Casey Stoner reserves judgement on new 600cc proposal

Published: 11 June 2008

Reigning world champion Casey Stoner has said he will reserve judgement on the merits of a new 600cc four-stroke series to replace the current 250GP two-stroke world championship.

The Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association proposed the new MotoGP feeder class to be four-cylinder 600s during last weekend’s Catalunya MotoGP, despite fears of a clash with the FG Sport managed World Supersport series.

The MSMA proposal followed an early submission by Dorna chief Carmelo Ezpeleta for a 625/650cc class to avoid any clash with the World Supersport.

The new class has been widely criticised in some quarters with the bulk of the current MotoGP grid have served their apprenticeship in the 250 class.

Valentino Rossi, Loris Capirossi, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo have all graduated as world 250 champions, while 250s are now seen as the perfect proving ground to switch to the new generation 800cc MotoGP bikes.

Stoner, who finished second in the 2005 world 250 championship behind Pedrosa, said: “Personally I think it is impossible to substitute the 250s but I will reserve judgement until I’ve seen these bikes.

“There is a big difference between two and four-stroke but I need to see them perform. I think Moriwaki have been trying a four-stroke 125 bike and I’m not sure how it is going, but until I see these new bikes on the track I don’t really have an opinion.”

Factory Honda rider Pedrosa, who was world 250 champion in 2004 and 2005, said: “I think from all the changes we have made in the past like from 500 to 990, it was always good.

“I think we must still believe that this is also a good move. But as Casey said, it is important to wait and see how it goes with the new bikes.”