MotoGP 2012

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MotoGP 2012

Post by Henrik on Tue May 03 2011, 08:25

There are some good news for next year concerning motorcycle racing. With the changes that they are about to make to the MotoGP class, the FIM has really tried to move it in a direction that makes it considerably more affordable in an attempt to limit a bit the insane speeds they achieve and to attract new teams and riders so as to increase the size of the starting grid. The thinking is obviously that by reducing the engine development, the racing will get closer. Add to that lower costs and more bikes on the grid and we should have some great racing in the future.

So, what exactly have they done? Well the primary change is to the engines. Currently the MotoGP bikes are running 800cc engines that are tuned to the extreme. There are very few limitations as to what constructors can do with these engines, and so huge sums of money are being poured in to the development. As a result, there are only a handful of seriously competitive bikes on the grid. For next year, the engine size is increased to 1000cc, but the FIM has created a category called “Claiming Rules Teams” which essentially are privateer teams that can run with more fuel and use more engines during the season. There will be a market for cheaper and perhaps less sophisticated engines out there.

The FIM has been pretty successful with their Moto2 category replacing the rather exclusive old 250cc. By making the series run on a spec engine, basically a normal Honda CBR 600 engine, it has opened things up for a lot of chassis producers and even more teams. The racing is no longer dominated by the fastest engine, but rather by the best rider who manages to get the right setup for the race. We have a huge grid, with very tight racing. Obviously there are a limited number of riders that tend to emerge a bit from the pack, but on any given race day, pretty much anybody on the grid stands a fair chance to win a race. Oh, and that is out of a grid of 40 odd riders!

For the 2012 MotoGP grid, the announcement over the last weekend of 12 new teams having submitted an entry request for next year, certainly things are looking up. Today there are 17 bikes lined up at the start of a MotoGP race, and there are maybe 4 or 5 riders that have an honest chance of winning (although I suppose you should say 8 since there are essentially 8 factory riders today). Looking over the last three races, I would say that on any given race day there are maybe 3 that can actually fight for the victory, with the others who could get lucky in case the front runners go off.

So, with the new regulations it looks as if we will see the starting grid double in size. Hopefully the performance will be pretty close, at least for half the grid. With that many riders fighting for the top spots, the points distribution will be much wider than today, resulting in a tighter title fight. We might even see riders fighting for 15th place just to get that last point, rather than just trying to stay in the race until the checkered flag to get a couple of points from 13th or 14th place. I for one am looking forward to it! I suppose the big question now is, will they change the name to Moto1?

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Re: MotoGP 2012

Post by TopContender on Sat May 07 2011, 23:21

This claiming rule seems a bit odd. Do they do this all the time in bike racing?
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Re: MotoGP 2012

Post by Henrik on Sun May 08 2011, 10:02

Not as far as I know. I have not seen it anywhere else, and I think it has been done just to try and allow for the private teams to have some sort of chance of getting in to MotoGP. As it is now, it is just a few factory teams with also their B teams filling out the tiny grid.

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