Moto3 to replace 125GP class in 2012
Dwindling grids, high costs and a worsening quality of entries will spell the end of the 125cc world championship by the end of next year.
MotoGP bosses approved a new four-stroke class called Moto3 in Assen last weekend, which was exclusively revealed by MCN last month.
The 125cc two-stroke replacement class will be a multi-engine series for 250cc single-cylinder machines in a prototype chassis. Maximum cylinder bore will be 81mm.
International Race Teams Association boss Mike Trimby told MCN: “The plan was to change the 125 class in 2013. There was an agreement made between Dorna and the factories when you had Honda, KTM and Aprilia involved that meant the 125 class would remain until the end of 2012.
"But when KTM walked that agreement lapsed. We see increased pressure on the 125 grid because people can’t afford the 100,000 Euros for an Aprilia, plus the 150,000 for spare parts for the year. And we see the quality of the 125 race decreasing and we had less entries this year than we had for a number of years.
"There is no quality in depth. The gaps in the 125 performance compared with Moto2 and MotoGP is large.”
The new Moto2 class was introduced a year ahead of schedule because of plummeting grid numbers in the old 250cc two-stroke format.
Trimby added: “They are trying to come up with a reliable, fast and inexpensive engine. It won’t be significantly cheaper than Moto2 because the engine is 56,000 Euros for the year. A Moto3 engine would be 20 or 30,000 a year but you still have to buy the brakes and the wheels and the chassis.
"But it will be cheaper than 125s because you own the bike. And it has to be possible for more people to have a crack at winning. That’s the whole success of Moto2 because anyone can go to their sponsor and say ‘I can win.’ It has been shown so far because unlikely teams and riders are having their crack at the podium.
"It doesn’t apply in the 125 class because unless you have an Aspar bike or a Derbi you haven’t got a chance in hell and what can you sell to a sponsor?”