125cc Class Replaced By Moto3, CRT Rules Clarified By GP Commission

The Grand Prix Commission, MotoGP's ruling body, met at Brno today, and as expected, they finalized the demise of the two-stroke engine from Grand Prix racing. As of 2012, the 125cc class is to be replaced by Moto3, a 250cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine, with a maximum bore of 81mm.

Unlike Moto2, however, the class will not use a spec engine, but instead will use rules to help keep costs down. Any manufacturer building a Moto3 engine must sell it at 10,000 euros or less, and be prepared to supply at least 15 riders. The idea is to prevent factories from pouring large amounts of resources into engine development, and then making it available to only one or two teams, thus assuring themselves of the valuable publicity that a certain victory would provide. More than one manufacturer has already shown an interest in the class, though the requirement to supply at least 15 riders becomes a little difficult to enforce as more manufacturers get involved. After all, if there are 4 manufacturers and 32 riders on the grid, it is hard to test whether they are all willing to supply 15 riders if the interest in the engines is divided equally among the various teams.

The meeting also confirmed a few other open issues, including Suzuki being allowed 9 engines per season instead of 6. The press release was diplomatic enough not to mention Suzuki, however, referring instead to manufacturers who have not won 2 dry races in the past two years. The extra engines were also promised to any new manufacturer entering the class, lowering the artificially high barrier to entry in MotoGP.

The return of four practice sessions spread over two days for Aragon was also confirmed, with bikes now taking to the track on Friday morning. This will please the riders, as they spend most of Friday morning kicking their heels and waiting to get going, something that almost everyone has complained about. To prevent the riders putting more miles on the engines, the sessions have been reduced from three 1 hour sessions to four 45 minute sessions. The change will apply only for the Aragon Grand Prix this year, as this was the only race with a flexible schedule, the others having been set much earlier in the year. If it is deemed a success, however, the four-practice schedule will be reintroduced from 2011 onwards.

Some of the rules concerning the Claiming Rule Teams were also cleared up: A team can only be designated as a CRT team by unanimous decision of the Grand Prix Commission, in a bid to prevent manufacturers from entering under the guise of a CRT team. An important addendum was also added to this rule, allowing the status of a team to be changed midway through the season, from CRT team to prototype team.

The reasoning behind this rule is to ensure that factories don't try to bypass the prototype requirement by allowing a private team to enter a bike based on one of their engines, and then providing factory-level support once the private team has been accepted as a CRT team. If the GP Commission believes that a factory is providing too much support to a CRT team, they will be able to redefine the team as a prototype team, reducing their fuel allowance from 24 liters to 21, and reducing their engine allowance from 12 to 6 for the season. A key proviso here is that the status change can be enforced by a simple majority of the GP Commissions four members, meaning that neither the teams' association IRTA, sanctioning body FIM, series organizers Dorna nor manufacturers' association MSMA can block the change of status on their own.

The text of the FIM press release follows below:

FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
Decision of the Grand Prix Commission

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Claude Danis (FIM), Hervé Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA), in the presence of M. Paul Butler (Secretary of the meeting), in a meeting held on August 14 in Brno (Czech Republic), unanimously decided the following:

MotoGP class for 2012

Technical Specifications (as already announced on 17/02/10)

Capacity up to 1,000cc
Number of maximum cylinders 4
Maximum bore ø 81 mm
Minimum weight 150 kg (up to 800cc) and 153 kg (over 800cc)
Maximum number of engines available for use by each rider 6
Fuel tank capacity 21 liters
Exception for Claiming Rule Teams (CRTs)
Maximum number of engines available for use by each rider: 12
Fuel tank capacity 24 liters

The selection of the Claiming Rule Teams (CRTs) will be by unanimous decision of the Grand Prix Commission. Modification to this exception due to performance of the teams requires the simple majority of the Grand Prix Commission.

