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2015 World Superbike Regulations Released: EVO With Limited Tuning, Plus Price-Capped Electronics

The Superbike Commission, the body which runs the World Superbike championship, has finally agreed on a set of technical regulations for World Superbikes for 2015. The initial idea to switch to EVO regulations has now been dropped, with a compromise found to allow greater freedom of tuning, and retain more parity between production bikes. Electronics will remain open, though they will be regulated by price and must remain freely available.

The dropping of full EVO regulations came as a result of pressure from manufacturers such as Suzuki and Honda, whose current bikes are focused more on the road than, say, the Ducati and Aprilia. To remain competitive, they needed more freedom to tune the engine than the proposed Superstock regulations allow. Given the dominance of Ducati and Kawasaki in Superstock, the EVO regulations could have discouraged manufacturers from getting involved in World Superbike.

Engines will now be allowed limited modification, with teams forced to run stock valve springs and valves. They will be allowed to modify camshafts, and porting of cylinder heads will be allowed, though material can only be removed, not added by welding. Crankcases must remain standard, but teams will be allowed to swap con rods. The precise details have not been released yet, but con rods cannot be lighter than standard, and must be of 'similar' material. Only one set of gearbox ratios will be allowed all year, and performance balancing will be done by restrictors in future, and no longer by the addition of weight. Adding weight was always a problem for Ducati, as it made finding a balance more difficult. It also encouraged riders to simply lose the weight which had been added to the bikes, an unhealthy situation for already very thin riders.

The most interesting part of the regulations comes in the electronics. The MSMA has persuaded the Superbike Commission to allow them to continue to develop their own software strategies, leaving WSBK as the only championship where software development is allowed. To contain costs, a price cap of 8000 euros has been placed on ECU kits, and the factories must release their software to all of the teams running their bikes three times a season, preventing them from gaining too great an advantage. All ECU kits must contain all of the parts needed – sensors, actuators, etc – as well as the ECU itself. Allowing software development in World Superbikes makes more sense than in MotoGP, as the results are more directly applicable to the road machines sold by the factories. It is also easier to prevent costs spiralling out of control: with engine tuning limited, the advantages to be gained from software is smaller. As the marketing value of WSBK is smaller than in MotoGP, the manufacturers have fewer incentives to invest massive sums in software development, especially as they must give their developments away to all of their customer teams three times a year.

The full text of the press release is show below:


FIM Superbike & Supersport World Championships and FIM Superstock 1000cc Cup

Decision of the Superbike Commission

The Superbike Commission, composed of Messrs Javier Alonso (WSBK Executive Director), Ignacio Verneda (FIM Executive Director, Sport) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA Representative), met at Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit on 12 June in the presence of Messrs Daniel Carrera (WSBK Championship Director) and Gregorio Lavilla (WSBK Sporting Director ).

The meeting focused on two points:

1. SBK Technical Regulations 2015:

The main pillars of the technical regulation 2015 were approved by majority inside the Superbike Commission.

In 2015 the Championship will return to one technical platform. The rules were previously agreed to be as the 2014 EVO regulations and they have formed the basis of the 2015 rules. However amendments have been made to ensure parity of performance across the diverse range of machines in the championship and the regulations are also aimed at both reducing annual costs and making the Championship more accessible to new teams.

Chassis Regulations:

Remain largely unchanged excepting some clarifications to several points. The tolerances applied in measuring frames have been removed.

Engine Regulations:

The previously agreed EVO regulations form the basis of the 2015 rules. However due to the very limited options available to ensure parity of performance between different motorcycles the level of tuning opportunities has been increased.

The notable points are:

  • Camshafts are free
  • Cylinder head porting is free but no welding
  • Valves, pistons and most major engine components must remain standard
  • Con-rods may be replaced with similar material but equal weight parts for safety
  • Crankcases standard
  • One set of racing gearbox ratios allowed for the whole season
  • Balancing rules no longer use weight, it will be intake restriction only

Electronic Regulations:

The FIM Superbike World Championship remains the last high level championship open to the manufacturers to develop their electronic control strategies. The manufacturers will therefore be allowed to continue to develop the electronic solutions but these systems must be available to all other teams using the same make of machine and it will be called the ‘’Superbike Kit System’’.

The notable points are:

  • Price limited Superbike Kit System available to all teams in World Superbike and other FIM championships
  • Only approved ECU’s may be used in these kits – they will be race ECU’s
  • The software of the factory team will be available to all other teams at three points during the racing season
  • The Superbike Kit System must include all of the electronic parts not fitted to the standard street machine and required for the system to be fully operational (except the wiring harness)
  • The selling price for the Superbike Kit System will be €8000
  • Alternatively the Superstock Kit ECU may be used as in the 2014 EVO regulations, this is to encourage wildcard participation

Throttle Body Regulations:

For the 2015 and 2016 season the regulations will continue to allow the addition of Ride By Wire (RBW) systems to the throttle bodies. These systems must become available to all the other teams using the same machines. They will work hand in hand with the ‘’Superbike Kit Systems’’. For the 2017 season and onwards the regulations will mandate the use of the standard throttle bodies.

The notable points are:

  • Ride by wire kits must be available to all teams in World Superbike and other FIM championships
  • Only the machine manufacturer or one appointed supplier will be allowed to provide the kit (for safety)
  • The price of the kits will be €2500
  • All non RBW machines currently utilise a solution and the control strategies are mature
  • Standard road bikes will adopt the use of this technology by 2017 meaning development continuity

*Complete provisional document will be available in the following days at FIM WEBSITE.

2. Additional engine allocation SBK category:

There was an official request from a team to slightly increase the number of engines available for 2014. The Superbike Commission refused this possibility by majority.

The Superbike Commission, the body which runs the World Superbike championship, has finally agreed on a set of technical regulations for World Superbikes for 2015. The initial idea to switch to EVO regulations has now been dropped, with a compromise found to allow greater freedom of tuning, and retain more parity between production bikes. Electronics will remain open, though they will be regulated by price and must remain freely available.The dropping of full EVO regulations came as a result of pressure from manufacturers such as Suzuki and Honda, whose current bikes are focused more on the road than, say, the Ducati and Aprilia. To remain competitive, they needed more freedom to tune the engine than the proposed Superstock regulations allow. Given the dominance of Ducati and Kawasaki in Superstock, the EVO regulations could have discouraged manufacturers from getting involved in World Superbike.

Scott Jones' Catalonia Dreamin' - Friday At Barcelona


Something old, something new ...


Scott Redding, by Scott Jones


Fastest man of the afternoon, Bradley Smith. He needed that.


Injured scaphoid, 20 horsepower down, but the Kentucky Kid still has it


Home boy. Even though he now lives in Andorra. For the training opportunities...


Careful preparation


Cal Crutchlow needs a weekend where everything goes to plan. Hasn't happened so far this year


The kerbs are a problem at Catalunya, because they are raised so much higher than at other tracks ...


... as you can see from the drop on the inside of the kerb


Number 7?


But can this man stop him?


Dovizioso. Ducati. For how long?


Dani Pedrosa needs a good weekend too. Things haven't been easy


The old man still has it


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of Scott's fantastic photos, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots you see on the site, then send Scott an email and he'll be happy to help.

Something old, something new ... Scott Redding, by Scott Jones Fastest man of the afternoon, Bradley Smith. He needed that.

The Ronax: A 500cc GP Bike To Call Your Own

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It is not often that we have cause to write about road-going motorcycles, but this is something a little bit special. The German engineering company Ronax have released a 500cc two-stroke V4 track missile, a cross between a Honda NSR500 and Yamaha YZR500. The bike is an 80° V4 two-stroke featuring two counter-rotating cranks, a design similar to Yamaha's 500cc GP machine, the two counter-rotating crankshafts balancing each other's inertial torque out. The bike features electronic fuel injection, and comes in at a paltry 145kg dry weight. The weight is kept low due to extensive use of aluminium and carbon fiber parts, the bodywork, tank, rear seat unit and airbox all being produced from CF. Quoted power is 160bhp, a fair few short of the 200 generally ascribed to the last of the 500cc Grand Prix racers.

