MotoGP Axes Claiming Rule and Adjusts Moto2 Engine Swap FeesWed, 03 Jul 2013
The International Motorcycling Federation‘s Grand Prix Commission officially annulled MotoGP‘s Claiming Rule. Effective immediately, teams using the official spec Magneti Marelli ECU hardware and software are exempt from having their engines claimed. Starting in the 2014 season however, the claiming rule will be cancelled completely.
The rule, introduced in the 2012 season, allowed any manufacturer to claim the engine used in a non-factory prototype machine for a flat fee. The purpose of the rule was to allow private teams to boost the grid with machines powered by production-based engines while limiting them from using secret and very expensive technology. Though never seriously at risk of being used, the rule was effectively a deterrent against outside manufacturers entering the series in a privateer effort.
The Claiming Rule will no longer be necessary in the wake of other new rules coming for 2014 offering private teams an alternative. The spec ECU proved to be a better option and starting next season, Yamaha will be leasing its M1 engine to private teams while Honda will offer teams a production racer based on its RC213V prototype.
The Grand Prix Commission also reduced the penalty for Moto2 teams who wish to swap their Honda-produced spec engines for another. Previously, teams are allowed to request an engine change because they feel the engine was flawed or below the standard of other spec engines, but had to forfeit their 20,000 euro (US$26,000) deposit if the engine proved to be performing up to standard.
Like the claiming rule, this penalty has never been used. In practice, teams have requested new engines but have never had to pay the penalty, just the regular costs of engine stripping and testing. Still, the 20,000 euro fee was deemed to be too high a penalty, especially for the poorer Moto2 teams, which may be why the rule had never come into play.
Effective immediately, the deposit has been reduced to 7,500 euros (US$9750) for the first engine swap, with further swaps require forfeiting another 2,500 euros (US$3250) each.
By Dennis Chung
See also: Honda 'Hands', Yamaha Confirms Leaning Multi-Wheeler for 2014 – Will the Tesseract Concept Finally Become Reality?, Report: Honda to Increase NC700 Engine Displacement.