MotoGP poised to confirm 1000cc switch

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MotoGP bosses are expected to approve a switch to a 1000cc capacity limit at crunch meetings in Switzerland tomorrow (Friday).

Facing mounting pressure to slash costs and stop plummeting grid numbers, Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta tabled a proposal to the Grand Prix Commission at the final race in Valencia last month for MotoGP to move to a cheaper 1000cc format in 2012.

The new proposals, which are to be given the green light by the Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association (Association) Dorna, the International Race Teams Association (IRTA) and the FIM, will allow prototype 1000cc bikes and heavily modified production-based engines like Yamaha’s R1 and Suzuki’s GSX-R1000 to compete in MotoGP.

Efforts to save costs by limiting testing and cutting down practice time have helped reduce the extortionate costs required to compete in MotoGP.

But as the global economic crisis continues to have a massive impact on the motorsport industry, Ezpeleta believes more sweeping measures are required to safeguard the future of world championship racing.

Herve Poncharal, boss of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and International Race Teams Association president, said: “The purpose of this proposal is to solve the big issue of costs, make the teams better protected and making the grid bigger.

"Going to full prototype 1000c you won’t achieve much in cost reduction.

"Earlier this year the manufacturers were against this idea.

"Now everybody realises that the some teams can’t get the budgets together and we saved peanuts by scrapping Friday morning practice and increasing the test ban.

"We need to save big bucks like up to 50 per cent.”

And former factory Ducati boss Livio Suppo said: “We have to do something because what we have done so far is clearly not enough.

"We need to be more realistic and think about racing in general. There are so many classes around and not enough money to do it.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt