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News Allow one engine update per season? MotoGP manufacturers are divided

09:30  09 september  2019
09:30  09 september  2019 Source:   motorsport-total.com

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Ein Motorupdate pro Saison erlauben? MotoGP-Hersteller sind zwiegespalten © LAT The top teams are not allowed to work on the engine during the season

The MotoGP manufacturers Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Ducati are not allowed to introduce an engine update during the season. Before the first race of the season, a specification must be homologated, with which all Grands Prix must then be contested. The drivers of these four brands may use a maximum of seven engines for the entire season. The situation is different for manufacturers who operate under the concession rule.

Ein Motorupdate pro Saison erlauben? MotoGP-Hersteller sind zwiegespalten © LAT Maverick Vinales, Valentino Rossi

These are currently Aprilia and KTM. Both have collected too few podium places and are therefore given some freedom from the regulations that should make it possible to catch up. One of these freedoms concerns the engine. Aprilia and KTM are allowed to use nine engines per season. In addition, engine updates may be introduced during the season. So there is further development.

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Ein Motorupdate pro Saison erlauben? MotoGP-Hersteller sind zwiegespalten © KTM Davide Barana, Sebastian Risse

The current contract between the manufacturers, the teams and the promoter Dorna runs until the end of 2021. There are already initial discussions for the period thereafter (2022 - 2026). "So far, the talk has been mainly about aerodynamics and not about major changes to the engine," said Aprilia Technical Director Romano Albesiano about the technical discussions in the MSMA manufacturers' association.

engine update would have positive and negative aspects

The rules for aerodynamics have already been specified for the next season. Now there are considerations whether one engine update per season could be allowed from 2022. "We have to look at it as a whole," said Takeo Yokoyama, Honda technology director. "If you allow manufacturers to change the engine specification at mid-season, it can help if you made a mistake at the start of the season."

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There would be positive and negative aspects if you allowed an update. "It could be good for engineers, but it may take more resources, costs, and staff," Yokoyama said. "I can't say yes or no at the moment. If it's on the table, we have to think about it very carefully." Any rising development costs are currently deterring manufacturers from this idea.

"Should the number of races increase in the future, we can discuss it," said Takahiro Sumi from Yamaha. Because from 2022 the maximum number of races could increase to 22. At the same time, winter test drives could be reduced. In winter, the engineers would hardly have time to test the engine on different routes before the specification is frozen. An increased calendar could therefore also have an impact on the technical regulations.

Aprilia and KTM do not want to lose advantage

If the successful manufacturers were allowed one engine update per season, the concession teams would lose an advantage. "A few years ago, the concession rules gave a manufacturer really big advantages," Albesiano thinks of the Ducati catch-up process. "From year to year, these benefits have diminished. I believe that the manufacturers who have to catch up should still be helped. For us, this is the most important exception to the concession rules that we would like to keep."

Just like Albesiano, KTM Technical Director Sebastian Risse rates the topic: "We are currently using the third engine specification this season and we have changed it more than once every year. We work in this area, invest and it pays off. If that would be limited, because the others can also develop, you have to discuss it. " With the exception of aerodynamics, changes to the technical regulations have not yet been decided.

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