When the 125cc class is replaced by the 250cc Moto3 class in 2012, the last of the two strokes will disappear from the Grand Prix paddock. The demise of the 125cc two-strokes was largely down to lack of manufacturer interest: KTM had pulled out at the end of the 2009 season, Honda has not supported a factory effort for several years now, leaving only Aprilia on the grid, along with the Derbi-badged clones. In the hope of reducing costs and attracting more manufacturers to the class, the decision was made to switch to 250cc four-stroke singles, with a cap on the price the engines are to be sold for.
So far, the change has aroused the interest of the Japanese manufacturers, with Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki all rumored to be building a Moto3 engine, and now, Austrian manufacturer KTM could be interested in making a return to the smallest Grand Prix class, with Belgian MX magazine MotocrossMag reporting that KTM is looking at producing a specially tuned version of its SX-F 250 engine for use in Moto3. In its current form, as used for motocross racing, the engine produces in the region of 40hp, and with the addition of several specially lightened parts, the engine could be made to rev higher and produce more power, while still staying under the 10,000 euro maximum selling price.
In addition to the major manufacturers, several smaller engineering firms are also believed to be interested in producing engines for the class. Without the massive manufacturing base and standard MX engines to fall back on, producing a competitive Moto3 engine under the price limit is much more difficult, however, and it remains to be seen how many other manufacturers will enter. What is certain is that some of the chassis manufacturers already involved in Moto2 are also looking at producing frames for the new Moto3 class, with Moriwaki already touting their MD250H, and several other chassis builders currently working on Moto3 prototypes, their current stumbling block being which engine to use to design the frame with. Moriwaki's strong links with Honda are making it much easier for the Japanese manufacturer in this respect.
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