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Prototypes for 2010 undergo rigorous technical checks

Prototypes for 2010 undergo rigorous technical checks

Scrutineering is a process which occurs at all Grands Prix, and ahead of the opening race of the season in Qatar extra intense verifications have been made on all bikes. MotoGP Technical Director Mike Webb explains the procedure.

Under the close supervision of MotoGP Technical Director Mike Webb on Thursday, the prototypes that will compete in this weekend’s Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar went through the scrutineering process – an important procedure in the regulation of the machines.

Webb gave an explanation of how his staff and he conduct the process, and how 2010 will present a new challenge with the introduction of a six-engine per rider rule in MotoGP, as well as the debut of the new Moto2 category.

“It’s technical control,” started Webb. “It’s the first race of the year we need to see every motorcycle because for us they’re all brand new bikes, and we want to register them so we can get all the data from all the bikes so we know what we’re starting the year with. Then, from here onwards, at the other races I only need to see what changes have been made.”

“The (three) different classes have different rules but in general we’re registering the weight, the noise level, the fuel volume in MotoGP, rider weight in 125cc – the statistics of the bike, if you like. We’re recording which bike belongs to which rider and team, so that we know what we’re checking after the race.”

He added: “Right now we are establishing a database. We are certainly checking the legality, which we do in scrutineering, but much more importantly we do it after the race. That’s when we do our real ‘police checking’!”

Webb then discussed how the new six-engine rule will impact upon the process, following the completion of the first checks of the season at Losail.

“It makes a great deal more work for us, because I have to have staff dedicated to following each engine, making sure it’s sealed – the team is not allowed to open it – and tracking exactly which engine is in which bike all the time,” he said.

“Manufacturers can bring new engines at any time, up to a limit of six. So typically you’ll find most teams have two or three engines that my staff have sealed here, and they’re holding their others in reserve and will bring them at later races. Right now we’ve sealed, more or less, half the engines that are allowed for the year.”

Webb concluded by touching on the subject of the development of engines by manufacturers as the season progresses.

“Until they’ve reached their limit of six, any new engine they bring will normally have some updates. It depends on the individual manufacturer when they choose to do that. But once they’ve registered their sixth engine that’s it, they can’t change anything,” he stated.


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