Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Debate and discussion about the feeder classes of MotoGP, including the fabulous 250s, the thrilling 125s, and the madness that is the Red Bull Rookies
Rockster
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Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by Rockster »

(My first New Topic attempt - be gentle with me!)

Of all the Grand Prix racing this series (and indeed last season too) then for me the Moto3 event has carried the day every time.

Consistently cracking, hard, competitive racing - edge-of-the-seat stuff, & great to watch. Far better in my view than Moto2 and MotoGP, despite the star names littering the MotoGP line-up.

So my question is two-fold:

a) If the definition of great racing is the actual quality of the contest and the depth of the competitive field, then does this make Moto3 the actual premier class on a race weekend?

b) If we actually get far better racing from a field of 250cc singles - then doesn't this blow the theory that we must have the very fastest, most technologically advanced machines possible in the 'big class' right out of the water?

(Footnote to b. - I'm really, really hoping that Dorna see just how good Moto3 is, and don't foul it up by making rules changes that spoil the balance and racing - I'm thinking pending rev-limits to suit Honda and not KTM here as an example)

(Footnote overall: Yes I know I'm asking a loaded question. I'm saying that a great racing contest trumps a technical war every time, and that the ongoing focus on high-tech and data is preventing MotoGP from being the truly epic big boys contest that perhaps it really could be with a change in focus. I'd like to know what others think of this. Thanks.).

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Kropotkin
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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by Kropotkin »

The real reason that Moto3 is such great racing (and the same holds true for WSBK) is because the riders make a lot of mistakes. In Moto3, it is a lot of hotheaded teenagers all trying to win it every lap. They attempt passes which aren't there, mess up, then have to catch back up again. They can do that because the people who benefited from their mistakes are also hotheaded teenagers trying to win it every lap, who also make mistakes.

Go back to some of the great racing in, for example, 2005, 2006, and you see riders making a lot of mistakes, but being able to compensate because everyone else is making mistakes. The level of riding has increased massively in the past 10 years, riders simply do not make mistakes. For proof of that, look at the analysis timesheets on the MotoGP.com website: riders punching out strings of 10 or 20 laps all within a tenth of a second. Almost inhuman perfection.

Want to make MotoGP more exciting? Put worse riders on the bikes.
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Rockster
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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by Rockster »

Kropotkin wrote:The real reason that Moto3 is such great racing (and the same holds true for WSBK) is because the riders make a lot of mistakes. In Moto3, it is a lot of hotheaded teenagers all trying to win it every lap. They attempt passes which aren't there, mess up, then have to catch back up again. They can do that because the people who benefited from their mistakes are also hotheaded teenagers trying to win it every lap, who also make mistakes.

Go back to some of the great racing in, for example, 2005, 2006, and you see riders making a lot of mistakes, but being able to compensate because everyone else is making mistakes. The level of riding has increased massively in the past 10 years, riders simply do not make mistakes. For proof of that, look at the analysis timesheets on the MotoGP.com website: riders punching out strings of 10 or 20 laps all within a tenth of a second. Almost inhuman perfection.

Want to make MotoGP more exciting? Put worse riders on the bikes.
Ah, but would the existing riders make more mistakes if they didn't have all the electronics masking / correcting them? As I have blithered on about in another thread - IS it really the riders being metronomically practically perfect - or is it the equipment making it so.

I 100% agree that what makes racing good is the mistakes - the natural human error factor rather than perfection.
After all you can only get to 100% - you cannot exceed that - but you can fall below perfect more than the next guy, and lose time. You only MAKE time back when you ride faster AND make less mistakes, OR the other guy makes an error which compensates for the one you made earlier.

As electronics don't make mistakes and stay consistent to their optimal programming, but humans do make errors, then its natural for me to question just what it really is that is keeping the error count and the crashes down over a season? The electronics has to play a big part in it I think.

For one thing - with 250+ Hp, then the opportunity to make big mistakes when the teenage hotheads only get maybe (guessing here) 80 Hp is 3x higher - without electronics that is. If a MotoGP bike should be 3x the challenge to master, then the error count should be much higher than it is IMO.

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Kropotkin
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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by Kropotkin »

Rockster wrote: Ah, but would the existing riders make more mistakes if they didn't have all the electronics masking / correcting them? As I have blithered on about in another thread - IS it really the riders being metronomically practically perfect - or is it the equipment making it so.
It really is the riders. It started out with Stoner, who was perfect every lap on the hunk o' junk that was the Ducati. Lorenzo followed suit, Rossi upped his game, as did Pedrosa, Lorenzo further perfected it. It's the riders.
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Rockster
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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by Rockster »

Kropotkin wrote:
Rockster wrote: Ah, but would the existing riders make more mistakes if they didn't have all the electronics masking / correcting them? As I have blithered on about in another thread - IS it really the riders being metronomically practically perfect - or is it the equipment making it so.
It really is the riders. It started out with Stoner, who was perfect every lap on the hunk o' junk that was the Ducati. Lorenzo followed suit, Rossi upped his game, as did Pedrosa, Lorenzo further perfected it. It's the riders.
I seem to recall that even Stoner used to throw that Ducati at the scenery quite a lot, which if nothing else showed just how hard he was trying, and how close to the limit he pushed every time to be competitive. That's both human brilliance and human error there for me in the one guy.
The other 'aliens' with Lorenzo chief among them for robotic performance? I can see that for sure. It still doesn't mean that they aren't getting 'help' though - as we discussed before - those systems wouldn't be the biggest area of investment and manpower if they weren't vitally important.

I don't believe that any of these guys could get these bikes to the flag in as short a time and without more errors and possible crashes if they didn't have the electronics helping out. That still means they get the very best electronic 'help' as they have the very best factory bikes and teams behind them - which still means their performances are enhanced beyond what their skill alone could achieve.

Perhaps we should look at Electronic Rider Aids as the Anabolic Steroids of Motorcycle Racing? Its cheating, but its really, really hard to tell just who has what, and just how much enhancement it makes to the performance?

Rockster
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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by Rockster »

Actually I didn't want to get this bogged down too much on a discussion that is ongoing elsewhere.

I was more interested in just how others see Moto3. Do they think its better racing than MotoGP, and do they enjoy it more? Its certainly true from my view.

Honestly - if I was told I could only watch one race or the other, I'd plump for Moto3 - its simply much, much better racing to watch and far more entertaining generally for me.

The quality of Moto3 as perceived by the viewer raises a lot of interesting questions, which might actually suggest that the established perception of MotoGP may or may not be right.

All I tend to see of MotoGP (& bike racing generally) is fans discussing (mostly) the performance of rider A versus rider B, C or whoever. This suggests that its the race / contest among the riders that is the area of biggest interest, rather than the actual machines or technology. Sure these are of interest too, but not to anything like the level expressed in the riders themselves (an awful lot of fans don't seem to understand any of the technology much at all really)

As Moto3 treats the fans to a great race and contest among riders, then arguably it provides far more of what the fans watch bike racing for than MotoGP does? Hence the question posed by the thread - to get people thinking about what they watch, and why, and what they enjoy about it the most?

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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by wedge »

What makes Moto3 slightly less spectacular for me is the fact that there is so much overtaking, it almost makes is meaningless. By that I mean, rider A over takes rider B and I don't get particularly excited because I *know* that rider B will be able to stick with him and pass him back, and so on and so forth. You don't get the element of suspense I guess.

Of course I do LOVE watching these guys making pass after pass, there's just something missing that makes it truly exciting.

In MotoGP on the other hand, someone makes a pass and you never really know what happens next. Will the passed rider fight back straight away? Will he tag along and get him next lap? Wait till the last corner? Or will he just fall backwards? That's were the excitement comes from I think. Also, I think the spectacle of the GP bikes making passes and the sheer speed they go adds a little extra.

That said, I still love Moto3 :D

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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by Cobbett »

Kropotkin wrote: The level of riding has increased massively in the past 10 years, riders simply do not make mistakes. For proof of that, look at the analysis timesheets on the MotoGP.com website: riders punching out strings of 10 or 20 laps all within a tenth of a second. Almost inhuman perfection.
Aye, and in different contexts both Rossi and Crutchlow have commented on this recently: VR, in saying that he thought he was riding better than ever, underlining this point, that earlier in the noughties you could ride within yourself and then actually race over the last couple of laps, whereas now if you don't bang in your best lap every lap the other aliens are out of sight; and CC, in reflecting on the wisdom or otherwise of Miller's leap into the class, remarking that the issue wasn't (as others had warned) the power, it was that in Moto 3 it was all about strategy and slipstreaming in crazy bunches, trying different lines, whereas as DE says here the top guys are simply metronomic over the race.

Rockster
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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by Rockster »

wedge wrote:What makes Moto3 slightly less spectacular for me is the fact that there is so much overtaking, it almost makes is meaningless. By that I mean, rider A over takes rider B and I don't get particularly excited because I *know* that rider B will be able to stick with him and pass him back, and so on and so forth. You don't get the element of suspense I guess.

Of course I do LOVE watching these guys making pass after pass, there's just something missing that makes it truly exciting.

In MotoGP on the other hand, someone makes a pass and you never really know what happens next. Will the passed rider fight back straight away? Will he tag along and get him next lap? Wait till the last corner? Or will he just fall backwards? That's were the excitement comes from I think. Also, I think the spectacle of the GP bikes making passes and the sheer speed they go adds a little extra.

That said, I still love Moto3 :D
I know several people who used to say similar things about F1 as you say about MotoGP above (this was the old F1, not the current weirdness that I cannot see the point of, and don't watch unless I REALLY have nothing better to do). These F1 fans were glued to their seats, and thought it was because the race action was mesmerising stuff. Questioned carefully though, so they actually started to consider things more carefully than they would normally - and it turned out that what they were actually doing was not daring to miss a moment of the 2 hour race - in case they missed the only darn overtake or interesting thing to happen in 120 minutes! F1 was actually the motorsport equivalent of a suspense thriller movie - lots of waiting about with little of interest going on, waiting for that one killer moment to happen.

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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by JanBros »

moto3 can never be the premier class as long as it sounds like a too many vuvuzela's at the same place :(
Bi-stroker Parallelus Bi-cylindricus

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Tourn46
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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

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JanBros wrote:moto3 can never be the premier class as long as it sounds like a too many vuvuzela's at the same place :(
:lol:

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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by Grahluk »

JanBros wrote:moto3 can never be the premier class as long as it sounds like a too many vuvuzela's at the same place :(
I like to think of them sounding more like a pack of rabid peccaries.

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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by oldboyonrgv »

But the bikes are like little jewels - I would love to have one in my dining room just to look at....

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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by Fingernails »

oldboyonrgv wrote:But the bikes are like little jewels - I would love to have one in my dining room just to look at....
Do you have 85,000 euros sitting around not being used?

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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

Kropotkin wrote:The real reason that Moto3 is such great racing (and the same holds true for WSBK) is because the riders make a lot of mistakes. In Moto3, it is a lot of hotheaded teenagers all trying to win it every lap. They attempt passes which aren't there, mess up, then have to catch back up again. They can do that because the people who benefited from their mistakes are also hotheaded teenagers trying to win it every lap, who also make mistakes.

Go back to some of the great racing in, for example, 2005, 2006, and you see riders making a lot of mistakes, but being able to compensate because everyone else is making mistakes. The level of riding has increased massively in the past 10 years, riders simply do not make mistakes. For proof of that, look at the analysis timesheets on the MotoGP.com website: riders punching out strings of 10 or 20 laps all within a tenth of a second. Almost inhuman perfection.

Want to make MotoGP more exciting? Put worse riders on the bikes.
I don't think for a moment that Lorenzo is significantly better as a rider than Max Biaggi was in his heyday, or even Marquez is more so than Freddie Spencer. What has changed is the technology; the chassis and materials technology that allow the movement of the bike to happen in a more predictable manner, the tyre technology which barely degrades over the course of a race and is more predictable, the electronics and traction control that provide power in a measured way. All of these things allow the rider to reach the limits of the bike, and to stay at that limit for longer. They're not making mistakes because the technology surrounding the function of the bike, and its handling, is better in every way.

Rossi has said as much as this in his interviews, and Stoner just the other day - the modern GP machines are so technically impressive that they have made modern GPs a tour-de-force in efficient application of energy from throttle hand to a racetrack, but unfortunately this doesn't lead to the kind of dynamism that you associate with Moto3-type racing.

Of course the GP riders are more accomplished than those in Moto3, but with the narrower power bands, smaller tyres and limits on electronics and chassis technology, I think they are also harder to ride at the limit. Of course, add a bit of youthful exhuberance and take away some imagination..

It was interesting watching the WSBK round at PI the other weekend. The tyres didn't last the full race and there has been a reduction in electronic aids - both of these things resulted in riders moving forwards and backwards through the pack, and a hell of a lot more tussling as this happened. Contrast with the GPs over recent years, where in most cases the bikes hit a lap time (that the bike is capable of producing) and then that's it for the rest of the race.

Anyway, turned into a bit of an essay! In conclusion - yes the current generation of riders are bloody fantastic, but it's not just that. A lot of it is also due to the character difference in the bikes, and the technology employed.

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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by kenup283 »

Rockster wrote:(My first New Topic attempt - be gentle with me!)

Of all the Grand Prix racing this series (and indeed last season too) then for me the Moto3 event has carried the day every time.

Consistently cracking, hard, competitive racing - edge-of-the-seat stuff, & great to watch. Far better in my view than Moto2 and MotoGP, despite the star names littering the MotoGP line-up.

So my question is two-fold:

a) If the definition of great racing is the actual quality of the contest and the depth of the competitive field, then does this make Moto3 the actual premier class on a race weekend?

b) If we actually get far better racing from a field of 250cc singles - then doesn't this blow the theory that we must have the very fastest, most technologically advanced machines possible in the 'big class' right out of the water?

(Footnote to b. - I'm really, really hoping that Dorna see just how good Moto3 is, and don't foul it up by making rules changes that spoil the balance and racing - I'm thinking pending rev-limits to suit Honda and not KTM here as an example)

(Footnote overall: Yes I know I'm asking a loaded question. I'm saying that a great racing contest trumps a technical war every time, and that the ongoing focus on high-tech and data is preventing MotoGP from being the truly epic big boys contest that perhaps it really could be with a change in focus. I'd like to know what others think of this. Thanks.).

The word "Premier class" is just made up and repeated over and over to make MotoGP clearly the top of the ladder. It s application is largely a new term and part of the marketing and branding of the classes. Also anything accomplished in those other categories gets devalued as they are simply not the Preimer Class but development classes.

I see Moto3 as exiting because the battle between the factories and level of raw application technology, hp to displacment, aerodynamics, weight balance and handling, etc. I belive that there are many more intersting technical stories to be told in Moto3 than MotoGP, but it's just not the Preimer class so a book or article on Moto3 Technology wont sell like one on MotoGP by design.

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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by Kropotkin »

kenup283 wrote: The word "Premier class" is just made up and repeated over and over to make MotoGP clearly the top of the ladder. It s application is largely a new term and part of the marketing and branding of the classes. Also anything accomplished in those other categories gets devalued as they are simply not the Preimer Class but development classes.
Actually, I find myself using premier class because you can't use MotoGP without giving the impression you are ignoring the 500 era, you can't use 500 GP because we are not racing 500s any more, and you can't use GP, because there are three classes in GPs. Sometimes, it is the only option.
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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by Tourn46 »

kenup283 wrote: The word "Premier class" is just made up and repeated over and over to make MotoGP clearly the top of the ladder. It s application is largely a new term and part of the marketing and branding of the classes. Also anything accomplished in those other categories gets devalued as they are simply not the Preimer Class but development classes.
Is it not top of the ladder though?

Who devalues the wins in the lower classes?

What class to riders aspire to be part of?

I'm not typing this to be argumentative, but why shouldn't it be billed as the premier class? It has the top riders, it has the most advanced machinery, it has the biggest sponsors, the biggest budgets, the biggest manufacturers.

I'm not sure why it shouldn't be described as the premier class, because it certainly fits the bill in many categories.

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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by Fingernails »

One important statistic which will define what is the premier class is where the riders want to get to. Are there any riders in MotoGP hoping to get a chance to race in Moto2 or Moto3 in the future?

Not that I don't enjoy Moto2 and Moto3. But, it's clear which class is the top of the tree.

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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by oldboyonrgv »

IN the past (here I go again!) you had riders who were specialists in their class, making each class its own spectacle with its own technology and riding style - now you have the lesser cc classes being de-valued (by being called feeders) in favour of the biggest cc class, the smaller classes are heavily regulated (OK MOTO3 has gone sideways with the war between Honda and KTM, but that wasn't the plan) to create positive pressure onto the bigger cc class(es), its a dumming down move by the organisers to allow them to package the premier (to use Krops expression) class to joe public and therefore sell more TV rights with a nice succinct 45minute sound bite.

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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

I too miss the days of the class specialists, it wasn't that long ago you had the likes of Roberto Locatelli and Nobi Ueda on the 125s giving the up and coming kids a lesson, and obviously if you go back there is a long list of 'greats', the likes of Angel Nieto and Sito Pons who only rode the smaller bikes.

I wish they had kept the rule in of riders being allowed to stay in the small bike class, even if they went above the age limit. It would mean that you could keep the older more experienced hands in the class, I don't think it would do anything to stop the younger riders coming through, and in fact might actually make them better riders as they are having to beat guys who are very good at it, and even teach them some racecraft.

Bike racing lost a lot on the day that they changed that rule.

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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

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MiniNinjaMk5 wrote:I too miss the days of the class specialists, it wasn't that long ago you had the likes of Roberto Locatelli and Nobi Ueda on the 125s giving the up and coming kids a lesson, and obviously if you go back there is a long list of 'greats', the likes of Angel Nieto and Sito Pons who only rode the smaller bikes.

I wish they had kept the rule in of riders being allowed to stay in the small bike class, even if they went above the age limit. It would mean that you could keep the older more experienced hands in the class, I don't think it would do anything to stop the younger riders coming through, and in fact might actually make them better riders as they are having to beat guys who are very good at it, and even teach them some racecraft.

Bike racing lost a lot on the day that they changed that rule.
I guess this was largely before my time and whilst I recognise the names and remember seeing them, it is a distant memory for me... But did these guys choose to stay, did they have to opportunities arise in order to move up, or did they become specialists because... Well it's the only place they could compete?

Sorry, it sounds like I am talking them down, that's not the case, but I wonder what the career choices were for these who did stick to the smaller classes?

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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

There used to be much less of a 'premier class' type thing. You could be a good rider in one of the smaller classes and stay there and make a perfectly good career doing that. Is it fair to say that they couldn't make a go in the bigger class? I think perhaps only in the sense that someone might be naturally better at one than the other, and of course if you were a small jockey something like an 80 or 125 would be easier to handle.

So, I think saying that's the only place they could compete, isn't understanding what the nature of the beast was then. You only have to look at the reverence with which names such as Angel Nieto, Sito Pons, Kork Ballington and Anton Mang are spoken with to know that's the case.

I also think there was much more parity in terms of the money involved in the different classes which went some way to reinforcing that it was just different categories - in the same way you might have welter-weight or middle-weight boxing - rather than a slope leading up hill with the biggest bikes at the top.

As oldboyonrgv said, this has changed as more and more money has got involved, and the nature and styles of entertainment have changed also.

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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by oldboyonrgv »

It used to be Spain = 125 Italy=250 everyone else =500 with a sprinkling of each throughout, it was almost a national thing...... The southern europeans loved their little bikes. I wonder how many 250 world titles Danny would have got if he hadn't been sucked up the ladder......

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Re: Is Moto3 currently the REAL premier racing class?

Post by Kropotkin »

oldboyonrgv wrote:It used to be Spain = 125 Italy=250 everyone else =500 with a sprinkling of each throughout, it was almost a national thing...... The southern europeans loved their little bikes. I wonder how many 250 world titles Danny would have got if he hadn't been sucked up the ladder......
That was in part because of the peculiarities of national legislation, and protecting domestic manufacturers. Spain used to have punitive import taxes on large capacity motorcycles, to protect companies like Derbi. So Spaniards grew up racing small capacity bikes, and became quite good at it. As tax barriers disappeared, and domestic motorcycle markets grew broader, so racing changed.

There is also a cultural factor. Holland used to be massive in racing small two strokes, especially 50cc, as local legislation meant that youngsters were free to ride 50cc bikes without a licence. So you have a lot of young kids tinkering with little engines, some being so good that they ended up racing those engines. Once the 50cc class was scrapped, a lot of Dutch talent disappeared. Some went into the Italian factories, though, with Jan Thiel and Jan Witteveen going to Aprilia.
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