The technical revolution in MotoGP will be completed in 2012 when the current 125cc two-strokes are banished in favour of a 250cc four-stroke single-cylinder world championship called Moto3, MCN can reveal.
Discussions have been taking place for several weeks now on plans for the new class, which would end the two-stroke Grand Prix racing era for the first time since the world championship’s inception in 1949.
MCN sources confirmed the new class will not replicate the current 600cc four-stroke Moto2 class and be a controlled Honda engine, even though the Japanese factory patented a reverse single cylinder four-stroke last year, as was revealed in MCN.
MCN understands Honda is already working on a 250cc four-stroke single motor that has been fitted into a race RS125 chassis for initial testing at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Japan.
It’s understood that with minimal development work, the bike was 1.5s faster than a Grand Prix 125GP machine at the venue for the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Moto3 class will be multi-engine with prototype chassis and is designed to provide a cheap alternative to the current 125cc two-stroke format.
There are fears that the 125 class entry could be seriously impacted by the huge popularity of the new Moto2 class.
The 250cc two-stroke replacement series has a bumper entry of 40 bikes, but most 125 teams want to be part of the series because of the increased exposure.
A source said: “Some 125 teams want to be in Moto2 and some Moto2 teams are struggling with the budget to remain in the class. With Moto3 it will help create a healthy entry in both classes.”
The Japanese already have a domestic national series for motocross-based 250cc four-stroke cylinder engines in a road racing chassis.
And there is even a production racer by tuning experts Moriwaki called the MD250H that uses a modified CRF250 engine in an alloy beam chassis.