To call it a road-going motorcycle is something of a misnomer. There are fittings for lights, and a hanger for a license plate, all of which can be fitted quickly after use on a track. However, the limited production run - just 46 are to be made, a careful nod to the last 500cc champion Valentino Rossi, phrased to avoid the wrath of his mighty marketing machine - means that the bikes will not be homologated for full-time road use. A quirk in German transportation laws means that the bike can be ridden on German roads without a full technical inspection on special temporary transport plates. Specialist bikes in such small numbers are very expensive to homologate for road use, and even with fuel injection, question marks remain over whether the bike would pass emissions tests. The use of temporary plates neatly circumvents that little problem, though you will either have to move to Germany or find a similar loophole in your local legislation to enjoy the same privilege.

As you might expect, such a bike is not cheap. The asking price is €100,000, ex German VAT at 19%. For that money, however, you will own something utterly unique and very special indeed. At 160bhp and something in the region of 165kg fully fueled, it will make an extraordinary track day weapon. And you are unlikely to have to worry about ever seeing another pull up in the garage next to yours, something which can happen to owners of the more high-end sports bikes such as Ducati's Panigale 1199R.

Expensive, exclusive and impractical as it may be, there is one thing for certain about the Ronax 500. It is a thing of extraordinary beauty.

It is not often that we have cause to write about road-going motorcycles, but this is something a little bit special. The German engineering company Ronax have released a 500cc two-stroke V4 track missile, a cross between a Honda NSR500 and Yamaha YZR500. The bike is an 80° V4 two-stroke featuring two counter-rotating cranks, a design similar to Yamaha's 500cc GP machine, the two counter-rotating crankshafts balancing each other's inertial torque out. The bike features electronic fuel injection, and comes in at a paltry 145kg dry weight. The weight is kept low due to extensive use of aluminium and carbon fiber parts, the bodywork, tank, rear seat unit and airbox all being produced from CF. Quoted power is 160bhp, a fair few short of the 200 generally ascribed to the last of the 500cc Grand Prix racers.

Nicky Hayden Has Wrist Surgery To Clean Up Injured Joint

Nicky Hayden has had surgery on his right wrist to attempt to cure the continuing problems the American has had. On Tuesday morning, Dr Riccardo Luchetti performed arthroscopic surgery to remove floating material and clean up various arthritic build up which had occurred after previous injuries. Hayden also had anti-inflammatory drugs injected directly into the joint, in an attempt to reduce the swelling which was present.

Hayden is hoping to return to action at Barcelona, in just under two weeks' time.

Below is the press release issued by the team:


NICKY HAYDEN UNDERGOES SUCCESSFUL SURGERY IN ITALY

DRIVE M7 Aspar rider undergoes arthroscopic cleaning of right wrist, carried out by Dr Riccardo Luchetti

Nicky Hayden underwent surgery today to cure a niggling wrist problem that caused him to pull out of the recent Italian Grand Prix. The American had already ridden through the pain at the previous rounds in Spain and France, and falling on it again in Le Mans after the contact with Iannone did not help to his situation. But the discomfort proved too much at the more demanding Mugello circuit and the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team rider took the doctors' advice to take no further part in the Grand Prix and to go under the knife today. The operation started at 8:10am and took around an hour and a half.

Dr. Riccardo Luchetti was the man in charge of the operation, which was carried out at 'Casa di Cura Profesor Ernesto Montanari Spa' in Morciano di Romagna, Italy. An arthroscopic cleaning procedure was carried out on his right wrist and some floating matter was removed. Nicky was also injected with an anti-inflammatory to reduce the swelling and loosen the joint.

Following a brief spell of rest the DRIVE M7 Aspar rider will be discharged today and then he will rest and recover, with the hope of returning next week in time for the GP of Catalunya.

Nicky Hayden has had surgery on his right wrist to attempt to cure the continuing problems the American has had. On Tuesday morning, Dr Riccardo Luchetti performed arthroscopic surgery to remove floating material and clean up various arthritic build up which had occurred after previous injuries. Hayden also had anti-inflammatory drugs injected directly into the joint, in an attempt to reduce the swelling which was present.Hayden is hoping to return to action at Barcelona, in just under two weeks' time.Below is the press release issued by the team:NICKY HAYDEN UNDERGOES SUCCESSFUL SURGERY IN ITALYDRIVE M7 Aspar rider undergoes arthroscopic cleaning of right wrist, carried out by Dr Riccardo LuchettiNicky Hayden underwent surgery today to cure a niggling wrist problem that caused him to pull out of the recent Italian Grand Prix. The American had already ridden through the pain at the previous rounds in Spain and France, and falling on it again in Le Mans after the contact with Iannone did not help to his situation. But the discomfort proved too much at the more demanding Mugello circuit and the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team rider took the doctors' advice to take no further part in the Grand Prix and to go under the knife today. The operation started at 8:10am and took around an hour and a half.

Marc VDS, LCR Considering MotoGP Expansion For 2015, But No More Production Hondas Available

The 2015 MotoGP grid is shaping up to look even stronger than this season. There are increasing signs that the weaker teams on the grid are set to disappear, with the strongest teams in Moto2 moving up to take their place. In addition, there is a chance that some of the stronger existing MotoGP teams could expand their participation as well.

It is an open secret that the Marc VDS Racing team is weighing up a switch to MotoGP. Team boss Michael Bartholemy has had initial talks with the team owner Marc van der Straten about adding a MotoGP entry to their line up, but they are still a long way from making a decision. Bartholemy told MotoMatters.com that a decision on their participation would come at Assen at the earliest, but admitted that it was still a very serious option.

The end of June would be too late for Kalex to get a chassis ready in time for 2015 to accept a leased Yamaha engine, but Bartholemy explained that that need not be a problem. Kalex have got permission from Yamaha to start work on a frame already, and have the specifications they need to get started, Bartholemy said.

That did not necessarily mean that Marc VDS will be running a Kalex Yamaha if they do decide to make the switch. 'We will look to see which manufacturer offers us the best package,' Bartholemy said. Marc VDS is likely to receive some help from the factories, due to the clear strength of the team. 'If you were a factory, which Moto2 team would you choose to help?' The Marc VDS team asked rhetorically.

The LCR Honda team is also considering expansion, to run a two-bike team along the lines of Gresini Honda, with one factory RC213V and one RCV1000R production racer. Lucio Cecchinello confirmed that he was close to signing a new sponsorship deal for 2015 which should bring in enough cash to add a second bike. But Cecchinello was cautious, saying his plans were far from fixed for next year. 'It's too early to say about next year,' Cecchinello said. 'At Assen, we will know more.'

The problem for both Cecchinello and Marc VDS is that the production Honda may not be an option. Asked whether there were any plans to expand Honda's current line up of four RCV1000Rs, HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto said there was not. 'We have two-year contracts with the teams. Next year, we will supply the same teams,' he told MotoMatters.com.

Honda's reluctance to supply more bikes came down simply to cost. 'The production racer is very expensive, similar cost to satellite bike,' Nakamoto said. HRC are shouldering the difference, to acquiesce with Dorna's demands to supply cheaper bikes. Honda would only be willing to supply more production racers if the new teams were willing to bear the full cost.

For 2015, that may not be such a bad deal. Honda will be bringing performance upgrades for the RCV1000R, rumored to involve the addition of pneumatic valves. Nakamoto confirmed that the bikes would have more horsepower and acceleration, but refused to be drawn on exactly how that extra power would be produced. 'Next year, more power,' was all that he would reveal.

The 2015 MotoGP grid is shaping up to look even stronger than this season. There are increasing signs that the weaker teams on the grid are set to disappear, with the strongest teams in Moto2 moving up to take their place. In addition, there is a chance that some of the stronger existing MotoGP teams could expand their participation as well.It is an open secret that the Marc VDS Racing team is weighing up a switch to MotoGP. Team boss Michael Bartholemy has had initial talks with the team owner Marc van der Straten about adding a MotoGP entry to their line up, but they are still a long way from making a decision. Bartholemy told MotoMatters.com that a decision on their participation would come at Assen at the earliest, but admitted that it was still a very serious option.The end of June would be too late for Kalex to get a chassis ready in time for 2015 to accept a leased Yamaha engine, but Bartholemy explained that that need not be a problem. Kalex have got permission from Yamaha to start work on a frame already, and have the specifications they need to get started, Bartholemy said.

