The MotoGP is back after the winter break with the 2014 season starting at Losail International Circuit in Qatar this weekend.
There are rule changes in the new season to make races more competitive for the riders and to bring in more excitement among MotoGP fans and global viewers.
The teams participating in this season's race will have to select the type of entry. There are two types, a 'Factory' entry and an 'Open' entry.
1. Factory entry
The main advantage of Factory teams is that they are allowed to use their own software for the engine control unit (ECU) hardware. All the participating teams should use the official MotoGP ECU.
The advantages of the teams racing in Factory entry is that they can use their won ECU software.
However, the Factory teams are allowed to use only a maximum of 20 litres of fuel. In addition to this, they will use only five engines per rider per season. The only exception is that a new manufacturer in its first year will be allowed to use nine engines per rider per season.
Most importantly, the Factory teams will not be allowed to do any development on the engines. They have to supply template engines with specifications of all parts of the race, and those parts must remain unchanged. The engine specifications will be frozen before the start of the first race of the season. Also, the engine specification must be the same for both riders from the same team.
2. Open entry
The teams using Open entry will have to use the official MotoGP ECU and the official ECU software package, along with internal data logger. The teams on Open entry will not be allowed to use their own software, compared with those of the Factory teams.
The fuel capacity is more compared with that of Factory entry as teams with Open entry have a maximum fuel capacity is 24 litres. They are also allowed to use 12 engines per rider per season, seven more than compared with the Factory teams.
The main advantage of Open teams is that they are allowed to do modifications to the engine and that two riders of the same team need not use the engine of the same specifications.
3. Type of races
Depending on the climatic conditions on the race day, there will be two types of classifications - Wet race and dry race. Before the start of every race, there will be a board that will indicate what type of race it will be. No such board on display indicates it's a dry race.
This is done to inform riders as to what tyres they need to use for the particular Grand Prix.
A white flag waved during the race will indicate the type of race has been changed from dry to wet. In such a situation, the riders can change their bike to suit wet conditions.
Ducati, Honda and Yamaha are the official MotpGP manufactures. Open class entries include FTR, ART (Aprilia) and PBM (Paul Bird Motorsport).
5. Point system
The rider with the highest points at the end of the season will be declared the champion at the end of the season. Similarly, the team with the highest points collectively will be the winner of the constructor's championship.
The points will be awarded depending on the final position for every race.
1st 25 points
2nd 20 points
3rd 16 points
4th 13 points
5th 11 points
6th 10 points
7th 9 points
8th 8 points
9th 7 points
10th 6 points
11th 5 points
12th 4 points
13th 3 points
14th 2 points
15th 1 point
In case there is a tie between two riders, the rider who had more number of best finishes will be the winner. However, should the best finishes still be the same, the second best finishes will be taken into account.