Ducati Loses Concessions in MotoGP Beginning In 2016 Season
By its own standards, Ducati has had a pretty successful season. It’s been competitive in all of the races and for a large majority of the first few legs of the season, it’s been the most consistent with six podium finishes in eight races. But the team’s impressive run this season will have its downside beginning next year when it losses all of its concessions for the 2016 MotoGP season, putting in under the same rules as Yamaha and Honda. Welcome to the wacky and sometimes confusing world of MotoGP.
As per the current rules Yamaha and Honda fall under, Ducati will begin the 2016 season with a similar set of rules, one that includes a limit of seven engines per season, no in-season development, and a restriction on testing using factory riders. It’s a far cry from the rules Ducati currently enjoys, including the allowance for 12 engines per season, which they are free to develop during the year, and unlimited testing.
Unfortunately for Ducati, the success they’ve enjoyed this season comes with a price. The Desmosedici GP15 has also proved to be a capable and competitive bike in the series, despite it still being a young project compared to what Yamaha and Honda have at their disposals.
The Grand Prix Commission’s decision to strip Ducati of its concessions was expected by those who saw how competitive the team has been this season. That said, the timing of the announcement was a little surprising since the season has not concluded yet. But according to numerous reports, the GPC decided to act earlier to give Ducati time to prepare ahead of what could be a dramatically different 2016 season for the team.
Once the changes are put in place, Ducati will receive the same concessions as Yamaha and Honda. In addition to what I already mentioned, some of these other concessions include the same amount of fuel, same spec electronics, and same allocation of tires.
It’s the price Ducati will soon pay for the success it’s been having this season. It seems a little weird for the MotoGP novice to have these rules in place, but that’s the series’ way of balancing the playing field for all participating teams, something I wish Formula One would do at some point in the future.
Continue reading to read more about Ducati losing its MotoGP concessions beginning in the 2016 season.
Why it matters
Somehow, Ducati must have seen this coming and there’s a part of me that thinks it’s already planning for this day to come. That’s the price you pay for being successful in MotoGP, especially when you have teams like Yamaha and Honda already clamoring the Grand Prix Commission to treat Ducati the same way as them.
Since Ducati has been consistently finishing in the podium, it looks like Yamaha and Honda will get what they want.
For its part, Ducati should embrace this new concessions if it really wants to be treated as a championship contender. You don’t want to be that team that relies on better concessions to win a title. You want to do it the right way against the two teams that are routinely at the front of the back. An even playing field, as they say.
Personally, I think the GPC made the right decision, even if it might have come at an inopportune time in the season. There’s no reason for Ducati to be granted the same concessions as Aprilia and Suzuki. Remember, those two teams have just come back to MotoGP so you can understand why their development and technology is still behind Yamaha and Honda.
But Ducati is on its way to that Yamaha-Honda circle, if it’s not there already.
It’s only fair that the team begins to operate under the same guidelines that Yamaha and Honda have been in for years. Only then will we see if Ducati is really a threat to break up the duopoly in MotoGP. That said, I’m excited to see it happen, only because another team winning the MotoGP title not named “Yamaha” or “Honda” would be good for the series and the sport in general.