Honda willing to quit MotoGP over ECU rules

Honda would almost certainly quit MotoGP if control ECUs were made mandatory, HRC team principal Shuhei Nakamoto has warned

Honda willing to quit MotoGP over ECU rules

The series mandated the use of spec ECUs and dataloggers from the start of next year's championship, although factory outfits have an opt-out clause provided they agree to run on 20, rather than 24, litres of fuel.

Discussions about making control ECUs mandatory for every entrant from 2017 are ongoing, as series rights holder Dorna seeks to reduce costs and make it easier for new manufacturers to enter the championship.

Honda has warned however that there would be little incentive for it to remain in MotoGP should it not be free to develop its own electronics.

"Should MotoGP go for a control ECU, it's 99 per cent sure Honda will leave," Nakamoto told Gazzetta dello Sport.

Nakamoto had previously said in a Motosprint interview that technology restrictions would make Honda rethink its MotoGP involvement.

"The reason why Honda goes grand prix racing is the need to develop technology; in fact we think GPs are the best test bench for it," he said.

"If the chance of developing is taken away, then Honda loses a very important reason - in fact a fundamental one - to justify spending all that money.

"Honda's position is not new, I said it other times and I wasn't joking.

"If [Dorna chief] Carmelo [Ezpeleta]'s objective is to stop development, then there's no reason for a manufacturer like Honda to carry on racing in GPs."

DUCATI READY TO CHANGE

In contrast to Nakamoto, new Ducati Corse general manager Luigi Dall'Igna said his outfit's future lay in the control ECU 'open' class.

"That's the future of MotoGP, the others are going forward, so we must too," he said when asked if Ducati was investigating producing an open-class bike.

"We need to immediately start developing this project."

Translation by Michele Lostia

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