Ducati open-minded on future MotoGP rules

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Ducati insist they are open to any solutions that will help the MotoGP world championship prosper in the future.

MotoGP boss Carmelo Ezpeleta is currently putting Ducati, Honda and Yamaha under immense pressure to approve a series of radical rule changes that will make MotoGP more affordable but more exciting for fans.

The Spaniard has threatened to introduce a controlled ECU and 16,000rpm limit to ensure there is not a huge gap in performance between the factory prototypes and the new production-derived 1000cc bikes (CRT) from 2013 onwards.

He has also warned the existing factories that if they want to continue leasing machinery to independent teams, they must make a bike available that costs no more than 1m Euros.

The main concern for the factories is that any dumbing down of the technical regulations will rob them of the chance to develop new technology, which is a fundamental reason why they participate in MotoGP.

Ducati Corse CEO Claudio Domenicali said the Bologna factory was sympathetic to Dorna’s desire to make MotoGP more cost effective to help sustain healthy grid numbers.

And when asked by MCN for his thoughts on the issue during Ducati’s spectacular team launch in Madonna di Campiglio last week, he said: “For us racing is definitely a way to develop technology and it is definitely a way to grow our skill and our understanding in bike development.

“So for sure this is an issue. But on the other hand we are an actor of this game and we understand the problem and we need to find the balance between the needs of developing technology and the needs of having a championship that can sustain itself even in a situation where the general economic climate is very difficult.

“We are in continued discussion with the organiser and Mr Ezpeleta to try and find the right balance. Some decisions are not very good for us but we accept for the sake of the situation and we think we can find a solution in finding a reasonable balance that keeps us in the championship.”

When asked for his opinion on Ezpeleta’s proposal to introduce for a rev ceiling at 16,000rpm and controlled ECU, he added: “We have an engine that is very strong and possibly the 16000rpm limit is something we wouldn’t like very much. But we need to take everything on balance.

“The single ECU is another point in which we need to think about because we make a lot of development also in the electronics strategy and we had the traction control that we started to introduce on the 1098R that we developed in MotoGP.

“So once you can’t do this anymore you lose something. But on the other hand we need to find a compromise and we are very open to discuss the complete package and find a reasonable solution for everyone.

“In MotoGP is very important to find a good balance between the possibility to develop new technology and to have a good number of participants.”

Ezpeleta has told Ducati, Honda and Yamaha management that he wants a firm plan on the 2013 rules by the end of May.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt