Randy Mamola Interview - Moto2 Needs Homologated Engines, Not Single Engines

Randy Mamola rides the Ducati X2 two-seater MotoGP bike at Laguna Seca, 2010 

Randy Mamola truly is a MotoGP legend. The American may never have won a championship, but the perennial runner up was always a huge favorite with both the fans and the media. To this day, Mamola is still a regular face in the paddock, the American riding the Ducati X2 two-seater for VIPs and guests, although budget cuts and the loss of the live broadcast rights meant that he is no longer the pit lane reporter for British Eurosport.

Mamola holds strong opinions about the sport of MotoGP, which regular expounds both in his column for US magazine Road Racer X and on the Alpinestars website. MotoMatters.com's Scott Jones caught up with Mamola at Laguna Seca, to get his take on the Moto2 class.

MotoMatters: Randy, now that we're half way through the 2010 season, what are your thoughts on Moto 2 and what might be done to improve it next year?

Randy Mamola: I can hit this one from all angles; there are super pros and super cons. I think that in the economic world we're living in right now, there were a lot of things done to protect the class. Obviously we're coming from 250s. We know that a factory 250 was 1.2 million euros. And when you say that to an American, or anybody, you're going, What? But this is the cost of racing.

Dakota [Randy's son, currently in the 125GP class of BSB and the CEV] is racing in the Spanish Championship and the bikes are more than 100,000 euros. How is that possible when his bike is 15,000? It's material, and that's what material costs when you're dealing with cutting edge concepts.

So obviously we lowered the bar in one area by bringing in a single engine, which is an easier step to try to do something like that. But in fact I think there are a lot of people who say there should be a Yamaha, there should be Honda, there should be a Suzuki and so on. All have 600s somewhere in their line, and I'd love to see an Aprilia 600, a Ducati 600, and so on. And not a 750 twin racing against a 600, I'm talking 600 in-line fours, but they're all in-line fours.

Now I'm not an engineer, and I don't know the bore and stroke on a Suzuki [600], or a Honda, or a Yamaha or a Kawi. But they all have 600s and they all race against each other. But once you do a single tire, you've got to do a rev limit. Once you do a single suspension… You understand what I'm getting at?

Right now Moto2 bikes are all running 16,000 rpm. But if you let a Yamaha 600 in, but it revs at 17,000 because the bore and the stroke are a little bit different. What needs to happen, to me, is that this needs to become a spec engine. Again, I wouldn't try to set the specifics, bore and stroke and so on, but once you set a guideline, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and everybody can make that. And then you take the ECU box off, because they'll all be a similar character.

You might think, that's boring, that's no good. But why does Formula 1 all of the sudden increase in teams? Because it's all single engine. Cosworth can come right back in, and they got a fifth or sixth place a few races ago. Cosworth has been out for years, but they can compete because of the concept.

And does it matter that they're all V-8s? In our world we keep saying, "That's not what we sell!" When we were racing 500s, were we selling friggin' 500s? No! Superbike was selling 500s, and Supersport. So we either have to swallow World Superbike, because the class already exists with four-stroke street engines, beefed up to whatever, called "Superbike."

But our sport's in turmoil when I think about this. There are no street bikes over there. There's a few, but they're all private teams. And why does the privateer have to run a Pirelli if he can't have the same bike Biaggi's got? Once you start limiting specs, you've got to give the other options [to everyone].

So a lot of people will say, "It's got to be about technology." And I agree, it does. Formula 1 is about technology. F1's about making an engine last. Their races are two hours, and they do four one-hour sessions? They have eight engines for twenty races? Tell me what they're working on, because they're screaming at 18,000 rpm.

So we have to find a happy medium. I think that Superbike is trying to come our way too much, because the people who are running it are allowing those rules to be flexed a bit. I don't think you and I can go buy an Aprilia RSV4 or a Ducati that can run close to those two factory bikes. And neither can we do that in MotoGP, because where the racing and the doors are open, those doors need to be shut, stop the technology and let it be built, and then that technology HAS to go down to garage number ten as well [as the factory garage].

MM: What do you think of the size of the Moto2 grid with forty bikes racing into the first corner?

RM: Too many. How many people recognize twenty of the sponsors without looking in a magazine? Nobody. We don't even know half of the [riders'] names. Why? Because we've let all these people come in. And I understand the other side [of the issue], and I understand that there are a lot of Spanish riders; in order to survive right now, Spain is the country that has a good group of teams that can put the budgets together. And you have to live with that.

It's sort of like NASCAR; the home of NASCAR is down there in the south, and they have more races in that region because they go where NASCAR is loved. We have four Grands Prix in Spain right now.

So what I'd like to see, I don't know the exact number [of the grid], but I think it needs to be teams of two. Two bikes with the same colors so it's easy to commentate on. Besides Tony Elias winning these races or being on the podium, who are those other guys? You never see them [on TV]. Sometimes you see a name pop up and then it disappears, and it's only because Dennis Noyes is here that we know who Kenny Noyes is. What's really important for television is if you have two red bikes, two orange bikes, two blue bikes, it's Team This, and now you start remembering the name. It's This Sponsor, and you can remember the name.

So is twenty-four enough? Is twenty-six enough? I'd also like to see a wildcard team. I don't care what chassis they get, but you go to Australia, you take a local 600 guy--look at what we just did with [Roger Lee] Hayden. We stuck him in the deep end, on a bike that's really difficult to understand, and I mean REALLY difficult. The concept of it is a puzzle. But I think he's done a great job. Moto2 should be more simple because everyone's on a similar engine, same RPMs and all that, and now you've got a local boy racing against the regulars and I think there's a good shot of the local boy [doing well].

Forty-one guys? The problem is I'm really afraid for the guys when we watch the races. They're folding like a house of cards, and that's really scary to watch. Racing is dangerous, but if you're in a ten horsepower go kart, you're all going to get to the first turn at the same time, and we're putting them in that situation.

And that's the problem with them all having the same low horsepower. 10 horsepower go kart? Things need to really be dialed in. 200 horsepower go kart? You can dial it in yourself. And I don't understand why we have all these [limits] in place yet we don't weigh the bike and rider together. Again, driving a go kart with ten horsepower? Weight is everything. Driving a go kart with two hundred horsepower? Weight doesn't have the same effect, which is why MotoGP could never go that way.

MM: So you don't think they should weigh Pedrosa on his Honda against the larger riders on their bikes?

RM: No. Say Dani's 15 kilos lighter than the other riders - you strap on forty pounds to his bike? How could he ride the thing? Does Rossi have an advantage sliding back in the seat to keep the back end down? Dani can't slide back there. Fifteen kilos over the rear wheel going into a corner helps Rossi brake. Dani can't do that. This is another story entirely.

MM: Back to Moto2 for one more question, please. What do you think about the competition between chassis designs given the standard engine?

RM: I think its a huge step forward, because MotoGP needs that. MotoGP needs Honda to design an engine that's the same when they pass it down to the other Honda teams. Who's developing Simoncelli's bike? Simoncelli or Dani? What size is Dani, what size is Dovizioso, what size is Simoncelli? You need to be able to build [a chassis] around you. I think the teams need to have that possibility.

In the 500 days, on Team Roberts, when chassis didn't work for Wayne, they built chassis. All that stuff was simple. The concept of that stuff was simple. Now we have manufacturers building those Moto2 bikes, but De Puniet gets upgrades whenever it works up front for the upgrade to trickle down to him. What happens if [LCR] already has the concept and they can build something themselves? To me that means Honda or the other factories should release that to their second teams. If we go onto the grid in the first race and things aren't working for the factory team, how's it ever going to work for the satellite teams?

And individuality is also about the chassis, not only about the engine. That why in Formula 1, you do a contract with Mercedes, you get the same engine as Schumacher. There's no such thing as B Level, they're all homologated. They have to pass through [FIA scrutiny]. They have eight engines, and when Hamilton or Michael haven't used all eight engines, there are small things they can develop, but those engines are 95% all the same, whether it's a Ferrari or a Mercedes or whatever.

Two years ago, when Alonso was at Renault, they were forty horsepower down. Everyone else was locked down and Renault was allowed to develop for two months. Renault brought their engine up forty horsepower with the development they needed. Imagine telling Honda, Yamaha and Ducati "You have to stop and let Suzuki develop for the next two years while you guys hang tight." And maybe racing will catch up, and maybe we wont see these parade laps we see in some of these races.

