Engine failures to be penalised in MotoGP revamp

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Casey Stoner or Valentino Rossi could find themselves docked points or relegated to the back of the grid under proposals to slash costs in MotoGP.

Plans to extend engine life by at least 50 per cent and run just one motor for two or three races will be implemented for the 2010 world championship campaign as part of MotoGP’s radical costs cutting drive.

The engine life extension though will see penalties enforced if a rider is forced to change an engine.

Penalties for an engine failing to last the designated distance are also currently under discussion and Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali said: “Of course we are still discussing that (penalties) and we have F1 as an example.

“We still have to define if it is a penalty with points like a rider does the race from the position he qualified but then only gets half of the points he scores in a race. Or you start at the back of the grid with a kind of lag in time in order for it to be safe at the first corner.

“We want to avoid a dangerous situation where you start from the back being the fastest and then you try and overtake four just in the first corner.

“This is still under discussion but there will be some form of penalty. But the rider will be allowed to race.”

Plans also under discussion to limit track time to help extend engine life have raised concerns about fans getting value for money at races.

Practice and qualifying could be cut by 10 or 15 minutes or Friday morning practice might be completely axed.

A limit on how many miles a rider can do in a weekend might also be introduced, Would fewer laps hurt the show for fans? Domenicali said: “Let’s say we’re considering the whole set of stakeholders, and fans are a very important one.

“So everything we’ll do will have that in consideration. We’re considering reducing the length of the sessions, just by a small amount, but will remain the same number of events, so we have the Friday, the Saturday, and the Sunday.

“I think everybody has to give up a little bit. In this case, the fan who will be at the racetrack will have to give up just a little bit of laps of the rider passing in front of him, but I don’t think this will be a big issue.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt