Moto3 Final Regulations Announced - The Complexities Of Enforcing Cheap Racing

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With just over a month to go until the Moto3 class replaces the 125cc two-strokes, the Grand Prix Commission has finalized the technical regulations governing the Moto3 class - with one or two relatively minor exceptions.

The rules (reproduced in their entirety below) reaffirm that the Moto3 machines must be a prototype chassis containing a 250cc normally-aspirated four-stroke single, with a maximum bore of 81mm, a spec Dell'Orto ECU, a rev limit of 14,000 rpm, and with no variable valve timing or variable inlet or exhaust tract length, including the use of EXUP-style valves in the exhaust. Throttles must be cable-operated directly by the rider, with no electronics to assist with throttle butterfly opening, though electronic assistance is allowed for helping with engine braking. Only standard gearboxes will be allowed (i.e. no seamless shift systems), and only two ratios per gear are allowed, to be selected at the start of the season.

Most of the detail of the regulations, however, have to do with the cost of the engines. As had been previously announced, a whole raft of rules have been introduced to ensure that engine costs will not spiral out of control. The most prominent of those is a price control, the rules stipulating that an engine (defined as the engine, one complete gearbox, and the throttle bodies and intake system) may cost a maximum of 12,000 euros, and manufacturers have to be prepared to sell engines to a minimum of 15 riders in a season. Manufacturers must submit a price list of spares for the engines, and the cost of all the spares needed to build a single engine must not exceed the price of a complete engine. 

The rules also contain explicit constraints on both manufacturer and aftermarket tuning kits: though such kits and parts are allowed, they will only be given approval if the individual parts cost the same as the parts from the same engine. It will not be possible for manufacturers to offer a 12,000 euro engine and a 100,000 performance kit, as many had feared would be the case. Nor will it be possible for aftermarkets part makers to sell tuning kits at exorbitant prices. If a standard camshaft for a Honda NSF250R costs 500 euros, then anyone producing an improved version of the camshaft must sell that at 500 euros as well. Replacement crankcases, cylinders or cylinder heads are explicitly not allowed, and only stock items will be permitted.

The only exception to the parts list is the slipper clutch. Aftermarket slipper clutch systems are allowed, and they are allowed to cost twice as much as the standard system. But they, too, must be submitted for approval first, and like the engines any parts - both from the manufacturers and from the aftermarkets parts suppliers - the producers must be prepared to supply identical parts to 15 riders during the season. When parts are available, they must be made available to everyone who wants them at the same time, meaning no team will be able to negotiate special treatment and early access to upgraded parts.

Though tuning kits are subject to keen restrictions, the teams themselves may attempt to tune the engines. Though parts may only be replaced by other approved parts, the rules allow for engine internals to be modified by machining, meaning that parts may be lightened, and intake and outtake ports may be polished or port-flowed. 

As in Moto2 and MotoGP, restrictions have been introduced on engine use. All engines will be sealed by MotoGP's technical inspector, with a maximum of 8 engines allowed per rider for a season. In effect, each engine must last for 2 races, with one engine required to do a little more mileage to complete the last of the 17 rounds which Moto3 will compete in next year.

One of the most significant additions is the introduction of a claiming rule, allowing any team to claim the engine of another team for 12,000 euros. The rule is similar to one introduced into MotoGP for the Claiming Rule Teams, and like that rule, the details remain to be worked out completely. The fact that the details have not yet been worked out could be an omen of trouble to come, with the claiming rule in MotoGP still causing problems between the teams and the factories, though the claiming price is much easier to determine for the Moto3 teams.

What is clear from the above is the lengths to which the Grand Prix Commission - or more specifically, Dorna and IRTA, as the two parties most directly involved - have gone to ensure that costs can be kept down in the new class. The restrictions on tuning kits from both the manufacturers and third party aftermarket suppliers were one area of particular concern, with many paddock insiders seeing this as a way of circumventing the engine cost rules. The only tuning option left open is work done by the team itself. Teams without an expert in four-stroke engine preparation my feel forced to go out and hire one, or at least send their engines to specialist tuners to have the engines ported and flowed.

Though the Moto3 rules may make the new class cheaper to enter, it would be foolish to expect that being competitive in the new class will be much cheaper than the 125cc class is currently. There are no restrictions on cost of the chassis, with teams free to spend as much as they wish there. The Moto2 class provides a prime example of how that works, with the class being led by Marc Marquez and the Catalunya Caixa team. The resources being poured into Marquez' team are not far off the amount required to run a satellite MotoGP team, and probably in the region of three times what the mid-pack teams are spending.

So it will be a safe bet that the Aspar, BQR and Ajo teams will be dominating the Moto3 class in the same way they have dominated the 125 classes. The top teams will be able to attract the top talent, afford the best all-round bike package and employ the best mechanics and crew chiefs to run the bikes. They will be able to afford the most testing, the best engine tuners to get the most out of the engines, and the best electronics people to produce the best software maps and traction control strategies (the spec Dell'Orto ECU allows traction control, though only in limited form). The best riders will be on the best bikes, with the best setup, and the most rideable engines.

Of course, only needing to spend 12,000 euros on engines will free up a huge amount of cash to spend elsewhere, and riders, crew chiefs, electronics gurus and mechanics can look forward to pay rises as the market value of their skills rise due to engine costs being limited. Cost cutting in racing remains an illusion, with teams prepared to spend as much money as they can persuade their sponsors to give them. The teams will always manage to find somewhere to spend money, and the most successful teams will continue to be the richest.

Below is the official press release announcing the Moto3 regulations from the FIM:


FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix

Decision of the Grand Prix Commission

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Ignacio Verneda (FIM Executive Director, Sport), Hervé Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA), in the presence of Javier Alonso (Dorna) and M. Paul Butler (Secretary of the meeting), in a meeting held on 02 in Motegi (Japan), unanimously decided the following:

Application 2012

Moto3 Class

Technical Regulations

1. Engine
Engine Specification
1.1 4-stroke reciprocating piston engines only.
1.2 Engine capacity: maximum 250cc.
1.3 Single cylinder only.
1.4 Maximum bore size: 81mm. Oval pistons are not permitted (refer to Art. 2.3.1 of the FIM Grand Prix Regulations).
1.5 Engines must be normally aspirated. No turbo-charging, no super-charging.
1.6 Crankshaft speed limited to maximum: 14,000 rpm.*
1.7 Maximum of 1 ignition driver.*
1.8 Pneumatic and/or hydraulic valve systems are not permitted.
1.9 Valve timing system drive must be by one chain. An intermediate drive gear which rotates on only one axle or rotation centre is allowed in the system (refer to ANNEX1 for some examples of permitted systems).
1.10 Variable valve timing and/or variable valve lift systems are not permitted.
Engine Supply
1.11 The engine is defined as the complete engine including intake system (throttle body, injectors), and one complete transmission.
1.12 The maximum price of the engine must not exceed 12,000 Euros. No optional parts or service contracts may be used to circumvent this price limit.
  • a) If the engine is sold as a base unit plus a “tuning kit” then the total price of original engine & kit must not be more than 12,000 Euros. The base unit manufacturer is considered as the engine manufacturer.
  • b) In order to ensure this price limit, any Team competing in the race will be granted the right to buy the engine used in the race from another Team, at the end of the race for a fixed price of 12,000 Euros (details TBA).
1.13 Each engine manufacturer must undertake to supply sufficient engines and spare parts to supply 15 riders per season, if requested, and is responsible that the same amount of tuning kits (if any, see 1.12) are available, regardless where the tuning kit comes from.
  • a) For a manufacturer entering the Moto3 championship for the first time, the minimum engine supply requirement will be 8 riders during that first season only.
  • b) The minimum supply number may be comprised of complete motorcycles or separate engines. Manufacturers supplying complete motorcycles must allow their customers to also purchase spare complete engines and parts as necessary to complete the season.
  • c) Engine supply requests which comply with the manufacturer’s requirements for payment and terms, will be noted in chronological order to determine the first officially accepted requests up to the minimum requirement.
  • d) This minimum supply applies to each separate engine specification (according to Art. 1.16) offered by the manufacturer.
Engine Parts
1.14 Each engine manufacturer must submit a price and lead-time list of all the parts of the engine as defined in 1.11 and 1.12 (which are considered the “stock” parts) for the season for approval by the Organiser and may not charge more than these published prices. Approval is based on the prices and lead-times being in line with current market norms for these parts and technologies.
  • a) In case the engine is sold as a base unit plus a tuning kit (see 1.12.a) then all the parts of the tuning kit must be included in the above mentioned list, and the parts they replace (if any) will not be listed. Therefore this “stock parts” list will be comprised of either the standard part or any kit part which replaces the standard part. No different options for the same parts are allowed in the list, except for the transmission parts (see 4.2.).
  • b) This list must include the price and lead-time of one complete engine, and also a sum total of all parts required to build one complete engine.
  • c) The following may also be included in the price list:
    • i. A complete engine minus throttle body.
    • ii. Engine maintenance procedures (ie. parts & labour), provided parts and labour charges are clearly itemised.
  • d) Lead-time of complete engines is maximum of 4 calendar months regardless of quantity. Lead-time starts from the official order receipt [see 1.13], or the completion date of the engine entry procedure [see1.16], whichever is the later.
  • e) Updates to the list are permitted at any time, always subject to approval by the Organiser.
  • f) Engine parts not included in the stock parts list (so-called “aftermarket parts”) from third-party suppliers can be used under the following conditions:
    • - The engine manufacturer is not involved in any way in the design, production and/or sale of such parts.
    • - The parts are available to at least the same number of riders as in 1.13.
    • - A price and lead-times list of such parts is submitted to the Organiser for publishing, where the lead-times and the prices are the same as the stock parts. An exception is made for a Slipper Clutch (back-torque limiter clutch) assembly that can be priced as much as double the cost of the stock assembly, if the original is of the conventional “non-slipper” type.
    • - The stock crankcase, cylinder, and cylinder head may not be replaced by aftermarket items.
    • - Updates to the published parts list are permitted at any time, always subject to approval by the Organiser.
    • - Any part that can be obtained by simple machining of a stock part (e.g. polishing/porting/lightening), and generic ancillaries not specialised to the specific engine design (such as bolts, fasteners, filters) are not considered as aftermarket parts, and so no conditions apply.
1.15 In the event of engine updates or upgraded parts being developed, these must be made available to all customers at the same time, and respecting the price limits described in Art. 1.14.
Initial Mapping and Set Up Procedure
1.16 The official ECU start-up procedure is to ensure manufacturers will be supplied with the official ECU with an initial map to suit their engine in time for the first official Moto3 tests. The initial map is intended for safe and trouble-free engine function, and not maximum performance. Performance mapping is the responsibility of the engine manufacturer or the Team.
For an engine to be eligible for the Moto3 class, one of the following two options for the ECU start-up procedure must be followed:
1. Manufacturers will be guaranteed supply of the official ECU with initial maps to suit their engine in time for the first official Moto3 tests provided that, by October 15th of the preceeding year:
  • a) the Moto3 Engine Manufacturer Entry Form is completed and submitted to the organisers (see ANNEX 3),
  • b) two complete and working engines (including throttle body, idle bypass actuator, transmission, sensors, spark plugs, complete wiring harness with ECU connector) and one complete airbox, cooling system, and exhaust are delivered to the organisers for mapping tests (engines will be returned in January of the following year at the latest),
  • c) a deposit of 10,000 Euros is lodged with the organisers.
or
2. Manufacturers can make an agreement with the ECU supplier to carry out their own initial mapping, with the following conditions:
  • a) the Moto3 Engine Manufacturer Entry Form is completed and submitted to the organisers (see ANNEX 3).
  • b) the ECU will be delivered to the manufacturer in the first instance only by the ECU supplier, and the ECU supplier representative must be present to initiate setup of the mapping process.
  • c) the organisers and the ECU supplier provide no guarantee of any completion date for the mapping process.
  • d) there is no set deadline for this second option, but option 1 takes precedence and requests for option 2 made before Oct. 15th, 2011 will be processed at a time determined by the ECU supplier.
 