Jack Miller Handed Two Penalty Points- 'There's No Consistency'

Jack Miller has been handed two penalty points for his last-lap clash with Alex Marquez, which caused Miller, Marquez and Bastianini to crash. The Red Bull KTM rider made a very late lunge up the inside of the leading group at Scarperia, but clipped the back of Miguel Oliveira's Mahindra, which forced him to stand the bike up and into the path of Alex Marquez. Marquez ran into the back of Miller, and the two riders fell, taking out Enea Bastianini with them.

After the incident, Miller accepted full blame for the crash. 'I went in there a little bit too aggressive, trying to overtake too many people at once,' Miller said. 'There was a bit of room there, and I went for it, but Oliveira closed the door. I touched his rear tire, stood it up and almost had it, then Marquez ran in to me from behind. It was completely my fault.'

Though he was happy to admit blame, he was unhappy with being given two penalty points for it, and made his objections very clear to the members of Race Direction. 'I'm surprised I didn't get any more points, after I started swearing at them. I was waiting for the third one to be added on there,' he joked. Miller's main objection was a lack of consistency in when and how points were awarded. There have been several last-lap incidents so far this season, which have gone unpunished. 'That was my argument to them. I said there's no consistency whatsoever. It's a joke,' he said. 

The penalty points would not change his approach to future races, he said. If the same situation were to occur in the future, he would still try to make a pass. If it happens again, 'I go for it again, but I do it a little bit smarter,' Miller said. 'If you see a gap, you go for it. If you don't do that, then what the hell are you doing out there? I'm here to win races.'

Miller said he could not afford to make any more mistakes this season. 'It's my one mistake for the year,' he told us. 'Like Casey Stoner said, like many others said, you can have one chance for the year, one false move. That's mine done, now I have to get back on the horse and do what we've done in the other five races.'

Below is the official FIM press release announcing the points:


FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix

Gran Premio d’Italia TIM - Decision of the Race Direction

On 1 June, during the Moto3 Race of the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM, whilst attempting a passing manoeuvre the rider #8 Mr Jack Miller crashed into two other riders resulting in all three riders crashing out.

This is considered to be irresponsible riding causing danger to other competitors and is therefore an infringement of Article 1.21.2 of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.

A Race Direction hearing was held with the rider in attendance.

The decision of Race Direction is to impose the addition of two Penalty Points to the record of rider number 8 Jack Miller, according to Article 3.3.1.3 of the 2014 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Disciplinary and Arbitration Code.

No appeal was lodged.

The decision of Race Direction is final.

Jack Miller has been handed two penalty points for his last-lap clash with Alex Marquez, which caused Miller, Marquez and Bastianini to crash. The Red Bull KTM rider made a very late lunge up the inside of the leading group at Scarperia, but clipped the back of Miguel Oliveira's Mahindra, which forced him to stand the bike up and into the path of Alex Marquez. Marquez ran into the back of Miller, and the two riders fell, taking out Enea Bastianini with them.After the incident, Miller accepted full blame for the crash. 'I went in there a little bit too aggressive, trying to overtake too many people at once,' Miller said. 'There was a bit of room there, and I went for it, but Oliveira closed the door. I touched his rear tire, stood it up and almost had it, then Marquez ran in to me from behind. It was completely my fault.'

Nicky Hayden Out For Mugello, To Have Surgery On Wrist On Tuesday

As expected, Nicky Hayden has withdrawn from the Mugello round of MotoGP. His right wrist, which is still swollen and inflamed, is causing him too much pain to be able to ride safely. Hayden is scheduled to have surgery on the wrist on Tuesday in Italy.

The problems with Hayden's wrist started in Valencia in 2011, in the first corner crash at the last race of that season. He broke the scaphoid bone in his hand, and had surgery to pin the bone together. Another crash at Austin aggravated the injury, and since then, the wrist has occasionally flared up and caused him problems. Hayden had surgery last December to remove the screw holding the scaphoid together and have a bone graft, but at Jerez the wrist started causing problems again, with no real cause. 'I didn't crash, I didn't really have a big moment or anything. It just suddenly started hurting real bad in the middle of the night,' Hayden said. Another crash at Le Mans didn't help the situation, and at Mugello, he hasn't really been able to ride, doing just eleven laps in total on Friday.

