MotoMatters is now confirming that as early as 2012 we will see MotoGP racing back in the liter-bike category. Never popular with the manufacturers, the 800cc rule change not only cost teams in added development costs, but also never brought the promised the safety and closer racing that is was supposed to offer. For the moment it appears MotoGP will remain a prototype class, with there being no discussion of a production motor being used (like in Moto2), at least at this time.
Up until now, the return to the 1000cc format had been blocked by the MSMA (the manufacturers association), but with the increased cost of racing, and likelihood that Suzuki or even Honda might drop the series, the tune of the MSMA has changed considerably during these tough economic times. As such, any way for the teams to reduce costs seems to get ample traction, and a series that mimics liter-bike production technology certainly has that going for it.
2012 is the earliest it would be possible to make the change to the 1000cc format, as there is currently a 5-year contract in place between Dorna, the FIM, and the MSMA. This contract expires at the end of 2011. The contract states that no changes may be made to the engine capacity without a unanimous decision by all of the manufacturers in the MSMA.
With their being no talk of a production powerplant serving the field, MotoMatters.com asked Herve Poncharal for an explanation of this development.
“Nobody’s talking about production engines. The Grand Prix Commission is thinking about going back to 1000cc engines. This is more than supported by Dorna, but the first reaction to this by MSMA is very very positive. I’m really happy, I’m very happy about that. It looks like there is a consensus, but we have to take it day-by-day.”
Stay tuned race fans, more news as we get it.