MotoGP edging closer to controlled ECU

Published: 26 September 2012

Plans for MotoGP to switch to a controlled engine management system in 2014 have taken a big step closer today after it was confirmed that Magneti Marelli will make an ECU available to all teams from next season onwards.

Dorna has signed a four-year deal with the Italian-based specialist to supply a highly sophisticated ECU that a Dorna statement said would be the ‘highest technological option' in Magneti Marelli’s portfolio.

The deal will be a big boost to CRT teams that have struggled to match the expensively developed and sophisticated control systems used on the factory prototypes in 2012.

All teams will have access to Magneti Marelli’s electronic control system, which includes an engine and chassis control unit with inboard datalogger, as well as the relevant tuning and data analysis tools, dashboard, handlebar toggle switch and inertial platform.

Magneti Marelli will offer full on-site support with track technicians and a significant move will see a new MotoGP-specific R&D centre formed at its Bologna headquarters.
Whether MotoGP will switch to a single ECU in 2014 has been long rumoured in the paddock.

The development of sophisticated electronics like traction control and anti-wheelie is a fundamental reason why the factories race in the premier class.

The loss of the opportunity to develop such technology has angered HRC the most, with Honda even threatening to quit MotoGP if a controlled engine management system is implemented.

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna CEO said: “I cannot hide the fact that I am very happy with this new cooperation with Magneti Marelli. The agreement we have reached with the Italian company merely validates MotoGP as a competition that incorporates and encourages the latest and most innovative technology.

"The experience of this company, which has spent many years at the highest level of competition in motor sport, represents a major step in the premier-class of two-wheel racing.”

Roberto Dalla, Magneti Marelli Motorsport Managing Director, added: “We are very glad to share our know-how and experience in the motorsport field with MotoGP, in order to jointly achieve new objectives in terms of performance and technology development.

"The main aim is to provide top technology at affordable costs, which is Magneti Marelli’s mission firstly in racing and also in the field of series production.

"Magneti Marelli has been developing solutions in the electronics and electro-mechanics area for MotoGP teams for the last decade: this new initiative with Dorna represents a further strategic opportunity to enhance the development of our technology.”