Hayden was not certain when he would be able to return, but he said the aim was to get back to racing as soon as possible. The surgery will be orthoscopic, to make the recovery period as short as possible. The initial plan was to clean up the entire joint, Hayden said, as it was showing signs of arthritis due to the bone healing process. The state of the scaphoid bone would also be assessed, though Hayden was confident that was now fully healed.

Below is the press release issued by the Aspar team:


NICKY HAYDEN PULLS OUT OF ITALIAN GP

DRIVE M7 Aspar rider unable to continue due to wrist pain; plans to undergo surgery in Italy next Tuesday

After completing just eleven laps yesterday DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Nicky Hayden took the decision just moments before this morning's third free practice session for the Italian Grand Prix that he will take no further part in the sixth round of the MotoGP World Championship. Nicky has suffered with the problem since round four in Spain but treatment in between races has allowed him to continue racing. However, at such a demanding circuit as Mugello the swelling and pain became unbearable and the best option for 'The Kentucky Kid' was to pull out.

Hayden is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery at 8am next Tuesday here in Italy. The exploratory operation will be conducted by hand specialist Riccardo Luchetti, who will hopefully be able to identify the cause of the problem whilst cleaning up the affected area and reducing the swelling so that Nicky can return to competitive action as soon as possible.

Nicky Hayden: “My wrist isn't getting any better so as hard a decision as it is to take the best thing for me is to listen to the doctors and skip this race. We need to stop thinking about riding and start thinking about a plan for the operation next week and my subsequent recovery. Mugello is a fast and physical circuit at the best of times but with the pain and loss of strength in my right hand it was getting really difficult to brake properly and it was risky to continue. It is a shame to miss any race but especially Mugello, a circuit I love. It's also a shame for the team because we are really starting to build something together and we are understanding how to make progress more quickly during the weekend. My mechanics are working hard to make things easy for me and to give me the chance to get faster. I feel bad to miss this round, for the team and the sponsors.”

As expected, Nicky Hayden has withdrawn from the Mugello round of MotoGP. His right wrist, which is still swollen and inflamed, is causing him too much pain to be able to ride safely. Hayden is scheduled to have surgery on the wrist on Tuesday in Italy.The problems with Hayden's wrist started in Valencia in 2011, in the first corner crash at the last race of that season. He broke the scaphoid bone in his hand, and had surgery to pin the bone together. Another crash at Austin aggravated the injury, and since then, the wrist has occasionally flared up and caused him problems. Hayden had surgery last December to remove the screw holding the scaphoid together and have a bone graft, but at Jerez the wrist started causing problems again, with no real cause. 'I didn't crash, I didn't really have a big moment or anything. It just suddenly started hurting real bad in the middle of the night,' Hayden said. Another crash at Le Mans didn't help the situation, and at Mugello, he hasn't really been able to ride, doing just eleven laps in total on Friday.

Michelin To Become MotoGP Single Tire Supplier From 2016

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Michelin has been named as the official tire supplier for MotoGP starting from 2016. The French tire manufacturer will take over the role from Bridgestone when Bridgestone leaves at the end of 2015 season.

The official announcement confirms the worst kept secret in the paddock. Michelin had been widely trailed as being awarded the contract, as the French firm had shown the most interest. Unofficial talks had taken place with Pirelli, and Dunlop had made a formal request for information, but Michelin was the only tire maker to submit a bid. Michelin has already been testing its 16.5" slicks at Vallelunga and Clermont Ferrand in preparation for a bid.

The bid to become single tire supplier marks something of a turnaround for the French tire maker. When Dorna decided to go to a single supplier in 2008, Michelin did not enter a bid, saying that they had no interest in racing if there was no competition. As more and more race series have gone single supplier, that position has become untenable. Tire development can happen, but it is driven by corporate goals rather than competition, as Bridgestone explained when they announced their decision to withdraw.

The fact that Michelin was the only tire manufacturer to submit a bid raises questions over the financial side of the contract. Bridgestone are reported to be paying some 22 million euros annually for the contract, but with Bridgestone out of the running, and Michelin the only party showing any interest, the question is whether Michelin got the contract at a bargain price. Commercial details of the deal will not be officially revealed, and so we are unlikely to get an official answer to that question.

