MotoGP: Rules for 600cc MotoGP class drawn up

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Four-stroke 600cc bikes racing in 2010 as replacement for the current world 250 championship has moved a step closer with draft technical rules for the new class being drawn up.

The new class will be exclusive for four-strokes four-cylinder machines but with production engines only with limited rpm.

Chassis design and construction will be prototype under proposals currently the subject of heated debate inside the Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association.

The proposals have enraged European factories like Aprilia and KTM, who form the bulk of the 250 and 125 grids.

Bosses of both factories believe there is an agreement in place with Dorna for the 250 two-stroke F-class to run until the end of the 2011 season.

But Dorna and Honda is pushing for the new rules to be implemented for 2010, with HRC recently confirming it would cease all two-stroke production at the end of the 2009 campaign.

KTM designer Harald Bartol is a long-standing two-stroke engineer and tuner, and views the proposed four-stroke future with trepidation.

“Technically I have no problem with it. I will build a four-stroke. I don’t care. But I have a problem whether it is good for racing,” he said.

“The costs will explode. As now, 125 and 250 for growing up in racing and coming to MotoGP is the best situation. As we know, it is coming from only one company.

“They are pushing from the other side. Last year they said 2012. Then it was too quiet for a long time but it was coming through the back door, to Dorna,” said Harald Bartol.

“If we go to 600 this is bad for racing. I am not sticking to two-strokes, but it should be a proper race bike. Not donkey racing, with a 600.

“This is a big lump of iron. Six-hundreds are racing already, so why do the same thing?

“And as for making funny rules about making a special chassis for a production engine, every handicap formula in the past was always bad. If you have too many rules, it spoils it,” he said.

Key points of the draft technical rules are; ENGINE Four-stroke engines only Maximum capacity 600cc, Maximum four cylinders, No oval pistons RPM limited, No pneumatic valve operation systems, or variable timing.

INLET AND FUEL SYSTEM
Throttle body diameter limited
Fuel injector type limited
Fuel spec – standard unleaded fuel

GEARBOX
Six speed gearbox
Limited alternate gear ratios available

ELECTRONICS
RPM limiter on each bike

CHASSIS
Design and construction of the chassis is free

WEIGHT
One and two cylinders (TBA)
Three cylinders (TBA)
Four cylinders (155kg)

Other points:
No carbon brakes
No carbon composite wheels
Teams can only scrutineer one motorcycle per rider Limited number of complete engines per rider at each event

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt