MotoGP™, like almost every racing sport including F1®, V8 Supercars and several others, are all making 2014 the year of change.
Some are making major changes that will revolutionize the sport forever, and others are changing enough to make the upcoming a little more interesting. MotoGP™ is on the lesser end of the drastic changes, due to its success in both driver and fan engagement, but still these rules and regulation updates may change the game and overall strategies.
With the first 2014 MotoGP™ testing complete, teams and drivers got a quick glance of what they’re in for this year. Some of the drivers not only had to change up their own techniques, but had to get use to the new engines, electronics and overall performance of these modernized bikes. Below are the top changes for the 2014 MotoGP™ World Championships.
The biggest change lies with electronics going into 2014, requiring that all bikes run with a standardized electronics unit. Every bike will now be using hardware from the development and manufacturing company Magneti Marelli – whether they are Factory or Open. You probably have a lot of questions, so let me quickly answer them.
Factory teams and bikes are closely linked to the manufacturer that they represent and showcase that manufacturer’s new and improved technologies each year. This helps as brand recognition and sales for each of these manufacturers’, the teams and the drivers using the technology.
Independent teams are considered “Open” and have always had less restrictions on the number of engines used per year and fuel allowance. The difference is that this year, Open Class teams are required to use the entire ECU package, with Magneti Marelli also as its software across all teams.
Since Factory teams can use their own software, benefitting from the technical support and supply dependence, the tradeoff comes in the form of fuel. Factory bikes now have one less litre of fuel than in 2013, and four less litres than Open bikes, which will now have 24 litres of fuel.
This may not seem like a huge change, until you think back to the drastic changes fuel for MotoGP™ bikes has undertaken in the last few years. 2004 allowed for 26 litres, followed by 24 liters in 2005, 22 liters in 2006, 21 liters in 2007 and now 20 liters in 2014 – for Factory bikes that is. The 4 liter gap between Factory and Open bikes will make a huge difference on lengthier courses that require more race distance.
Just like any amazing sport, rules and regulations tighten over the years to keep difficulty high for teams, to keep up with outstanding drivers, and to keep the excitement building for the fans. With the electronics rule benefitting the Factory bikes more and the fuel and engines benefitting the Open bikes more, this Championship will be one to remember.