The awarding of the contract is just the first step along the way. Next up will be the hammering out of a commercial agreement, which will include details on the quantity and variety of tires to be supplied. Dorna is known to want more tires at the races, but more particularly, they want more tires for testing. Testing will continue with test riders for the moment, with the first contact for all MotoGP riders likely to come at the first Sepang test of 2015, to provide feedback on the development process.

Below is the official press release announcing the deal:


Michelin to become MotoGP™ Official Tyre supplier

Following French tyre manufacturer Michelin’s official tender, Dorna is pleased to announce that Michelin is to become the Official Tyre Supplier to MotoGP™ as of the 2016 World Championship season.

At the beginning of May 2014 Dorna, in agreement with the FIM, opened a tender for tyre manufacturers interested in becoming Official Tyre Supplier to MotoGP™ from the 2016 season.

Interested tyre manufacturers were able to request the technical specifications from Dorna’s Managing Director Javier Alonso, with three potential tyre suppliers initially expressing an interest – before Michelin alone made a formal tender before the 22nd May deadline.

The next step in the process will be the drawing out of a commercial agreement between Dorna and Michelin as Official Tyre Supplier, Michelin having already clearly proven its technical abilities to respond to the needs of a demanding Grand Prix racing schedule.

Michelin has been named as the official tire supplier for MotoGP starting from 2016. The French tire manufacturer will take over the role from Bridgestone when Bridgestone leaves at the end of 2015 season.The official announcement confirms the worst kept secret in the paddock. Michelin had been widely trailed as being awarded the contract, as the French firm had shown the most interest. Unofficial talks had taken place with Pirelli, and Dunlop had made a formal request for information, but Michelin was the only tire maker to submit a bid. Michelin has already been testing its 16.5" slicks at Vallelunga and Clermont Ferrand in preparation for a bid.The bid to become single tire supplier marks something of a turnaround for the French tire maker. When Dorna decided to go to a single supplier in 2008, Michelin did not enter a bid, saying that they had no interest in racing if there was no competition. As more and more race series have gone single supplier, that position has become untenable. Tire development can happen, but it is driven by corporate goals rather than competition, as Bridgestone explained when they announced their decision to withdraw.

Grand Prix Commission Approves Use Of Larger Brake Discs At All Circuits

MotoGP riders are to get some help with braking. From Mugello, all riders will be able to choose once again between running 320mm and 340mm brake discs on the front wheel. Use of the 340mm discs had been made compulsory at Motegi for safety reasons, but now, they will be available at all circuits.

The 320mm brake discs had been made compulsory at the end of the 2011 season, in an effort to cut costs. At that point, teams were free to choose from multiple sizes and masses of brake disc, meaning they were forced to purchase and transport sizeable numbers of discs to each race, while only using one or two sizes. Limiting choice was meant to rationalize the process, and cut costs for the teams.

Unfortunately, the compulsory brake disc size was imposed at the same time as bike capacity and weight were increased. In 2012, the first year of the restrictions, capacity of MotoGP machines was increased to 1000cc, and weights were increased to 157kg, and a year later to 160kg. With more power and nearly 7% more weight, braking forces were growing very large once again. A series of braking problems, most notably for Cal Crutchlow, appear to be related to the size of the brake discs. It was becoming more and more difficult for the teams to manage braking safely, especially at the faster circuits. With Mugello and Barcelona up next, two of the fastest tracks on the calendar, this was a good time to allow the larger brake discs.

The news will be especially welcome for the Yamaha riders, who have struggled with braking for the last two years. Larger discs will help the bike stop more easily, though it will also require changes to set up to handle the greater braking forces and absorb some of the load. Riders are already complaining about the front Bridgestone squirming under braking, and bigger discs will make this problem bigger. 

Allowing larger brake discs is a prelude to more changes to the technical rules. At some point in the near future, minimum weights will also be reduced again, probably from 160kg to 155kg. With the new Open class bikes based far less on production bikes and much closer to the factory prototype machines, the allowance of extra weight is simply not needed. Talks on weights have been going on in the background for the last few weeks. More on the reduced weights will appear here soon.

Below is the press release from the FIM on allowing larger brake discs:


FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix

Decision of the Grand Prix Commission

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Ignacio Verneda (FIM Executive Director, Sport), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA) in the presence of Javier Alonso (Dorna) and Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting), in an electronic meeting held on 22 May 2014, made the following decision:

Technical Regulations

Effective Immediately

The Commission unanimously decided, in the interests of safety, to modify the regulation concerning the front carbon disc brake sizes in the MotoGP class.

