FIM Approves New Cost-Cutting Plan for MotoGP

The International Motorcycle Federation has taken the example of their auto-racing counterparts FIA and ratified – through the Grand Prix Commission – a series of changes aimed to reduce costs inside the MotoGP. This comes as a result of several MotoGP teams urging the governing body to implement a cost reduction plan in order to save the series from going bankrupt.

Kawasaki was the first manufacturer to officially announce its quit from the MotoGP series due to the economic crisis. However, it is yet to be determined whether the team will stay for another year as a private entry or permanently withdraw from the sport.

As expected, the Commission's first decision was aimed at the practice sessions ahead of the 18 Grand Pris on schedule. The Friday practice sessions will be permanently deleted, while the duration of the other two on Saturday plus the qualifying session was shortened from one hour to 45 minutes.

In addition, the Commission decided to ban electronic and hydraulic launch control systems and electronic suspension systems, considering that the measure will not affect the teams' preparations for the upcoming season. Engine rules will also undergo significant modifications in the second part of the season, as MotoGP manufacturers will need at least a few months to adjust their powerplants to the new requirements.

According to the new set of rules, each MotoGP rider will only benefit from 5 engines beginning with the Czech Republic Grand Prix and ending with the last race of the season. However, the international body did not mention the penalties in case someone would be forced to use a 6th engine.

The new changes were thoroughly discussed with all MotoGP teams before officially announced. However, several other cost cutting measures are expected to be implemented ahead of the 2010 season in order to further reduce operational costs inside the sport.
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