Valentino Rossi says a miserly fuel penalty for next week’s MotoGP race in Texas will have little impact on the ability of Ducati to challenge for podiums with its fast new GP15 bike.
Yamaha racer Rossi fought an epic battle against Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso to narrowly win last Sunday’s season opening Qatar Grand Prix.
The current rule concessions for Factory Option entries – such as Ducati – are "unfair" according to Rossi, who rightly senses the advantage will help Ducati be a race winner this season.
From the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Ducati must reduce their fuel tank capacity from 24 to 22 liters following the double podium by Dovizioso (2nd) and Andrea Iannone (3rd) in Qatar.
However, Ducati will still have 10 percent more fuel than the factory Yamaha and Honda teams who are restricted to 20 liters. Ducati gets the fuel concession because they have not won a race in the past two years.
Not even in Indycar, Formula One or NASCAR are teams who under-perform given any concessions. They must improve their own technical performance to get to the front.
"It is something strange that in motorsport that this rule just happens in MotoGP," Rossi said.
"This rule is very unfair because now the Ducati is very fast so I don’t understand why they have this advantage.
"Last year maybe yes but now they are fast like us also with our race tire so I don’t know why they also have the soft tire.
"And now if they win a race or get some podiums they lose just two liters of fuel to 22 which is nothing. And they also have the soft tire for qualifying."
The rule concessions by MotoGP organizers were granted to assist struggling factory teams and new entrants to more quickly catch-up to the dominance of Honda and Yamaha.
Now the rules appear to create an unfair advantage, at least for Ducati. The fuel reduction for Ducati beginning from next week’s race at COTA in Austin comes because they have achieved three podiums in dry races since the start of the 2014 season.
The first of those was Dovizioso’s 3rd place podium in Austin in 2014, and now his 2nd place and Iannone’s 3rd place at Qatar 2015.
The fuel reduction also applies to Pramac Racing Team’s Danilo Petrucci and Yonny Hernandez. However, the Avintia Racing bikes of Hector Barbera and Mike Di Meglio, who entered in the Open class, are not affected.