An ECU is a piece of hardware, designed by Marelli. All MotoGP teams and bikes use the same hardware.
The ECU collects data via sensors, complies the data using software, then uses the data to drive the engine control actuators.
The reason that every team and bike uses the same hardware is to prevent costs getting out of control. Previously, factories were able to invest in getting the best possible hardware.
New bikes on the 2023 grid will use a new ECU. Older bikes will continue using older ECUs. Again, this is designed to control the costs of the rental agreement.
As well as aiding sustainability, MotoGP says this move “works to ensure Independent Teams can continue to thrive on the grid”.
None of this will create a performance disparity, crucially.
The new ECUs for 2023 do not have a technical advantage.
They will have updates to aid with MotoGP’s commitment to sustainable fuels. And new safety measures will be trialled.
The factories which use the new ECUs on their new bikes will have the whole of 2023 to gather data. Then, when the new era of sustainable fuel begins in 2024, the ECUs will “be expected to deliver a better performance”, MotoGP says.