Moto2 --- one supplier sought, but number of cylinders spec'd yet?

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Racing' started by New Lateran Treaty, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. What's the latest: if it's to be a single engine supplier, what are
    the bets on a 2,3, or 4-banger piece?

    Memories of local pals on evil Gold Stars, echoing across the green
    valleys of my rural English childhood --- bring up this site -- and it
    can be a 600cc, too!
    New Lateran Treaty, Apr 4, 2009
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  2. New Lateran Treaty

    voeut Guest

    Its bound to be a 4 cyl.
    voeut, Apr 9, 2009
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  3. New Lateran Treaty

    pablo Guest

    In my humble opinion, it should be a 2 cyl, ideally a 500cc. For
    several reasons:

    - it's "half" the original 1000cc from a cyclinder point of view at
    least, upkeeping some resemblance of tradition.

    - it is simpler tech

    - the marketplace would benefit from an influx of genuinely
    lightweight middle class machines, purpose built 500cc. I would get
    one. i still get misty eyed thinking about Laverda Montjuics, Morini
    500s... bikes like that are fun. The KTM Duke 600 i a reminder...

    - it would be original, different and fun

    - it would please *me* :)
    pablo, Apr 10, 2009
  4. New Lateran Treaty

    Julian Bond Guest

    We seem to go round and round this. And I guess Dorna and the MSMA (And
    Flammini) are doing the same.

    There's a certain logic to a 400-500 twin and a 200-250 single. Just as
    there used to be in 125-1, 250-2, 500-4 two strokes. At least to start
    with there's at least some technology crossover between all the classes.
    But right now if 800-4s are too expensive, you can be sure true
    prototype 250 singles and 500 twins would be as well. And there's really
    not any current engines that are suitable as the MX technology doesn't
    really hack it as the basis for World Championship road racing.

    If you go down the 600-4 (675-3, 750-2) route, you bang up against
    Flammini. If you force them to be prototypes you have to find suppliers
    and we're into the same expensive arms race as with the 800s. If you try
    and limit the technology you'll quickly find that road bikes and WSS are
    more advanced. And you still haven't dealt with replacing 125s.

    I would love to see 250-1, 500-2 road racers with road replicas
    available. But outside Japan there's no real market for race replica
    4-500s. And outside a few places in Europe there's no real market for
    road race style 125, 250s. And these things tend to be limited by law to
    12hp, 33hp, 55hp. Which is all a damn shame because like you I'd like to
    see people buying an Aprilia RSV-5, a Ducati Pantah, or a Ducati 250
    MkIV, Or a Cagiva SuperMito. Let's not leave the Japanese out either.
    Let's have a ZX-5R and a GSXR250RR and so on. And because these are
    outside WSB/WSS regs there shouldn't be any real problem with whether
    they're prototype or not. If all this was actually available, these
    would make a great basis for national and club championships as well.
    But like I said, people would have to buy the road versions to fund it.
    And I'm not sure there's a market any more.

    That's all wishful thinking. I think GP is going to get quite a bit
    worse before it gets better and we'll have quite a bit more screwing
    around. I just have to hope that WSB-WSS ups it's game and takes a
    another jump in professionalism so we've got some valid, relevant world
    championships, at all, at all.
    Julian Bond, Apr 10, 2009
  5. New Lateran Treaty

    Mark N Guest

    To me the tradition and logic argument for 400/500 twins and 200/250
    singles doesn't go very far. To start with, the 125/250/500 thing only
    goes back about 20 years, as 125 twins were allowed thru 1987, I
    think, and if you go back to when four strokes ran in all classes you
    didn't have any of this notion of cutting up a premier class motor to
    use in the lower classes. And since Dorna decided the support classes
    would be used to develop riders for the premier class, starting about
    15 years ago, we have seen unintended and negative consequences of
    those machines, leading us to where we are today - 800cc Super "250s"
    ridden by midgets and providing the least interesting premier class
    racing in memory.

    On the other hand, what is the logic behind the SB world approach?
    600s are slower and cheaper than SBs, even if they don't have the same
    sort of cross-breeding of technology, and that they aren't physically
    smaller may actually be a benefit, if you look at what 125/250 has
    done to the rider pool in MotoGP. So the logic there is to have slower
    and cheaper machines in the support classes, but that are physically
    and tempermentally related to the premier class, justifying it's use
    as a rider development class. Which is exactly what GP needs, and is
    pretty much exactly what 600s offer. The dance today is between Dorna
    and Flammini with the FIM in the middle, and the cost is that what
    makes the most sense, production-based motors, can't just be done with
    no legal problems. And this also blocks what might be a longer-term
    solution to the grid shrinkage problem in MotoGP, that being to allow
    production-based 1000cc motors.

    I wish I knew the details of this agreement, which I assume arose from
    the Thunderbike experiment by GP a number of years ago. WSB got their
    exclusivity regarding production-based machines, but I really don't
    know what GP got out of this. Since that was the late '90s and GP was
    retreating and WSB advancing, maybe there was something that protected
    GP's position, I don't know. But now making that deal looks pretty
    stupid, in retrospect.
    Yeah, it's hard to be all that positive about what Dorna is doing,
    given some of the "solutions" they've come up with in the last couple
    years. At the top of my personal list is the new prohibition on
    factory teams hiring MotoGP rookies, which I think is totally asinine.
    The notion of anyone new to the series having to be signed by a lease
    team is really scary, given their hiring decisions and how they tend
    to be driven by sponsorship concerns, and that they're all run by
    EuroMeds having come up from 250. The factories will drive who they
    hire more than before, but it just further cements the notion that
    basically all the riders will come from the support classes and not

    And where does this leave Suzuki, and Kawasaki if they come back?
    Without lease teams you're stuck with your existing guys and the guys
    who are riding for the other teams. So what happens if Capirossi
    decides to retire adfter this year? Assume Stoner, Hayden, Rossi,
    Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Dovizioso stay where they are (or won't go to Suzuki
    in any case) and Edwards and Gibernau retire, then they're left with a
    choice between de Puniet, de Angelis, Takahashi, Elias, Toseland,
    Kallio, Canepa, Melandri, assuming those guys would all move. Beyond
    that, they'd have to go after Checa or Biaggi or some other aging has-
    been. And if they hired Melandri that would mean Kawi (or whatever) is
    in the same boat. Or is that technically a lease team? Just stupid.

    Anyway, not sure if this rule surpasses the WSB twins/fours balancing
    rule as the worst rule in the sport today, and the most Euro-biased.
    But it probably tops the "passing under yellow" Rossi rule that
    allowed blatant violations as long as they happen in the last five
    laps of a race...
    Mark N, Apr 10, 2009
  6. New Lateran Treaty

    sturd Guest

    Mark N perfuses:
    Less interesting than the Doohan years? And that midget Rossi
    insists on winning all the time, dang.


    I don't even understand the motivation behind it. Rookies have to
    come up thru the ranks or they won't have time to learn to be any
    Only vets can bring in the money needed to run a team? What?
    The factories can probably figure out who to hire all by their
    good decision or not, without a stupid rule like this.

    In comparison to DMG and the AMA (and don't get me started about
    vintage motocross in the US), they are still doing a relatively good
    for a bunch of guys with no clue.

    Go fast. Take chances.
    Mike S.
    sturd, Apr 11, 2009
  7. New Lateran Treaty

    Mark N Guest

    The Doohan years were what they were for essentially the same reason -
    Dorna, et al wanting to populate the rider pool with Euro riders, and
    those guys simply weren't up to the task. But was the racing itself
    less appealing than the last couple years? Debatable. These bikes are
    just boring to watch. And now we get the Vale-Casey show, it seems,
    which may prove that a control tire can actually make the racing less
    competitive. If the tire is spec'ed for the guys they want to win,
    that is... :)

    As for Rossi winning today, the GOAT actually beating a swarm of
    midgets (sometimes) is your proof that nothing at all is going on
    there? Well, okay...
    What they claim is that name rookies will help bring sponsorship and
    competitiveness to the lease teams. Very questionable.
    The AMA is on another planet entirely, but Dorna seems to have shown
    more poor judgment the last couple years than I might have guessed.
    And the worst things get, the more erratic they get...
    Mark N, Apr 11, 2009
  8. New Lateran Treaty

    Julian Bond Guest

    Coincidentally, this was also a time when GP racing nearly died, almost
    all the factories pulled out and there were cost cutting measures. In
    the late 60s we had Honda 350-4s, 250-6, 125-5. Yamaha had a 250V4
    two-stroke, Suzuki had a 50-2 two stroke with 12 gears. By 1970 Honda
    had gone, we were left with MV and Yamaha, and 250-350 were Yamaha tuned
    road engines in racing chassis. The FIM had settled on rules of 500-4,
    125/250/350 twins, 80 singles and all of them with 6 gears max.
    Surely a progression up though the formulae goes back way farther than
    that. If you want to point at a Dorna inspired rule to encourage that
    then it's the age limits in 125. Which I'm pretty sure were since 2000
    Julian Bond, Apr 11, 2009
  9. New Lateran Treaty

    Mark N Guest

    The implication there is that cost was what drove those changes,
    although I don't know that this was really what led to the Japanese
    withdrawal. So what is cheaper to run in the support classes today,
    prototype small twins and singles, or production-based fours? I think
    that's pretty clear.

