Moto3 Class Opened For Entries

The major changes to the MotoGP series starting in 2012 are beginning to take shape. Today, the application process opened for the new Moto3 class, which replaces the 125cc two-strokes from next season as the entry-level class in the MotoGP series. The class will see 250cc single-cylinder four-stroke engines take the place of the two strokes, the most competitive of which - the Honda NSF250R - was unveiled officially at Barcelona this weekend.

Entries for the new Moto3 class will come mainly from the current 125cc field, but a few more teams could also enter the fray. Several former 125cc teams - such as Molenaar, which raced last year with Randy Krummenacher and Luis Salom - are looking at their options for returning to the series, and some new teams are also expected to apply. The grid will likely be capped at 40 again, just as happened with Moto2 when the class was first introduced.

While entries have opened for Moto3, the final list of entries for the MotoGP class has yet to be released. Negotiations over the details of the claiming rule are still ongoing, with IRTA and the new teams trying to get concessions out of the manufacturers to make it more attractive to the new entries applying. The parties involved expect all of the issues to be settled by Silverstone, with a list likely to be issued either during or shortly after the British Grand Prix.

Below is the official FIM press release announcing the Moto3 application process:


Moto3 Class Applications for 2012 Season

Teams wishing to be considered for participation in the Moto3 class in 2012 are invited to register their interest with IRTA, via E-mail, to irtauk@aol.com

IRTA will supply eligible teams with a prospectus containing the main conditions of participation. Teams will then have until Friday 1st of July, the first day of the Italian Grand Prix, to submit a detailed application.

FIM, Dorna and IRTA will consider applications at Mugello and selected teams will then be invited to lodge a security deposit with IRTA. The deadline for receipt of the deposit is Friday 12th of August, the first day of the Czech Republic GP.

The final selection of teams will be made by FIM, Dorna and IRTA during the Brno event and a list of accepted teams will then be published.

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Comments

Will it be only Honda engines, like in Moto2, or could the teams choose any manufactures 250 cc four stroke engine?

Engines will be free, but limited in price to 12,000 euros and a manufacturer must be prepared to supply at least 14 riders with engines. So no, not just Hondas, but the way things are looking, it wouldn't surprise me if there were a lot of Hondas on the grid.

Have Honda made any indications as to a maximum number of engines/bikes they are willing to supply?

Assuming the 1 bike per rider rules remain in force after the 4-stroke transition, the prospect of at least half the grid using Honda engines (albeit in a variety of chassis) doesn't seem unreasonable.

Even though this is a rehash of the junior GP class on any given Sunday. Slow will be the name of the game. Like Moto 2 it should throw up some great racing.
Obviously cost saving is the driving force behind the uniformity of engine layout.
But 250 4 stroke singles are too far behind the next step up the ladder, 600 4 stroke 4's.
How I wish they had settled on 350 cc 4 stroke twins for Moto 3. This would have resulted in more manufacturers joining in. No doubt,costs would be higher and the grid more like 24 than the anticipated 40.
Anyway it seems cast in stone for the forseeable future. Honda dominance and perhaps KTM and Yamaha putting in their 2 cents worth.

My preference all along (given that there was intense pressure to kill off the stinkwheels) would have been for 250cc 4T singles for Moto3 and 500cc 4T twins for Moto2. That would have led to a logical progression in engine sizes between the 3 classes, now we are moving back to 1000cc 4-cylinder machines in the big class.

It also would mean that manufacturers could do their development in the small (250cc) class, and this would feed through to the bigger classes. Effectively all you're doing is just adding cylinders. You could even have a Moto1 class of 3 cylinder 750cc bikes (I'm being more than a little facetious here...)

Maybe that's all in Carmen Ezpeleta's grand plan? Who knows...

I bet that was the obvious choice in the beginning, but it seems the 600cc motor based on a production model was the only way they could keep costs down and speed up. I love symmetry as much as anyone, but I understand how it ended up.

I think the competition model is an experiment as much as a prototype engine. The 250 single Moto3 experiment is a test in a similar spirit. I think both are a good idea. You don't know unless you try!

Why will a bike with about the same 50 BHP as a 125 - but with a more user friendly power band be slow? I grant you they will have a weight penalty of 10 kg or so but I suspect that the less knife edge power delivery of a 250 may be adequate compensation.

I actually think that the FIM have got this about right. 2 strokes are to all intense and purposes dead in Europe and I suspect most other markets too. I can't say I'm a big believer in "racing improves the breed" but most of the manufacturers trying to atract new, young customers do.

Good racing happens when lots of competitors are all trying to progress at the same speed. The excitement comes from comparing the skills of those involved in the tussle not whether or not they are half a second slower/faster than last years event.

If we just wanted to watch the fastest thing out there we'd all be watching F1...boring racing almost by definition.

Agree!

If Honda do well, this would impact sales in countries where there are more than 1 motorcycle license regulations. No doubt these 250cc singles may not be the same as street production 250cc, but to the new beginner rider, it does not make a difference. Yamaha had Valentino Edition 125cc underbone and roadbike that sold pretty well. It's marketing power!

How about a desmo 250. Ducati can sit on the 14000rpm limit and don't throw away horsepower pushing valve springs. I think it would easily give the Hondas a run for their money.

I don't like where all this is going. To me, a 250 fourstroke now that has the same power as a 250 fourstroke roadbike in 1988 (CBR250RR's and the like) does not exactly qualify as a GP racer - not to mention that it will be less powerful than a 250 fourstroke GP racer of 1967. GP bikes in all classes should be the pinnacle of motorcycle engineering, not restricted learner bikes. The way I see it, in 2012 we will have only one GP class left, and that one will have a very confusing formula. If all these complicated rules and restrictions are aimed at creating affordable bikes with the same speed, why not put them all on standard Fireblades (and CBR600RR's and CBR250R-singles)? That way it wil surely be just a rider's battle - like in any amateur single-make cup race. I don't see 100.000 people turning up to see those, though.