Honda and Ducati confirm new bikes for 2012
Honda and Ducati will develop new four-stroke prototype bikes having opted to ditch their current 800cc machines when premier class rules change in 2012.
Fears that the impact of the global financial crisis would see some factories opt to shelve plans to develop expensive new bikes and stick with the current 800cc machines in 2012 appear to have evaporated.
New rules permit four-stroke machinery with a maximum bore of 81mm and maximum capacity of 1000cc to race in MotoGP from 2012.
Ducati boss Alessandro Cicognani confirmed that the Bologna factory will definitely enter a newly designed four-cylinder motor.
But he insisted Ducati was still evaluating which capacity it will run.
He said: “It looks like we are going to develop a new bike with a new engine. We are still evaluating the capacity because with the litres and kilos you don’t know which will be the best. But we are going to develop a new bike.”
And Honda HRC Vice-President Shuhei Nakamoto told MCN recently: “We will make a brand new bike.”
Suzuki and Yamaha will also unveil new bikes for the 2012 campaign. It is hoped the new rules will entice the likes of Aprilia and BMW to enter MotoGP.