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Suppo reacts to Ducati switch to Open class

Suppo reacts to Ducati switch to Open class

Livio Suppo believes leading MotoGP™ teams must discuss the new ‘Open’ tier of the premier class, with the Team Principal of Repsol Honda fearing costs could soon exceed the general level they were intended to be at.

From 2014 onwards, all teams are presented with the option to run under either ‘Factory Option’ or ‘Open’ regulations, with the latter allowing entrants to run more fuel and modify engines during the season, but while obliging competitors to compete with the standard ECU software as provided by Dorna and Magneti Marelli.

At Sepang last Friday, Ducati Team announced that all of its Factory team machines will be running under the Open banner this year, with new technical head Gigi Dall’Igna having explained that greater engine development freedom was the reason for this. Now at Phillip Island for the tyre test, Honda’s Suppo shares his opinion.

"As Honda, the position is clear," Suppo says on Monday. "We understand that Ducati is behind, so they are trying everything to recover. For sure, the Open class rules allow them to work on the engine during the season; this is important for them, I understand. On the other side, we are not so happy that – just a few days before the announcement of Ducati going Open – there was the introduction from Magneti Marelli of new software, which is much more complicated that the standard one of the Open class. I think this is something we need to speak about.

"At the end of the day, if the Open class has a Factory bike (competing in it), it will not be so cheap. I think that was the aim of the rule: to create a cheaper class. So I think we need to think about it. We need to understand - together with Dorna and the MSMA - if it was clear to everybody what the aim of this class was. Our understanding (and I think it was the understanding of everybody) was a class that was cheaper than the Factory bikes; now, with the interpretation of Ducati, it is not. So it is just a question of sitting down together to see what we want for the future."

With Ducati now running as Open entries for 2014, the reduced amount of eight riders will be competing under Factory Option rules: Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and Monster Yamaha Tech3 pairing Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro.

MotoGP, 2014, Repsol Honda Team

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