It’s no secret that promoter Dorna Motorsports has been trying to push a standardized electronics control unit for teams in the MotoGP World Championship. The lack of a top-tier electronics package has been one of the biggest challenges faced by MotoGP’s claiming rule teams, and a spec ECU would narrow the gap between the CRT bikes and the factory prototypes. The manufacturers competing in the series, Honda, Ducati and Yamaha, understandably are resistant to the idea considering the effort they’ve put in to develop their electronics systems.

It may only be a matter of time before the premier class adopts a standardized ECU. The Moto2 and Moto3 classes have spec electronics packages, and sooner or later MotoGP will likely follow suit. The series has taken a big step towards that goal with the announcement of a four-year contract with Italian electronics company Magneti Marelli to provide its ECU to any and all MotoGP teams.

Beginning with the 2013 MotoGP season, teams will have access to Magenti Marelli’s latest electronic control system. The package includes an engine and chassis control unit with inboard data-logger, various tuning and data analysis tools, dashboard, handlebar toggle switch and inertial platform, as well as trackside support of Magenti Marelli technicians. Best of all, the Magenti Marelli package won’t cost teams a dime.

“We are very glad to share our know-how and experience in the motorsport field with MotoGP, in order to jointly achieve new objectives in terms of performance and technology development,” says Roberto Dalla, Magneti Marelli motorsport managing director. “The main aim is to provide top technology at affordable costs, which is Magneti Marelli’s mission firstly in racing and also in the field of series production. Magneti Marelli has been developing solutions in the electronics and electro-mechanics area for MotoGP teams for the last decade: this new initiative with Dorna represents a further strategic opportunity to enhance the development of our technology.”

Teams will still have the option of using a proprietary or third-party electronics system, but most CRT squads will likely adopt the Magneti Marelli system. Honda, believed to be the biggest opponent to a spec ECU, will continue to develop its own system for its factory and satellite teams. Yamaha and Ducati already uses similar systems so this development won’t affect their existing programs.

“I cannot hide the fact that I am very happy with this new cooperation with Magneti Marelli. The agreement reached with the Italian company merely validates MotoGP as a competition that incorporates and encourages the latest and most innovative technology,” says Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna chief executive officer. “The experience of this company, which has spent many years at the highest level of competition in motor sport, represents a major step in the premier-class of two-wheel racing.”

[Source: Magneti Marelli]