Aprilia and BMW silent on MotoGP plans

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Aprilia and BMW have not yet stated their intention to be part of the MotoGP world championship when 1000cc four-strokes are allowed to race in 2012.

As part of another major shake-up of MotoGP rules, 1000cc four-cylinder bikes with a maximum cylinder bore of 81mm will be allowed to compete in the compete class in 2012 under rules approved before Christmas.

It is widely expected that the new rules will tempt BMW into MotoGP for the first time and also encourage Aprilia to move back into the class it quit at the end of 2004.

But Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta confirmed to MCN that he has not had an approach from BMW or Aprilia to be part of the new series as yet. Nor has he had any clarification from the European factories about their future race plans.

The Spaniard, who attended last week’s Sepang test for crunch talks with the Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association, told MCN: “I don’t know what their position is at the moment.

"There has been no contact with us (Dorna). But maybe other manufacturers could come that are not involved at the moment and make a special engine.

"With the rules it will now be easier to make an engine for MotoGP than it is right now.”

A major development at last week’s Sepang test in Malaysia was the likelihood that the current 800cc four-strokes would continue to be raced beyond 2011.

An exclusive 1000cc format for full prototypes and highly-tuned may be delayed with some factories expressing a desire to carry on racing 800s initially to avoid having to heavily invest in the development of a new 1000cc motor.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt