Honda would almost certainly quit MotoGP if control ECUs were made mandatory, HRC team principal Shuhei Nakamoto has warned.
The series mandated the use of spec ECUs and data-loggers from the start of next year’s championship, although factory teams have an opt-out clause provided they agree to run on 20, rather than 24, liters 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 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 percent 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 team’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.”