MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Why the door was left Open for Ducati
Dorna’s Open plan is to get all the factories using their software to make MotoGP racing closer and safer. Open this, Open that, Open the other; that was all everyone was talking about at Sepang last week.
Aleix Espargaró ended the test at the sharp end and ahead of three of the four Factory-spec Yamahas on his Open-spec YZR-M1. It will be a huge thrill to have Espargaró battling up front, putting a few factory noses out of joint.
The even bigger deal at Sepang was Ducati deciding it’s no longer a factory team but is instead an Open team. Honda and Yamaha are raging about this because the whole point of the Open regs was to give poorer privateer teams a helping hand, not to help one factory outflank the others.
That was the spirit of the Open rules, but Ducati’s new chief engineer Gigi Dall’Igna knows that racing isn’t about spirit, it’s about winning: you read the rule book, you exploit it to your advantage and who cares if your rivals hate you?
The big question, of course, is why weren’t the Open regulations written to prevent any renegade factory from exploiting them? It would have been an easy clause to include. Well, the truth is that no clause was included entirely on purpose and precisely to leave the door wide open. And somehow the Japanese never realised someone had left the door swinging in the wind.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.