FIM announces Grand Prix rule changes

Practices reduced and some electronics banned

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Feb. 18, 2009
The International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) has announced a number of cost-cutting changes to the 2009 Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix regulations.

The Grand Prix Commission met on Feb. 18 and voted unanimously to introduce several amendments aimed to help teams cut costs.

Beginning with the Aug. 16 Czech Grand Prix, each rider will be restricted to a maximum of five engines through the remainder of the season. During that time, no parts may be changed except for routine maintenance.

Electronic controlled suspension, launch control systems and ceramic brakes are no longer permitted.

Cost-cutting rule changes are already be too little too late for Kawasaki's MotoGP team.Friday morning free practices have been eliminated for all grand prix classes for while two MotoGP practice and qualifying sessions have been shortened to 45 minutes from an hour. The 125cc and 250cc classes will have a single qualifying session on Saturday afternoons. The previous Friday qualifying sessions will now be for free practice.

Only two post-race tests will be held through the season, one following Catalunya Grand Prix in June and another following the Czech Grand Prix. These tests are for development purposes and only test riders are allowed to take part.

The amendments were submitted to the FIM with the recommendation of the MotoGP manufacturers. High costs and the current economic climate have already caused Kawasaki to announce its withdrawal from MotoGP racing.