The Grand Prix Commission met at Misano to agree a couple of steps on the long road towards creating a single, unified MotoGP class from 2016. The four parties to the GPC agreed that the minimum weight in the MotoGP class would be reduced from 160kg to 158kg, and agreed to freeze development of the software for all Factory Option class bikes from 30th June 2015. From that point on, work will switch to the spec, or unified software, ready for the start of 2016.
The reduction in minimum weights has been under discussion since last year. The weights were originally raised to make it cheaper for manufacturers of CRT machines to reach the minimum weight of a MotoGP machine, with the need to resort to exotic materials. However, with the disappearance of the CRT machines at the beginning of this season, the weight became less of an issue. The Open class bikes which replaced CRTs were much closer to MotoGP prototypes, and as a consequence, were easier to keep light.
The minimum weight is likely to be reduced again in the not too distant future, though the eventual minimum will depend on other regulations to be agreed for 2016. The engine allocation limits also affect the weight of a bike. Long-life engines need to be built more robustly and with greater structural tolerances. That means using more material, and more weight. Discussions are currently underway over the final number of engines which will be available for each rider from 2016. That number will probably be higher than the current five allowed for Factory Option teams, but lower than the twelve allowed for Open teams. Dorna and IRTA are pushing for a higher number of engines, while the factories are in favor of a lower number. Once agreement is reached, then an achievable minimum weight can be agreed. It seems likely that the final weight will be lower than the 158kg agreed for next year, but it is uncertain whether it will go as low as 150kg, which it was with the 800cc MotoGP bikes.
The GPC also agreed to freeze the software of the Factory Option bikes from 30th June 2015. No more development may take place on the factory bikes from that point on, and the factories will then start to focus on the spec software - or Unified Software, as it is now being called - to be used by all entries from 2016 onwards. Work is already started on the system to coordinate the unified software development process, with Dorna's Director of Technology Corrado Cecchinelli starting to test the system already. Cecchinelli spoke to us at Silverstone and gave us a detailed insight into the concept behind the unified software, and the status of the project. That interview will be appearing on the website in the next few days.
The FIM press release from the GPC appears below:
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 a meeting held on 13 September 2014 in Misano, made the following decisions:
Minimum Weights of MotoGP Class Machines
The minimum weight of a 1,000 cc machine will be reduced by 2 kg. from 160 kg. to 158 kgm.
It was also agreed that this matter would be reviewed during 2015 to consider the possibility of a further reduction of 2 kg for 2016.
Development of Unified Software for the MotoGP Class
It was confirmed that current manufacturers will be permitted to use and develop their own software up until 30th. June 2015. After that date manufacturers will not be permitted to update their software except for minor bug fixes that might affect safety.
From 1 July 2015 current manufacturers will switch their development programme to the 2016 unified software. It is the intention that this software will be based largely on the current software used by the open category machines.
Manufacturers not currently participating may continue to use and develop their own software throughout 2015 but may also be invited to participate in the development of the unified software.
Detailed technical regulations concerning the use of certified sensors and other devices were also approved.
A regularly updated version of the FIM Grand Prix Regulations which contains the detailed text of the regulation changes may be viewed shortly on: