No great surprise; the controversial “Claiming Rule Team” concept in Moto GP will disappear for the 2014 season.
Intended to fill out small and diminishing grids, the CRT bikes were basically supposed to use production-based engines in a custom-built chassis.
They originally got more fuel, and for this season different tires, in an attempt to make them more competitive with the factory bikes and their satellite teams.
The “claiming rule”, which would allow manufacturers to claim engines and transmissions, was supposed to keep the cost of the bikes down to manageable levels, and has never been invoked.
The claiming rule is cancelled immediately for any bikes using the series’ “standard” Magneti Marelli ECU, and will be gone for all teams next season. Currently, Forward Racing (FTR Kawasaki), Avinitia (FTR Kawasaki), Ioda (Suter-BMW) and PBM (PBM-Aprilia) use the standard unit, while Aspar (ART), Cardion AB (ART) and the second PBM entry (ART) are using Aprilia electronics, and Gresini (FTR Honda) runs a Cosworth ECU.
In a nutshell, the concept hasn’t worked except for the Aspar ART Aprilia-powered bikes of Aleix Espargaro and Randy de Puniet, who are regularly embarrassing factory and satellite bikes by finishing in the top 10 this season. But again, they have a fuel advantage and special tires, so it’s not really a fair comparison.
Any present CRT motorcycles continuing in MotoGP next year will need considerable upgrades even to be as competitive as they are now. That’s particularly true as Honda plans to lease bikes to “privateer” teams, and Yamaha will do the same for engines. Ducati is also making noises about leasing either complete bikes or engines alone.