French MotoGP Exclusive: 250GP class to be replaced by 625/650cc four-strokes

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Four-stroke bikes between 625 and 650cc will replace the current world 250GP championship in 2011, MCN can exclusively reveal.

Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta submitted a proposal for the new format at a meeting of the Grand Prix Commission in Le Mans at 12.15pm today. Representatives of the FIM, International Race Teams Association and the Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association attended the meeting.

The new class will be exclusively for in-line four-cylinder four-stroke machines with the philosophy behind the new class being cheap, competitive and prototype racing to replace the current two-stroke 250 class.

Originally planned to be 600cc, Dorna changed the displacement at the request of the FIM, motorcycling racing’s governing body. It is believed that move was to protect the current World Supersport series operating as part of the World Superbike championship.

The most likely final capacity will be 640cc, with Kawasaki’s current ZX-6R having a 636cc engine.

Traction control will be banned and Dorna will operate a controlled ECU management system to keep costs down and also ensure a level playing field for participating teams and riders.

Ezpeleta wants the new class to be much more affordable than the current 250GP class, where lease costs for a factory Aprilia can be over one million Euros.

That is only around 500,000 Euros short of what it costs to lease a Honda RC212V in MotoGP, MCN understands. Ezpeleta wants lease costs for the new four-stroke class to be around less than 100,000 Euros.

Ezpeleta’s proposal is expected too be fully approved at the next meeting of the Grand Prix Commission in Catalunya on Saturday, June 7, 2008. Following approval at that meeting, definitive rules will be drawn up for the new class.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt