MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
MotoGP’s greatest paradox: why isn’t Moto2 racing closer?
Moto2 riders use the same engine, tyres, software, fuel, oil and gearbox, so why is the racing more spread out than MotoGP and Moto3?
Dorna’s big push over the past decade has been writing technical regulations that shrink the gap between the best and worst motorcycles, thereby creating thrilling racing that gets hundreds of millions of people turning on their televisions
The premier MotoGP class features many such rules – 81mm bore limit, spec tyres, spec electronics, a relatively high minimum weight limit and so on.
Moto3 is even stricter, with the same tyres, same electronics and engines randomly allocated to riders to prevent factory teams gaining an advantage.
Strictest of all is Moto2, in which riders use the same engine (Triumph’s three-cylinder 765), same tyres (Dunlop), same software (Magneti Marelli), same fuel (Petronas), same oil (Liqui Moli) and same gearbox (no alternative ratios are allowed). Also, more than two thirds of the grid use the same chassis, from German constructor Kalex.
And yet Moto2 creates the most spread-out races across MotoGP’s three categories. Some fans call Moto2 boring, which of course it isn’t. It’s just that the other classes are so scarily close that spectators expect to see vicious multi-riders battles in every race.
So far this year the Moto3 top ten has been covered by an average of 4.6 seconds. In MotoGP the average gap from the winner to tenth place is 15.5 seconds. In Moto2 the average is 20.7 seconds.
It’s not necessarily desirable that the Moto2 pack gets much closer together, but how can it be that what’s essentially a one-make series isn’t as closely contested as MotoGP and Moto3?
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.