2. Inlet, Fuel System & Lubricant
2.1 Variable-length inlet tract systems are not permitted.
2.2 Only one throttle control valve is permitted to control the power demand by the rider, which must be controlled exclusively by mechanical means (eg. cable) operated by the rider only. No other powered moving devices (except injectors and the idle control air bypass) are permitted in the inlet tract before the engine intake valve. No interruption of the mechanical connection between the rider’s input and the throttle is allowed.
Idle speed (including engine braking) adjustment by means of an air bypass system, controlled by the ECU is allowed (see also 5.4).* The maximum size of such air bypass is 12mm equivalent diameter, control systems may include a butterfly-type control valve.
2.3 Fuel injectors must be located upstream of the engine intake valves.
2.4 Maximum of 2 fuel injectors and 2 independent fuel injector drivers.*
2.5 Relative fuel pressure must not exceed 5.0 bar.
2.6 Other than engine sump breather gases, only air or air/fuel mixture is permitted in the inlet tract and combustion chamber.
2.7 Only fuel from the official supplier may be used, which must comply with the FIM “Moto3” specification (TBA).
2.8 Only engine lubricating oil from the official supplier may be used (specifications TBA).
 
3. Exhaust system
3.1 Variable length exhaust systems are not permitted.
3.2 No moving parts (e.g. valves, baffles) are allowed in the exhaust system.
3.3 Noise tests will be according to Article 2.14 of the FIM Grand Prix Regulations. Test rpm: 5,500. Maximum permitted noise level: 115 dB/A.
 
4. Transmission
4.1 A maximum of 6 gearbox speeds is permitted.
4.2 A maximum of 2 possible gear ratios for each gearbox speed, and 2 possible ratios for the primary drive gear is permitted. Teams will be required to declare the two gearbox ratios chosen for each gear at the beginning of the season, and only these ratios may be used during the entire season.
The alternate gearbox ratios and primary gears must have the same list price and lead-times as the original supplied gearbox (see Art. 1.11 to 1.15).
4.3 Gearbox systems must be of the conventional type. That is: constant-mesh with engagement dogs as an integral part of the gear, actuated by shift forks and shift cam or drum, with only one set of gears engaging at one time. So-called “seamless shift” transmissions (also known as Automated Manual Transmission, Instantaneous Gearchange System) are not permitted.
4.4 Electro-mechanical or electro-hydraulic clutch actuating systems are not permitted.
 
5. Ignition, Electronics & Data-Logging
5.1 a) Only the ignition/fuel injection control units (ECU) approved by the series Organiser are allowed. This ECU must remain unmodified in hardware and software, as delivered by the Organiser.
b) During Moto3 race events only the official “Race” version of ECU software supplied by the ECU manufacturer may be used to write to (flash) the ECU. The only permitted changes are the setting (tuning) options included in this software.
c) The Technical Director may require the team to change the ECU on any machine for another standard one at any time.
5.2 This official ECU will include an engine rpm limiter.
5.3 This official ECU will include an inboard data logger, and no other additional data loggers may be used.
The datalogger download connector must be of the standard type as detailed in Annex 5 (see Compulsory engine management features).
Data analysis software is not controlled.
5.4 Recommended engine management and electronics features:
- dashboard: Dell’Orto part # 16001, see ANNEX 4,
- idle speed control stepper motor (ref. 2.2): Dell’Orto part # 17258, see ANNEX 4,
- UEGO (O2) sensor: Bosch LSU 4.9,
- Knock sensor: Bosch or NGK piezo-ceramic
- two timing options:
  • 1. only crankshaft pickup: the crankshaft timing pattern being the “n-2” type, where “n” can be from 12 to 30 (for optimum performance it is advised that the first tooth “after” the missing ones is corresponding to the top dead centre), or
  • 2. crankshaft and camshaft pickups: the crankshaft timing wheel having from 12 to 30 teeth and the camshaft timing pattern being 1 single tooth.
The above mentioned features are guaranteed to work properly, different choices and the relevant development costs and timings must be agreed separately with the ECU manufacturer.
5.5 Compulsory engine management features:
- ignition must be of the inductive type, the maximum ignition coil current must be less than 30A,
- the throttle position sensor voltage output must be 0-5V,
- the crankshaft pickup sensor must be of the inductive type, voltage at 300rpm must be at least 0,8V and maximum voltage must be less than 100V,
- the camshaft pickup sensor, if any (see timing option no. 2 in 5.4), must be of the Hall-effect type, “0” voltage must be less than 0,5V, “1” voltage must be 4,5±0,5V,
- a battery is compulsory; proper engine management function is ensured only when the battery voltage is in the 8÷18V range.
- the datalogger download connector on the harness must be of the Lemo PEN.1F.308.XLM type, connected as detailed in Annex 5.
* All the parameters identified by this symbol are set/controlled via the above mentioned ECU.
Refer to ANNEX 2 & 2A in the appendix for ECU dimensions, connector and pinout.
 
6. Chassis
6.1 Chassis must be a prototype, the design and construction of which is free within the constraints of the FIM Grand Prix Technical Regulations.
6.2 Minimum total weight of Motorcycle + Rider: 148kg
6.3 Brake discs must be made from ferrous materials.
6.4 Suspension systems must be of a conventional, mechanical type. Active and semi-active suspension systems and/or electronic control of any aspect of the suspension and ride height is not permitted. Springing must be by means of coil springs made of ferrous materials.
6.5 Referring to Article 2.7.7.9 of the FIM Grand Prix Regulations, the lower fairing minimum capacity to retain spilled engine fluids is 2.5 litres for Moto3.
 
7. Wheels & Tyres
7.1 The materials permitted for wheel construction are Magnesium and Aluminium alloys.
7.2 The only permitted wheel rim sizes are:
  • Front, 2.50” x 17”
  • Rear, 3.50” x 17”
7.3 The number and specification of tyres allocated to each rider per event will be controlled.
7.4 Only tyres from the official supplier may be used.
 
8. Materials & Construction
8.1 Construction materials must comply with Article 2.7.10 of the FIM Grand Prix Regulations.
8.2 Camshafts, crankshafts, piston pins must be made from ferrous materials. Inserts of a different material are allowed in the crankshaft for the sole purpose of balancing.
8.3 Engine crankcases, cylinder blocks and cylinder heads must be made from cast aluminium alloys.
8.4 Pistons must be made from an aluminium alloy.
8.5 Connecting rods, valves and valve springs must be made from either ferrous or Titanium-based alloys.
8.6 Definitions:
“X-based alloy” or “X materials” means the element X (e.g. Fe, for ferrous or iron-based alloy) must be the most abundant element in the alloy, on a % w/w basis.
 
9. General
9.1 Number of machines: the team can present only one motorcycle per rider for technical control. Replacement motorcycles may only be used subject to Article 1.15.3 of the FIM Grand Prix Regulations
9.2 Number of engines: a maximum of 8 engines per rider may be used during all Grand Prix race events comprising the season. A rebuilt engine will be counted as a new engine (see Art. 9.4).
9.3 Teams will be required to register engines at Technical Control on the day before the first practice at each event. Such registered engines will be sealed and seals may not be removed except under supervision of the Technical Director and staff. Only sealed and registered engines may be used on track at Grand Prix race events. An engine presented for Technical Control or used on track without intact security seals will be counted as a new engine.
9.4 1) Engine seals: The engines will be sealed by means of wiring and identification tabs and/or other systems, so that major components (including but not limited to: crankshaft and it’s bearings, conrod and it’s bearings, piston, piston rings and piston pin, valves and their springs, camshafts) can not be replaced. Sealing positions must be approved by the Technical Director so that:
  • a) the timing system is accessible for the sole purpose of adjusting the valve clearance (e.g. the cylinder head cover/cam cover can be removed from the cylinder head), but valve shims must be the only parts that can be replaced (or valve clearance adjusters can be reached) without breaking the security seals. If the engine design does not allow such adjustments without removing security seals, then valve shims cannot be replaced (e.g. it must not be possible to remove camshafts and rocker arms, if any, without breaking the seals).
  • b) the cylinder head and the cylinder (if any) cannot be removed from the engine (e.g. the cylinder head is wired to the cylinder and the cylinder is wired to the engine crankcase),
  • c) the crankcase cannot be opened (e.g. the crankcase halves are wired together).
2) All parts that are accessible without removing the security seals may be replaced. Breaking or removing the security seals or wiring without supervision by the Technical Director or staff will be deemed to be “engine rebuilding” and engines with broken, tampered with or missing security seals will be treated as a new engine in the allocation.
3) As an exception to the above, it will be possible for the 2012 season to break the seals if the following conditions apply:
  • a) under supervision of the Technical Director and staff (details TBA),
  • b) with the sole purpose of:
    • I. changing the gearbox ratios (see Art. 4.2), on an engine design where seals need to be broken for internal gearbox access.
    • II. replacing the timing chain, on an engine design where seals need to be broken to access the timing chain.
  • c) operations b) I and b) II may be performed once per race event per rider at a time and place determined by the Technical Director (details TBA), i.e. the operations mentioned in b) I. and b) II. must be performed at the same time, if both are required.
  • d) at the sole discretion of the Technical Director the supervised work periods may be used to inspect, clean and repair damage to sealed engine parts caused solely by a crash. The only parts that may be replaced during such supervised repairs are non-moving items (eg. covers, cases and related seals), exhibiting crash damage as determined by the Technical Director.
9.5 Apart from the above regulations, all other construction criteria, dimensions and specifications are as per the FIM Grand Prix Regulations.

 

With just over a month to go until the Moto3 class replaces the 125cc two-strokes, the Grand Prix Commission has finalized the technical regulations governing the Moto3 class - with one or two relatively minor exceptions.The rules (reproduced in their entirety below) reaffirm that the Moto3 machines must be a prototype chassis containing a 250cc normally-aspirated four-stroke single, with a maximum bore of 81mm, a spec Dell'Orto ECU, a rev limit of 14,000 rpm, and with no variable valve timing or variable inlet or exhaust tract length, including the use of EXUP-style valves in the exhaust. Throttles must be cable-operated directly by the rider, with no electronics to assist with throttle butterfly opening, though electronic assistance is allowed for helping with engine braking. Only standard gearboxes will be allowed (i.e. no seamless shift systems), and only two ratios per gear are allowed, to be selected at the start of the season.

Comments

Here we go again

Wasn't it right about this time two years ago that the two-stroke purists (myself included) were up in arms about the passing of the smoker era? Then, just a few months later, the groans about the lack of performance of the new Moto2 600cc machines (even slower than - gasp - supersport bikes).
What a travesty it has become.
It didn't pan out exactly as predicted, did it? We've been blessed with some of the most exciting on-track action we've seen from any support class in recent years. Although it hasn't turned into a very reliable predictor of future MotoGP success, it has boosted the grid numbers and allowed for an influx of bold and interesting chassis designers. I think Moto3 will have a similar effect.
Now, I'll admit that I whined about the switch from 500s to 990s, and then to 800s, and then to control tires, and then to Moto2. And now I'll join the chorus lamenting the end of the two-stroke era - most likely forever - but I still look eagerly towards the future of grand prix motorcycle racing with an excitement of what's to come.

Total votes: 53

Very exciting times ahead!

As usual, excellent work David. Though I must say I disagree with the richest teams always being guaranteed winning. I believe the rules outlined above give anyone with serious intent a fighting chance in this new class. Though chassis costs aren't controlled, 99% of teams are bound to go with the tried and true alloy twin-spar and Öhlins all around. Brembo brakes and OZ or Marchesini wheels too. I don't expect (though certainly hope) any hub-centered steering or radical suspension and chassis systems to appear. This new class should be the perfect proving ground for them though.

I'm waiting for Moto2 to have a set of rules like this! Set the max engine costs at $20,000 then give them a spec ECU and well defined engine design restrictions then see what happens

Total votes: 58

Occupy Pit Lane

Perhaps we should protest against the wealthy in racing on behalf of the poor?

Total votes: 50

Nico

Well this is one way to get Nico Terol out of the 125cc class!

Total votes: 63

Terrific

So when Moto2 teams can build their own engines there will be 3 completely different engines for the 3 classes. Who comes up with this foolishness? No manufacturer is going to design, engineer, prototype & test 3 different engines. I am completely happy for someone to tell me I am wrong but why not have 1000/4 or 750/3 (MotoGP), 500/2 (Moto2) & 250/1 (Moto3) for the 3 classes. Same cylinder, just more or less of them, 1 design & development cost. Worked in 2-stroke so why not 4-stroke?

Total votes: 47

Well, let's see: -MotoGP, 4

Well, let's see:
-MotoGP, 4 cylinders, 250cc each, 81mm bore, 5 bar fuel pressure limit.
-Moto3, 1 cylinder, 250cc, 81mm bore, 5 bar fuel pressure limit.

Crazy.

Oh, but btw, 2 stroke cylinders are almost completely independent. 4 strokes benefit from combined exhaust...

Total votes: 54

Engine design

If you ask any engine manufacturer they will tell you that designing the cylinder is where all of the cost is & any change will require a redesign. The Moto3 motor will have different valve train & actuation, different induction & exhaust systems, different electronics so there will not be any crossover between classes. If people are happy with a hotted up MX motor being the power for a supposed prototype world championship then I'll be quiet.

Total votes: 53

Porting

While some teams will try, it seems unlikely to me that a guy with a porting tool is going to do a better job than the company who designed the engine, used an expensive gas-flow simulation program and then cut the optimised design with a CNC machine. Still, I guess they needed to leave teams the option of spending too much money somewhere (including buying new heads when it doesn't work).

Total votes: 55

Production tolerances

It really depends on how careful the manufacturer has been when producing the engines. Plus the porting can be matched to the characteristics of the FI and exhaust system chosen.

Of course, I completely agree that for the number of engines likely to be produced, it really should be pretty damned close to blue-printed, so there shouldn't be much to gain. However 'not much' could be the difference between a win and a podium.

Total votes: 55

Location of development

I think the motors from the factory should be crate sealed and held by race control until needed. The arguments that will arise from cheating will mar this adventure if the location of developments is not localized to either a producer or consumer. Aftermarket bits are great, but leave that to production bikes. There should be no modification of the engine package at all. Job done, 'no' cheating, the goals of cheap racing are resolved, the goals of engine competition are resolved (between producers, differentiating from Moto2) and teams get to develop riders, build chassis' and gather crews that put those two aspects together.

Total votes: 51

Smart people arn't always working for the factory.

There are plenty of examples where smart people have taken the original engine design and thru a process of development and experimentation have improved horsepower etc. For example, The Mazda factory in Japan bought rotary engines built by Australian engine builders to find out how they were producing more power than their factory team engines.

Ofcourse, if you go to some bloke with a die grinder then you deserve what you get.

Total votes: 59

claiming rule?

what i do not understand is how can there be a limited amount of allowed engines per year and a claiming rule at the same time? so what would a team do if another one just buys away all of their engines after the first 8 races??

Total votes: 54

Same as in MotoGP

You are allowed an additional engine if it's bought. Though this could be manipulated by teams/factories, as David wrote about before, I think the latest claiming rules eliminate the loophole. Or no?

Total votes: 41

The emporer's new clothes, again.

Oh no I can't enter my 1974 250 Ducati road bike engine, it is too exotic with that gear driven camshaft. Just like in MotoGP where you cannot enter a Desmosedici road bike engine, bore size is too big for the "prototype" class. How about we just have side valve engines? You can't have gear driven cams but you can have data loggers and all the employees to go with it. Want to cut costs? How about a rule that says there are a maximum of three people allowed in the team, including the rider. Banning gear driven cams, what a joke! Claiming rules for engines that cost peanuts and hordes of staff allowed that cost a fortune. Words fail me!

Total votes: 56

So?

You can't run a 2-stroke either. So what? You can't run an 1100cc motor of a V6 in motogp... so what?
The rules are announced, people get to build according to the rules. Let's just hope they stay constant for a while.

Here's a radical idea: in a few years, a data guy won't be someone you hire in, he or she will be at the core of the team, ideally the crew chief. The crew chief is, after all, supposed to be the brains of the operation, who prioritises tasks and decides on the direction of changes. It seem to me that it would be best if that person is able to interpret the data himself, rather than getting a reduced version of it via "the data guy".

Moreover, tomorrow's crew chiefs are working their way up through the teams now. The guys who are currently programming and analysing the data are in a position to have a much better over-view of how a bike works and how it and the rider respond to changes, than a guy whose expertise is in torquing big-end bearings.

If the brains of the operation is not up to learning to read data, that team is not going to be competitive with one with a smarter chief. And it doesn't deserve to be.

Total votes: 55

so what

When the 800 rules were introduced there were some people who said "rules are rules" etc. The rest of us, including the riders, said it was rubbish and the rest is history. So you can't have a data guy, so what? Do we need a "data guy" to race a 250 single four stroke? Maybe in MotoGP your version of the future will be correct. This thread is about the "tiddler" class and keeping costs down.

Total votes: 55

What then?

Are you suggesting no engine rules at all (or just a capacity limit), and ban data logging?

Sounds like the old philosophy of "set up doesn't matter, the rider just needs to ride the wheels off it".

The riders who do well under that system usually go pretty much nowhere once they step up a level or two... (except into the gravel traps).

Total votes: 54

Hydraulic and pneumatic

Valve operation by Hydrualic or Pneumatic means is banned. Desmodromic action is not. Valve springs, well, par for the course of max 14000rpm limitation.
Thanks for for the lowdown David, as proposed but not yet cast in stone.
I agree with your thinking that inevitably the more buck you have,the bigger the bang you will get across Moto3.
To turn full circle,the cream will rise to the top and gain the advantage, technically and financially.
Moto 2 had its variable inception year. Tallent and teams are settling into a pattern of haves and have nots. Factory chassis vs sattelite chassis. Moto 3 will be great next year,but will settle into the same pattern as Moto 2 come 2013.
The uncontrolable variable is always going to be the rider.
Instrumentation and technological advances have limitations.
Next thing we will hear is that all riders will be fitted with Piezo-electric transducers coupled to Lithium battery and microscopic data logger to monitor clutch lever control. Crikey,I'm getting old,but I do look forward to GP across all classes next year. Just maybe corporate conglomerates are sending GP into a downward spiral whereby prototype = sterotype. Robotic. Instrumentation and Control. Thankfully,the higher powers still enable the human organism (rider), a little input on the day.

Total votes: 49

Moto2, version 2?

I wonder... given they've specified the same 81mm bore as for MotoGP, they may just be thinking of modularity. The moto2 rules came in a bit of a rush so there really wasn't time to get prototype engines up and running, but maybe in a few years, if there are a number of competitive moto3 engine builders... a call for 500cc twins?

A 500cc v-twin, 14000 rpm, maybe 110hp, nice and narrow so doesn't require a bulbous frame... now that's a nice idea :)

Total votes: 57

Indeed...

...but without the tendency for inside bits to suddenly become outside bits...

Total votes: 57

cannibalism

MotoGP and WSBK are cannibalizing one another. Perhaps WSBK doesn't feature 250cc singles, but the price controls, homologation requirements, and strict technical regulations continue to push prototype racing towards production racing.

Ultimately, accessibility is the only real difference between production racing and prototype racing. Production equipment is supposed to be available to everyone with purchasing power. Prototype equipment is generally quite hard to acquire b/c production volume is low, technology is sensitive, and costs are high.

If Moto3 guarantees equipment to everyone, is it prototype racing?

The FIM are apparently allowing MotoGP and WSBK to differentiate according to the "street-legal" and "racing-only". Unless the vehicles are fundamentally different in their appearance, it won't work. The FIA played this game for decades, and it always ends badly.

Follow the fundamental, substantive differentiator of prototype and production--accessibility. Production bikes and production racing equipment can be purchased by anyone. Controls are placed on the bikes to ensure parity, and to eliminate proprietary technology. Manufacturers play for sales. Participants play b/c the playing field is level. Teams play for profit. Fans watch b/c production racing is a human sport with machines. Prototype racing, on the other hand, is an engineering contest with human beings, but it is inherently superior to automobile racing b/c the human being plays a much larger role. Deregulate. Use the tires to control performance, and let manufacturers use whatever cylinder count, displacement, fuel, fuel capacity, valve count, etc. based upon their budget, company policy, and FIM safety guidelines.

Moto3 is not a problem by itself, but it is representative of Dorna policy for all prototype racing.

Total votes: 48

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