Italian manufacturer opts to focus on engine development in 2014
Ducati has confirmed that this year’s MotoGP World Championship will see the Italian manufacturer competing in the newly introduced Open Class that will be introduced this year after series owner Dorna decided to make it more affordable for teams to compete by putting restrictions on ultra expensive electronics.
While all teams will now use a Dorna supplied ECU, the Open class also restricts teams to universal software but allows engine development throughout the year and a new softer Bridgestone rear tire while the Factory teams will also use the Dorna supplied ECU but their own software and will not be allowed develop their engines throughout the season and will be restricted to 20 liters of fuel per race. The Open class teams will also have an allowance of four extra liters of fuel per race.
“Ducati, after carefully considering the two options, has decided that the most suitable one for the current needs of the Bologna-based manufacturer is the Open one, which gives the possibility to the race department to continue the development of the bike and the engine throughout the entire season,” the team press statement reads.
The recent pre-season test at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia saw both the Ducati team and Pramac Racing team test the new Open ECU and software and while reports from the riders who tested the software was that the Ducati in-house software was better, the rest of the comments were positive. The sight of Aleix Espargaro on the Open class NGM Mobile Forward Racing Yamaha consistently running at the top on each day of the Sepang test will also be a positive sign to Ducati.