On the face of it, the rules limiting the number of engines to be used for the rest of the season are clear enough: Each rider will have just 5 engines to use for the remaining 7 races. But as MotoGP fans and followers began to contemplate the official one-day test to be held on Monday, after the Brno round of MotoGP, questions immediately began to arise over which engines could be used in those tests.
The rules seemed ambiguous. The relevant parts of the regulations had been announced at the last meeting of the Grand Prix Commission on July 25th, at the British Grand Prix in Donington. Under section 2.3.6 of the rules, the following subsections had been added:
1.) In the MotoGP class the number of engines available for use by each rider is limited. For the 2009 season a maximum of 5 engines may be used by each rider for the final 7 scheduled races of the season, that is from and including the Czech Grand Prix until the end of the season. Should a rider be replaced for any reason, the replacement rider will be deemed to be the original rider for purposes of engine allocation.
6.) To prevent the running of a used, allocated engine outside of MotoGP events, all allocated engines will have security seals placed over either exhaust or inlet ports (on at least one cylinder bank, in the case of V-type engines) before leaving the circuit. Teams wishing to re-use such an allocated and sealed engine must request the Technical Director to remove the security seals. If the Technical Director or his staff find that the security seals are not intact, the engine will be deemed to be a new engine in the allocation, with the appropriate penalty.
This seemed to indicate that non-allocated engines had to be used for the tests, but we were not sure, so we turned to the man whose job it is to know, MotoGP Technical Director Mike Webb. He explained the situation simply and clearly as follows: