MotoGP has clarified how it intends to stay on top of the engine and aerodynamics freeze during the Covid-19 ‘shutdown’.
With the season being postponed following the cancellation of the Qatar round, the homologation process wasn’t completed, but MotoGP says it will now do this remotely to ensure manufacturers adhere to the engine and aero freeze as if Qatar was the first round.
With Europe in lockdown and factories closed, some teams feared that Japanese rivals, which don’t currently face such strict closures, could continue to develop their machines up until the first race of the season – whenever that might be.
But MotoGP will complete the process remotely by requesting sample engines and digital fairing designs – the exception to this is Honda, which underwent scrutineering in Qatar.
“The FIM, IRTA, MSMA and Dorna all agree that for reasons of equality and fairness the homologation must therefore be carried out remotely and digitally as soon as possible,” read a statement.
“Under normal circumstances, factories have two options. Either they can supply a list of sample engine parts to the organisation, providing a means of comparison with engines used throughout the season to verify no changes have been made, or they can supply digital drawings. Normally, each factory chooses to supply either a full sample engine or a sample for all the parts that the engine contains.
“This means that if a manufacturer has riders using different engine specifications, like for example an Independent Team rider using an engine design from a past season, they must supply every sample.
“Honda are the exception, as they were the only manufacturer that did supply all their sample engine parts at Qatar. The rest of the factories were not able to do so this year due to the extenuating circumstances, and have instead sent their sample engines to the organisation, which must match those in the machines at the first 2020 event.
“Digital drawings of each rider’s first aero-body must also be supplied and these must likewise be homologated if they are within the technical restrictions provided in the rulebook.
“The FIM, IRTA, MSMA and Dorna make every effort to focus on simplicity for both the manufacturers and the enforcement of the rules. MotoGP™ has never considered a shutdown period in which all factories must cease any and all development for a set period of time, at any time of year, primarily due to the difficulty of policing such a regulation.
“Development on any other part of the machine not subject to homologation may therefore continue, as is the case during any season.”