With the announcement that MotoGP would “allow up to” a 1000cc format in 2012, there was a hinting that manufacturers would be allowed to use their current 800cc machines in the coming years. The provision comes from the concern that another switch in engine rules will mean another financial blow to the teams that have already spent so much time developing their 800cc race bikes. We’ll skip the economic dissertation on what a sunk cost is, and go straight into the news that Yamaha will reportedly not make the jump to 1000cc’s, and instead continue to use its 800cc M1 in 2012.
With a 3kg weight advantage over the 1000cc machines, the 800cc race bikes in 2012 will still be restricted to an 81mm bore. Despite this, the bikes for their size and weight should be fairly competitive with the 1000cc race bikes, and obviously cost considerably less over the aggregate, since development costs will be amortized over a longer period of time.
It’s these factors that Yamaha is reportedly banking on for 2012, as they told MCN‘s Matthew Brit that they would continue to run the 800cc M1 as long as it was competitive against the larger displacement machines. Even if Yamaha does keep the 800cc M1 for 2012, it is likely that bike’s motor will have to be re-engineered, as it reportedly does not meet the 81mm bore restriction. Yamaha Racing exec’s are surely still weighing these investment factors, and with the economy likely to improve in two year’s time, all bets still seem to be off on this rumor.
Source: MCN & MotoMatters