Immediate application

Official MotoGP post-race tests

For these tests of 1 day duration, each rider will be restricted in the quantity and specification of tyres that they may use at a single test event as follows:

For all practice sessions, a maximum of 8 slick tyres will be allocated, specifically:
Front slick tyres: 2 of Specification "A" + 2 of Specification "B" = 4 in total.
Rear slick tyres: 2 of Specification "A" + 2 of Specification "B" = 4 in total.

During all practice sessions, a maximum of 4 wet tyres, specifically:
Front wet tyres: 2 of the standard specification
Rear wet tyres: 2 of the standard specification

In addition each rider may use 1 set of tyres (1 front + 1 rear) retained from their allocation for the preceding event. These tyres may be new or used (NB. used tyres must still be mounted on wheels from the preceding event), and the team must inform the tyre supplier which set of tyres (1 front + 1 rear), if any, they wish to retain for the test within 2 hours of the preceding race finish.

Number of engines for MotoGP

For 2010 the manufacturer members of MSMA who did not win at least 2 dry races in 2008 + 2009 seasons can use 9 engines instead of 6.

Event schedule for the Gran Premio de Aragon

The schedule below prepared by Dorna has been agreed:

Friday, 17 September 2010
09:05-09:45 125cc Free Practice 1
10:05-10:50 MotoGP Free Practice 1
11:10-11:50 Moto2 Free Practice 1
13:05-13:45 125cc Free Practice 2
14:05-14:50 MotoGP Free Practice 2
15:10-15:50 Moto2 Free Practice 2
Saturday, 18 September 2010
09:05-09:45 125cc Free Practice 3
10:05-10:50 MotoGP Free Practice 3
11:10-11:50 Moto2 Free Practice 3
13:05-13:45 125cc Qualifying Practice
14:05-14:50 MotoGP Qualifying Practice
15:10-15:55 Moto2 Qualifying Practice
Sunday, 19 September 2010
08:40-09:00 125cc Warm Up
09:10-09:30 Moto2 Warm Up
09:40-10:00 MotoGP Warm Up
11:00 125cc Race (19 laps)
12:15 Moto2 Race (21 laps)
14:00 MotoGP Race (23 laps)

Application 2012

Newcoming manufacturer in MotoGP

Any new manufacturer entering the MotoGP class and not being selected Claming Rule Team (CRT) will be allowed to use 9 engines instead of 6 for their first season.

Moto3 Class

The 125cc class will be replaced by the Moto3 class.

The basic technical rules of this class are:
- single cylinder 250cc 4-stroke engines with a maximum bore of 81 mm.
- each engine should last for 3 races minimum and cost not more than 10,000 (final cost will be announced)
- each manufacturer if required should be ready to supply a minumum of 15 riders.

This proposal has been agreed by the majority of MSMA

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I'm sorry, but I just think that this stinks.

You're not saving the planet, and you're bulldozing the last vestige of (what I consider to be) historical connection to the origins of Moto GP. I know that I'm being sentimental (and maybe even a bit of a "Luddite"), but I wish they would've let 125 live on. In any case, I'm sure that it'll mean MUCH lower costs, bigger grids and closer racing...but it's not like that was lacking in 125s.

Maybe I'm just a naive, recalcitrant, stodgy old curmudgeon. That's always a possibility...

p.s. Will somebody PLEASE explain WHY ON EARTH we have these INSIPID fuel limits? I've always wondered, and I've never asked. Is THIS one of those incredibly misguided and pointless exercises in "preserving our precious (fair enough), limited (yeah, RIGHT.) resources", and/or trying to save the planet? I personally see no reason for there being a fuel limit. The fuel used by one flight on the way to one race uses more fuel than every rider in every class for the whole season...so why are they limiting the fuel? Have fuel limits ever improved racing one iota? I've never been able to find ONE logical reason for fuel limits, and now I'm asking for some educating on the matter. C'mon guys, teach me something here!

Because Honda wants it that way and they dictate the MotoGP rules (just like Ducati dictate WSBK rules). They want it because they are good at making fuel-efficient engine and want a rule that gives them some edge. (Same with engine-limitation rule -- they are good at making reliable engine so want it in their rule)

I was going to write something ...............but you have saved me the trouble.You are 100% on the money, especially your "PS" on fuel limits.

Why are those double digit IQ fuckwits on the Grand Prix Commission
allowed to foist this travesty on what used to be the purest of motor sport and there is no united opposition front against it.Bikes have gone the way of car racing.

Looking at the Moto GP rules, no one should ever underestimate the power of stupid people in groups.

Another political deal brokered to appease the sport's technical partners (the diminishing group of participants who cannot be consider participants b/c they actually write the rules). Extra engines for Suzuki. Moto3 engine rules that favor multinational dirtbike manufacturers who can utilize economies of scale. Fewer tires for tests (happy Bridgestone).

Let's see. How many tiers are there in the rulebook now? New prototype teams, old prototype teams w/o wins, old prototype teams w/ dry wins, CRT. Then multiple the prototype tiers by 2 to account for under or over 800cc. What's the total? 7 tiers? Well at least they kept it under 10. That could be considered something of an accomplishment.

The rules are an unmitigated disaster. Our only hope is that 1000cc actually improves the racing in spite of a miserable rulebook. Capacity can do many things, but this might be a bridge to far. We shall see if the extra capacity creates long term growth.

The 800 class will be quietly buried at the end of 2012. The factories wanted to keep the 800s to be able to continue with their current bikes, but it doesn't look like any of them will, and they'll all build 1000s instead. So that tier will be killed off once it's apparent that nobody is using it.

Of course, that still leaves all the other tiers you mentioned, though... 

Our only hope is that 1000cc actually improves the racing in spite of a miserable rulebook.

I doubt this. My impression is that this incredible corner speed and this always on the limit style is something Casey and Dani brought with them into MotoGP. Vale had to follow that style to remain competitive, later Jorge followed suit being from the same generation of racers as Casey and Dani. I think the reduction of displacement was only a small factor in this. Add very consistent, predictable tires and you end up where MotoGP is today.

A step back in tire technology just might be the solution to bring back close racing.

I hope 1000cc will make it easier for manufacturers to get involved. New manufacturers still face the hurdle of pneumatic valves for reliability and engine efficiency (can be leased from race engineering firms), direct-injection (BMW already has the technology), and Group C fuel computer requirements; but I'm hoping that MotoGP can gain at least a couple of manufacturers.

If the grid gains 5-10 bikes, the racing will improve b/c the riders will almost always be "in touch" with another rider.

I hope David is right about the 800cc tier disappearing. I wouldn't even care if they didn't vary the min weight by a paltry 3kb, but as long as 800cc and 1000cc have different min weights, it's still technically a tier of sorts. The old arrangement had different weights for different cylinder counts, but that is a different and more interesting game that leads to creative design and engineering challenges. Displacement modulation at 81mm, 4-cylinders is achieved by modifying stroke.

Imo, CRT is the interesting part. I think introducing production equipment into MotoGP is a huge mistake unless they are planning a complete reboot of SBK such that the current SBK engines have no place to compete but MotoGP. But regardless of my personal opinions about production equipment, let's say a competent engine tuning company preps Aprilia engines or BMW engines for CRT competitors. I think we can safely say that anything with pneumatic valves is going straight into the prototype category so the company would need to build a 1000cc engine that is capable of producing 230 hp for 2 race meetings. That's approximately 14,000rpm for 1500km? That kind of performance is right on the edge of what's achievable with some of the big bore SBKs like the Aprilia, Yamaha, and BMW. It will be interesting to see if an engine manufacturer is able to build something that replaces the current satellite bike programs.

+1 There's no going back and no reason to think that the 1000s will forget everything that has been learned with the 800s. I think we'll find that the 1000s behave very much like the 800s with high corner speed, smooth lines and so on. They'll just have a little more acceleration off the corners and a little more top speed at the few places where that actually matters.

The rules are a start for homogeneity and economies of scale, now all they have to do is correct the cbr class and you can have a cylinder based formula for all 3 classes. Simple and easy to police. And maybe the factories will find that they can't reasonably build a prototype rev-limited (no pneumatics) 1000cc engine that is noticeably better than a hot-rodded GSXR or R1 or whatever. The first year will be a free for all and maybe an MSMA outsider can break into the top 5 a bit more often.

Unfortunately, 2012 is a long time away.


I hope they can specify the dimensions and mounting points for the moto 3 engines so the teams could change engine brands with a minimum of re-toolong

zzzzzz is right. any idea on how much HP a 250 thumper can crank out?

also fuel limits are not a bad thing! designing fuel efficient engines definitely has trickle-down-to-the-consumer potential. Along the same lines, i wish they'd allow 125 two-strokes with restrictions on pollution-emission. Smoky, inefficient two strokes have no place in a developed countries. some incentive to invest in clean direct injection 2-stroke would be awesome! http://www.envirofit.org/?q=about-us/mission-background

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 65hp if they use the same fuel as MotoGP and they can wind them all the way to 16,000rpm. If they use a spec fuel like Moto2, no telling the exact power output without knowing what kind of compression the fuel gives.

Current 250cc 4-stroke motocross singles are a few millimeters less than the proposed 81mm. It will be interesting to see if 250 dirtbikes go to 81mm as a result of this decision.

if they get 65hp out of a 250.. well... its amazing.
my first street bike was a 250cc 2 stroke twin that put out 60 - 65hp

I should have specified that 65hp is the best case scenario. A spec ECU, spec fuel, or cheap cylinder platings (to comply with $10,000) could reduce power substantially.

Remember when Moto2 was just a concept in someone's head? The governing body said the engines would make 150hp, but when the engine actually arrived it produced just 125. Moto3 could be substantially less powerful than the theoretical predictions, maybe somewhere around 50-55hp.

Going to a race will never be the same again. I love approaching the circuit hearing the high pitched whine of the 125s and smelling the 2 stroke oil in the air.

Someone should bottle that smell and sell it at races. ;)

15 bikes for a Moto3 manufacturer seems excessive. If you start from MX, there's potentially all 4 Japanese, KTM, Husqarna. You have to think that Aprilia would want to play and there's even people like Serco and GasGas. But it's hard to see anyone but Honda and possibly Aprilia wanting to produce 15 bikes. Don't they want Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, KTM and Husquarna on the grid?

Longer term this looks like perhaps we're closing in on some rules that are similar in flavour to 1995-2000. 1, 2, 4 cylinders, 250-500-1000cc, 6 speeds and max 81mm bore. Perhaps that's all that's needed and we can get rid of fuel limits, engine limits and reduced practice. The problem is getting there while still maintaining the spectacle. With Moto2 now being the problem as that race has been by far the most exciting this year.

I think part of the story regarding MOTO3 is that GP125 has become too much of a clique, lets face it if you arent one of Aprillias golden boys you are not going to get inside the top 10, and Aprillia pretty much dictate who wins Derbi=Aprillia). They also charge an inordinate amount of money for the bikes and the lease also states that you must use only Aprillia parts right down to the last nut and bolt, thus the traditional tuners and engineers dont get a look in.
At least with the new regs there is some scope for the traditional tuners/enigneer to develop something (I know quite a few are already working in that direction)

I don't understand why the drive to the cams is specified to be by chain only. I cannot conceive how and other means would give an unfair advantage. Is this rule designed to favour use of one particular type of motor to suit the current development by certain manufacturers ?

The point of Moto3 is to keep costs contained, and so the decision to make camchains compulsory is to avoid the added expense of gear-driven cams. The engine is supposed to be built to a budget, and that's hard once you start using more complex systems like gear-driven cams.