com // 14 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: