There’s be some trouble brewing in the MotoGP/WSBK camp after news hit that MotoGP would be switching back to a 1000cc format by the 2012 season. In that story, several possibilities on how that format would work were put forth by various sides, one such proposal being the running of production based motors in MotoGP.
These motors, which would be based off those found on streetbikes, could be tuned to any degree, provided it met the criteria in the MotoGP rule book (1000cc & four-cylinders are the only regulations agreed upon currently). This news of course drew the ire of World Superbike promoter, Infront Motor Sports, in the form of Paolo Flammini, who believes that format would infringe on his license to exclusively run a production based race series.
Refusing at first to define what a production engine is, Dorna’s Carmelo Ezpeleta is now switching gears and saying the term “production engine” won’t even appear in the new MotoGP racing regulations.
This in theory should allow teams to use cheaper motors that, when tuned, can produce near-current MotoGP performance figures. When Ezpeleta was pressed by Spanish news site AS.com’s Mela Chercoles on the question of exactly what a prototype is, Ezpeleta clarified that “it is the bike which is a prototype, not the engine.” This of course, is the basis for the Dorna Boss’s opinion that MotoGP’s shift will not step on the toes of the FIM.
With this mantra in mind, it would seem MotoGP is setting itself up to be motor agnostic, letting the teams themselves decide how to develop and source their powerplant. Surely teams wishing to be at the peak of the pack will choose to build custom prototype engines, while others looking for a more cost-effective solution will choose to build upon something already in the marketplace.
Ezpeleta is set to announce Friday another regulation that has been agreed upon by the Grand Prix Commission. This regulation is alleged to be the “silver bullet” that will keep the 1000cc format affordable for all teams, with the best guesses being some sort of rev limit or bore/stroke size restriction.
You can also expect to see some more “feedback” from Flammini and the IMS on the subject as well.