    As for a 125 replacement, maybe the answer isn't necessarily a similar
    bike with less displacement. I think you have to go back to a blank
    sheet and decide what a 3rd class is really for, and then come up with
    a machine for that purpose. So what is it for?
    I think they established a limit on the years a rider could race in
    125 way back in 94-95, and stated the class' intent was for rider
    development. There was virtually no successful progression from the
    smaller classes into the premier class until maybe Cadalora, with rare
    exceptions like Read, as far as I can tell. Today it's a superhighway,
    with 5 of the 6 guys in the first-tier seats in MotoGP having raced in
    125 and 250, and as teenagers. Surely you agree there has been a
    fundamental change under Dorna in this regard?
    Mark N, Apr 11, 2009
  10. New Lateran Treaty

    Julian Bond Guest

    I have a memory that it was when Nobby Ueda retired. And it seems to me
    that was this century.
    I don't completely disagree, but as usual I just think you're making too
    much of it. Certainly, up till the late 90s there were small bike
    specialists who stayed in those formulae until Dorna made that illegal.
    But I look back through the results at least till '70, and you can see
    people making a name for themselves in 125/250 who were later reasonably
    successful in 500s. Like say, Barry Sheene for instance.
    Julian Bond, Apr 11, 2009
  11. New Lateran Treaty

    Julian Bond Guest

    Is it? It at least depends on the level of competition. At least part of
    the reason for the high price of an Aprilia now is the previous arms
    race between them and Honda. Along with the recession, Piaggio having
    one of their periodic economic crises and having driven everyone else
    out, because they can. The budget for a top level 250GP team is huge.
    But then so it is for Ten Kate's WSS team. The budget for a top level
    125GP team is not small either. Trying to race at that level is never
    going to be cheap. So how about club level racing? Do you think there's
    really that much difference in cost between running a 600 club racer or
    a 125/250?
    To fill in the program because 2 races on race day isn't nearly enough
    to justify the ticket price? What is the European Superstock
    championship for?

    If you watch the whole thing live (either physically or on TV) then
    125-250-MotoGP works. It's canapes, first course, main course. They each
    have a different flavour. The 125 races have their own special craziness
    to get you in the mood for the main event. Then there's usually a
    dessert course of some national race to watch over the fence as you
    trudge back to the car park. If you want junior-senior four strokes then
    go to WSB, because they do that stuff pretty well. GP needs to retain
    some distinct difference in spectacle. Other wise we might as well race
    production machines all the way through.
    Julian Bond, Apr 11, 2009
  12. New Lateran Treaty

    Mark N Guest

    I think if you researched it you'd find that's wrong. My recollection
    is that Ueda was one of the guys who looked to be impacted by the
    rule, dunno if they grandfathered him in or if they rescinded it
    before he got there. Eventually they went to the age cap, though.
    Well, if you graphed the easy stuff to check, guys who first won
    championships or races in 125/250 and then went on to win races in 500/
    MotoGP, you'd see a pronounced upward jump starting with Criville's
    Assen win in 1992, and another one with Rossi's arrival in 500. So I
    think you're downplaying a fundamental, intentional change.
    Mark N, Apr 11, 2009
  13. New Lateran Treaty

    pablo Guest

    Correct me if I am wrong, but 500cc was not that clear of a favorite
    at the time. Which is why pretty much every 500 rider in the 60s and
    early 70s was also trying to win the 350, and often the 250 on top.

    pablo, Apr 12, 2009
  14. New Lateran Treaty

    pablo Guest

    I actually think you extrapolate just based on the late 70s and 80s
    movement of US and Australian guys coming in and redefining the riding
    in the 500 class. Before that happened, there was a long established
    tradition of riding multiple classes at once, or coming throught the
    ranks to the higher ones. The Roberts era redefined that for a while.
    pablo, Apr 12, 2009
  15. New Lateran Treaty

    Mark N Guest

    No doubt that things changed during the 78-93 period, when Americans
    and Aussies who had never raced in the other classes dominated 500.
    And it's true that prior to that guys tended to race in multiple
    classes. But I stand by what I said. Today among the 18 MotoGP riders
    there are 5 who previously won a championship in 125 and/or 250 and
    who have since won a race in MotoGP - Capirossi, Rossi, Melandri,
    Pedrosa, Lorenzo - and there are 2 others who have won at least one
    race before moving up and winning - Stoner, Elias - and 4 others who
    won in the suppprt classes - Dovizioso, Kallio, de Puniet, de Angelis.
    That's over half the field. Now if you go back to '77 and move
    backward, how far do you have to go to find seven guys who won in 500
    who had previously won in 125/250? CAN you even find seven going all
    the way back to the beginning? You can't deny that there has been a
    very material shift in this regard, the notion of separate disciplines
    is gone, now it's just a development path.
    Mark N, Apr 12, 2009
  16. New Lateran Treaty

    pablo Guest

    I will not argue with the second part. But it's like saying that
    college basketball and football are just a development path for the
    NBA and NFL - which is accurate, but actually fails to mention they
    are highly enjoyable sports by themselves with their very own
    following. It might be difficult to understand with a local vintage
    point, but guys like Lorenzo and Pedrosa were famous in Spain *before*
    they ever got a MotoGP ride, because there is a fanatical following of
    the 125 and 250 classes there. To each their own traditions - it's
    oval tracks over here to develop riders, it's circuits and 125cc over
    in Europe, and by the time you get a 125 or 250 ride in the world
    championship you're actually quite accomplished in the sport already,
    and pretty well known in those parts, and have some firm sponsorships
    in your pocket.

    So while it is a development path, I also think it is more than that.

    On top of that, I think it would be great if they can instill some
    unique formula into it. I know the 2 cyl 500 formula to some reeks of
    misguided traditionalism, and it would be if such machines don't
    develop huge showroom floor appeal. Which I think they could. I think
    the modern bike formula, especially here in the USA, lacks choice and
    has become an icecream shop that only offers 2 flavors and markets
    them accordingly. I think there ought to be race categories that
    promote more classes. Look at how entertaining the Beemer boxer cup
    was a few years ago, even though those are the unlikeliest and
    unwieldy track tools (I should know, I own one). But another 4 cyl 600
    race forumla is about as exciting as watching paint dry.

    We shall see. I just want to see close and exciting racing, and as we
    are clearly seing it helps to slow down the prototype arms race.
    pablo, Apr 12, 2009
  17. New Lateran Treaty

    Mark N Guest

    pablo wrote:
    To each their own traditions - it's
    My argument with this is that there really isn't much in the support
    classes but rider development. Look at the last 20 seasons in 250 -
    only three times in that period did a defending champion get unseated,
    in '94, '99 and '04. Seven times a champion repeated, and the other
    ten times the championship was left vacant because the winner moved up
    to 500/MotoGP. And during that time look at how the age of champions
    and race winners has dropped. What that shows is that there really
    isn't a talented, experienced veteran core that the kids are learning
    from, they're just racing each other, really no different than the
    I don't see how anyone can say that. 600s have proven to provide
    excellent racing everywhere, and using purpose-built racing chassis
    makes it a whole different experience than what we've seen before.
    These might just be the perfect race bikes in many respects, and
    should deliver outstanding racing. Saying it's boring because it's a
    600 under the plastic is as illegitimate as saying 250 racing is great
    just because there's a two stroke under there...
    Mark N, Apr 13, 2009
  18. New Lateran Treaty

    Mark N Guest

    But isn't part of this because Aprilia views racing as a profit
    center, they're actually making money on GP? Or at least not losing
    money and accounting for the cost as R&D or marketing.
    I was talking about a production-based 600 vs. a MotoGP offshoot
    prototype four stroke there. And I can't imagine something ranging
    from AMA-style SS to even SB-level with a proddy 600 would cost as
    much as running a slice of a MotoGP motor.
    Sounds like a convoluted way of saying they have to do something like
    125/250 because you like 125/250. What I was driving at was more like
    defining the support classes as either rider development classes for
    MotoGP, entirely independent disciplines, something in between or
    something else, maybe something designed to appeal to a certain
    segment of desired fan base. The new GP2 class as conceived seems more
    relevant to MotoGP than 250s do, and it apparently is hoped to cost
    less and make the racing closer and more unpredictable. The problem is
    that a spec motor doesn't make this class more interesting to the
    manufacturers, who might well get very involved if the motors are
    multi-brand and production-sourced. That can be laid at the feet of
    the Phlegminis, who are understandably defending their commercial turf
    but also screwing the greater good of racing. Typical.

    DMG's DSB concept serves, in theory, to make racing cheaper, closer,
    safer (by being slower), and to appeal to a new fan base, by
    emphasizing Euro-American machines, and their new SSport class
    attempts to serve as a vehicle for young rider development. So does
    Dorna do something different along those lines to achieve a particular
    goal, do they just try to duplicate 125 with four strokes, do they
    stay with two strokes in order to keep old school guys (like you and
    Mike Scott, who should get together and drown your sorrows over a few
    pints!) and certain manufacturers involved while the 250 transition
    takes place, do they try to involve legitimate modern racebikes that
    don't require jockey-sized riders? Do they attempt to revitalize the
    separate discipline concept, or are they happy having GP3 all about
    training wheels for teenagers? Are four stroke singles and/or twins
    different enough from the other classes to provide their own character
    here? Etc.
    Mark N, Apr 13, 2009
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