The Grand Prix Commission met today, and came to a resolution on what direction the MotoGP series would take in the coming years. As expected the committee members agreed to a 1000cc format for the 2012 season, and finally revealed some of the details of that switch, such as a maximum of four cylinders allowed in the race motorcycles, and a bore size that can be no larger than 81mm. The announcement was devoid of any further details about “production motors“. More after the jump.
With the need to come to a more affordable format in prototype racing, MotoGP has dropped the increasingly expenisve 800cc formula. Talking about the changes, FIM boss Vito Ippolito said:
“The main changes we have decided on are new rules for the MotoGP class. We will have four cylinder engines, 4-stroke of course, with a 1000cc maximum, and the bore of the cylinders will be 81mm. This base will give all the manufacturers the opportunity to start work. At the beginning of next year we will produce the new rules in a more complete format, but that is the basis; 2012 will be the year of a new era of MotoGP.”
Stating that “it’s a very important measurement because with this we can have all the characteristics of the engine,” it would seem speculation that Ezpeleta’s “silver bullet” is in fact limiting the bore size used on the motorcycle motors. In theory, this should reduce the amount of power the race bikes produce, but innovations in piston design could change this.
Expect to see more on this issue as the Grand Prix Commission further refines their formula before the 2012 season.
Timeline of engine changes in recent years:
2002: Introduction of 990cc 4-stroke MotoGP (instead of 2-stroke 500cc).
2007: Maximum engine capacity reduction from 990cc to 800cc.
2009-2010: Maximum engine usage (6 engines per rider in 2010).
2012: Maximum engine capacity increased to 1000cc, with a limit of 4 cylinders and a maximum 81mm cylinder bore.