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.
MotoGP shakes up the rules
Two weeks from now MotoGP’s Grand Prix Commission sit downs in Madrid to decide the future of Grand Prix racing.
The December 17 meeting will finally rubber stamp the biggest regulations shake-up since the four-strokes arrived a dozen years ago, which the manufacturers and Dorna have been arguing over for what seems like forever. As always, they hold opposite positions: Dorna want low-cost, TV-friendly entertainment, the factories want an R&D-friendly technology race.
The GPC – made up of one representative each from Dorna, the MSMA, the FIM and teams association IRTA – will decide on plans to reduce performance, increase fuel capacity and essentially freeze electronics R&D.
Fuel capacity probably sounds like the most boring of these subjects but, please bear with me, it isn’t. There’ve been a lot of broken bones and broken bikes due to MotoGP’s ever-shrinking fuel tanks.
Back in the final days of the two-stroke premier class, 500s had 32-litre fuel tanks. Factory MotoGP bikes now get just 20 litres, which means they must consume 25 per cent less fuel than a World Superbike machine if they are to see the chequered flag. Daft, eh? You’d think it would be the other way around: full-on race bikes using more fuel than hopped-up road bikes.
Reducing fuel consumption was initially a (frankly ridiculous) nod to the green movement. Then the manufacturers realised they could learn a lot about lean-burn engines, so they asked for even smaller fuel tanks, to push their engineers even harder.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.