Currently the regulations permit two sizes of front carbon discs; 320 mm discs must be used at all circuits except at Motegi where the use of 340 mm discs is mandatory and at Montmelo and Sepang where use of 340 mm discs is optional.

Following a recommendation from the Safety Commission and with the support of the brake manufacturers it has been decided that the use of 340 mm disc brakes will be optional for all circuits with the exception of Motegi where such use remains mandatory.

A regularly updated version of the FIM Grand Prix Regulations which contains the detailed text of the regulation changes may be viewed shortly on:

http://www.fim-live.com/en/sport/official-documents-ccr/codes-and-regula...

MotoGP riders are to get some help with braking. From Mugello, all riders will be able to choose once again between running 320mm and 340mm brake discs on the front wheel. Use of the 340mm discs had been made compulsory at Motegi for safety reasons, but now, they will be available at all circuits.The 320mm brake discs had been made compulsory at the end of the 2011 season, in an effort to cut costs. At that point, teams were free to choose from multiple sizes and masses of brake disc, meaning they were forced to purchase and transport sizeable numbers of discs to each race, while only using one or two sizes. Limiting choice was meant to rationalize the process, and cut costs for the teams.

Forward To Use New MotoGP Chassis At Mugello

Colin Edwards is to finally get the new chassis he has been waiting for. NGM Forward boss Giovanni Cuzari told MotoGP.com that the team will have a new frame at Mugello, along with a new front fairing. A new seat unit and subframe would also be available. The new parts will only make their appearance on race day, Cuzari said.

More parts would appear after Barcelona, Cuzari said, which would bring their bike to approximately 75% of the machine planned for next year, which will be a complete rolling chassis with Yamaha engines. The parts would initially only be given to Colin Edwards, who has struggled to get to grips with the Yamaha chassis. He has been unable to get the bike to turn, leaving him well off the pace of teammate Aleix Espargaro. Espargaro has been very happy with the chassis supplied by Yamaha, when supply problems left Forward with a frame. In 2015, Yamaha have committed to only supplying engines, with chassis no longer being available. Colin Edwards has been pushing hard for a chassis similar to the FTR Kawasaki he campaigned in 2013, with which he was much more comfortable, though the ZX-10R engine was too tall and too underpowered to make a competitive package.

When asked at Jerez about a new chassis, Cuzari would not be drawn, saying only that the frame would be designed by 'consultants' hired by Forward Racing. Last week, MCN reported that Harris is to build the frame, which has been designed by former FTR chassis guru Mark Taylor. Taylor left the Buckingham-based firm at the start of the year, and has been working on various freelance projects since then. The rapport between FTR and Forward hit a low point earlier this year, after reports that the team had not paid the chassis builder. These reports were later officially denied by FTR in a press release, and at Jerez, Forward boss Cuzari told reporters that the situation was the other way around. Sources with knowledge of the situation confirm Cuzari's side of the story, that the problem was not one of non-payment by Forward, but of commitments not met by FTR.

 

Colin Edwards is to finally get the new chassis he has been waiting for. NGM Forward boss Giovanni Cuzari told MotoGP.com that the team will have a new frame at Mugello, along with a new front fairing. A new seat unit and subframe would also be available. The new parts will only make their appearance on race day, Cuzari said.More parts would appear after Barcelona, Cuzari said, which would bring their bike to approximately 75% of the machine planned for next year, which will be a complete rolling chassis with Yamaha engines. The parts would initially only be given to Colin Edwards, who has struggled to get to grips with the Yamaha chassis. He has been unable to get the bike to turn, leaving him well off the pace of teammate Aleix Espargaro. Espargaro has been very happy with the chassis supplied by Yamaha, when supply problems left Forward with a frame. In 2015, Yamaha have committed to only supplying engines, with chassis no longer being available. Colin Edwards has been pushing hard for a chassis similar to the FTR Kawasaki he campaigned in 2013, with which he was much more comfortable, though the ZX-10R engine was too tall and too underpowered to make a competitive package.

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