Ducati's Fuel Capacity Reduced after Qatar MotoGP Podiums
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso

Ahead of 2014 MotoGP, the Ducati Team had the choice to run under the two classes then available – Factory and Open.

The Open class was far-less restrictive, allowing for a greater number of engines per season (12 vs. five for Factory teams), different software for engine management, though all teams had to run a Magnetti ECU, and a greater fuel capacity (24 vs. 20 liters).

Ducati’s choice of competing under the Open class option was simple; the less-restrictive benefits would allow for easier developing of the prototypes used that season, the GP14 and GP14.2.

But Dorna – the governing body of MotoGP – changed some things for 2015, and now there are three classes teams – Factory Option, Factory Option with Concessions, and Open. Factory Option and Open remain the same as listed above, but now there’s a Factory Option with Concessions class.

Ducati's Fuel Capacity Reduced after Qatar MotoGP Podiums Iannone
Ducati’s Andrea Iannone

The Factory Option with Concessions allows factory-based teams who have not won a race since the beginning of 2013 to compete under the Open class rules. But if a Factory Option team scores three podiums, two-second places or a win since the beginning of 2013, its fuel capacity would be reduced to 22 instead of 24 (these finishes have to be completed under dry conditions; a rain podium or win does not count).

Due to Ducati Team’s double-podium at Qatar MotoGP – second for Andrea Dovizioso and third for Andrea Iannone – and Dovizioso’s second at 2014 Austin MotoGP, the team now has three podiums since 2013.

Per the new Factory Option with Concession rules, Ducati Team’s GP15s – developed under new Team Manager Luigi Dall’Igna of Aprilia fame – will now be restricted to 22 liters of fuel instead of 24 (Factory Option teams further restricted to just 20 liters).

Beginning at Circuit of the Americas MotoGP April 10-12 and until the end of this season, all Ducati Factory Option with Concession machines must use 22 liters of fuel. Besides the Ducati Team, the fuel restriction is also in place for the Pramac Racing Team of Danilo Petrucci and Yonny Hernandez, who are on GP14 prototypes. Ducati’s Avintia Racing Open-class entries of Hector Barbera and Mike Di Meglio are not affected.

The Ducati Team has reported in the past that the fuel won’t be an issue, considering the its riders have used less than 22 liters during a race.

But things can get more restrictive under the new-for-2015 Factory Option with Concessions – if Ducati scores three wins, it would the have to use the official Factory tire option of Hard and Medium vs. the Medium and Soft options available now. This wouldn’t necessarily hurt Ducati during a race, considering the team usually uses Medium or Hard tire options, but not being able to use a Soft tire option may hurt their qualifying times. Example – Dovizioso used a soft-rear/medium front option to take the pole at Qatar, but used medium for front and rear during the race. Without the soft rear tire, Dovi may have not captured pole. And once again, this tire rule would not affect the Avinita Racing team running under the Open-class rules.

Regardless of how many wins Ducati earns this season, it will still be allowed to use 12 engines per season vs. five like the Factory class teams (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP and Repsol Honda). But if things go as planned, and Ducati scores three wins, it will be forced to join the Yamaha and Honda teams under the Factory option in 2015 MotoGP, meaning only five engines per season, and a the more restrictive fuel capacity of 20 liters.

The other teams currently running under the Factory Option with Concessions are the two newbies – Suzuki Team ECSTAR and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini.

Yes – this can get confusing, so here’s a breakdown of 2015 MotoGP class differences/restrictions:

Ducati's Fuel Capacity Reduced after Qatar MotoGP Podiums Andreas
Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone

Factory Option:

  • Engines: Five per season
  • Engine Development: Frozen
  • Fuel: 20 liters
  • Tires: Hard and Medium
  • ECU: Official Magneti Marelli
  • ECU Software: Free Development under June 30, 2015 – then becomes Official Magneti Marelli
  • Testing: Official Tests, plus five test days

 

Factory Option with Concessions:

  • Engines: 12 per season
  • Engine Development: Unlimited
  • Fuel: 24 liters, but changes to 22 if a team scores three podiums, two second places or a win since the beginning of the 2013 MotoGP season
  • Tires: Medium and Soft, but changes to Hard and Medium if a team scores three wins
  • ECU: Official Magneti Marelli
  • ECU Software: Free Development under June 30, 2015 – then becomes Official Magneti Marelli
  • Testing: Unlimited

 

Open Class:

  • Engines: 12 per season
  • Engine Development: Unlimited
  • Fuel: 24 liters
  • Tires: Medium and Soft
  • ECU: Official Magneti Marelli
  • ECU Software: Official Magneti Marelli
  • Testing: Unlimited