Ever since the Grand Prix Commission announced that the new Moto2 class would be contested by 600cc four strokes, the new class has been surrounded by controversy and argument. And argument continues to dog the class at Motegi, but this time, the argument is much more positive. A decision was expected from the Grand Prix Commission on who would be awarded the contract to supply the spec engine to the class at the Japanese Grand Prix, but the members of the commission face a problem.
According to Motorcycle News' Matthew Birt, the problem is that while it was expected that there would be only a single tender submitted, it seems that more than one manufacturer is interested in the class. As a consequence, the bids will have to be studied in more detail before the contract can be awarded, and that therefore the decision will have to wait until the next race at Jerez in a week's time.
Rumors had previously emerged that Kawasaki would be awarded the contract, but the news that other parties are interested complicates the situation. No news is available on who those other bidders might be, although several companies, including the US-based Cosentino Engineering had expressed a firm interest in the class. But the most likely party to be awarded the contract will be one of the major Japanese manufacturers, if only because they already have the capacity in place to supply the 100+ engines such a class is likely to require.
The other subject due for a delayed decision at Jerez is the question of the length of practice. The decision should have been taken at Motegi, but there was some discussion over whether or not a lap limit would be introduced. The problem with limiting laps is that there would inevitably be arguments about the number of laps to be allowed at each circuit, and how they should be counted, taking into account out laps and in laps or not. According to MCN, the limits will be lifted altogether, with the practice sessions reverting to one hour. It is unlikely that the number of laps each rider does will increase greatly, as the main complaint the teams had was that the 45 minute sessions didn't leave them enough time to test and make the changes they wanted to. So most of the extra 15 minutes the riders will have for each session will likely be spent in the pits, talking to their engineers and crew chiefs.
As Jerez is only a week away, the delay for both these decisions will only be short. But even if the extension of practice times is adopted before Jerez, it won't come into effect until the Grand Prix after, at Le Mans.