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During the interview Randy also said he'd heard about the possibility of bringing Moto 2 to Laguna Seca next year, but that this was still being discussed and not yet a final decision had been agreed upon by the parties involved.

Our sincere thanks to Randy for taking the time to speak with us, and for sharing his views on the future of Grand Prix racing.

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Total votes: 73

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Comments

Methinks that was a very high energy interview.

It sounded like he had many more dislikes of Moto2 than not. The most interesting thing I thought was the comment about Moto2 grids hitting the first corner all at once because they have the same horsepower. I would think that not only that but also because they have the same power curves, the same clutches, and electronics.

At some point though, the riders have to check up if they don't want to risk crashing. You see it in GP. More often than not it seems someone will check up and lose a place or even 10 places rather than risk putting the bike down. I believe a lot of that has to do with the maturity of these riders, their levels of experience and the limit on engines.

I expect some crashes from a 40 bike field and at a few tracks I can see why it is almost impossible not to have any at the first turn, but it shouldn't be a given at every track based soley on the size of the field and the similarities of the bikes.

Total votes: 315

experienced riders like toni elias have also said the bike similarity is making the racing crazy on the first lap. a bit of a "be careful what you wish for" wouldn't you say? so many people were salivating at the thought of moto2 racing before the season got going.

personally i find it interesting but much of the spectacle is covering up that:
1. it's not grand prix racing like we've had for 60 years...
2. take away the crashes and crazy fighting for the first few laps and there have been 3 good races this year...
3. as long as there is very limited power and no ability to change the gearing/clutch/etc. everyone has to ride pretty much the same line. there were moments a few rounds ago when simon was putting the thing sideways but it was temporary...

~j

Total votes: 273

I have seen riders getting sideways in every race. I can't think of one Moto2 race this years that wasn't more entertaining than the GP race that weekend.

I don't know about 60 years. I am not that old despite my name, but I can say that I wasn't a huge fan of 250 racing in the last few seasons. I will miss 125 racing far more than the 250 class when that happens.

Total votes: 267

when i say "not gp racing like we've seen for 60 years" i don't mean the spectacle - i mean - top of the game in both technology and skill of both teams and riders. in the brno post race press conference all three podium finishers, dani, jorge, and casey all had very negative things to say about the moto2 class and how it'll fail to prepare riders for motogp unlike the 250s which, despite the 2T to 4T move still required the riders and teams to know about how to set up gearing, clutches, engines, etc.

as to getting sideways, sure - but only simon was able to turn that into a podium, and that was 4 races ago.

bottom line is it's a manufactured spectacle. maybe the formula will work eventually, but right now we're only excited about it because the racing in the motogp class has been so lacking of true excitement. moto2 still does not compare to the 990 era...

~j

Total votes: 292

and spot on to my own thoughts about moto2: it's an artificial spectacle...

thanks david and scott for getting randy wound up :)

~j

Total votes: 300

I agree with homologation, but sometimes I think these guys are trying reinvent the sport and rewrite the rules.

The first corner is the wild west--it's the place where rules don't exist--why is is such a shock that this is where the riders do all of their dirty work? They have immunity. Debon skittled 9 people and then went home for a leisurely swim. He should have faced an inquisition from the stewards and he should have been suspended for a race. Doesn't matter how big the grid is, if the stewards will actually enforce the rules in the first corner, more people will make it through.

Also, why would Dorna try to manage the Moto2 team structure? They invented Moto2 to end stagnation, but now it sounds like some people want to reinstitute the same organizational paradigms that created an overpriced feeder class that produced only Spanish and Italian GP talent. GP has a "qualifying" session. Back in the day, anyone could attempt to qualify as long as they were granted entry. If you made the times, you raced, if you didn't, you were excluded. Why not add a fixed quota like 30-35 entrants to the current 107% rule? Dorna can still pick their 25 pets to fly all over the world, and the remainder of the grid can be made up by qualifiers who meet either 107% or the 30-35 quota.

As far as homologation is concerned, I believe Mamola is correct. It's the best way. As Randy points out he's no engineer, neither I am, but I do know that all I-4 600s are 67mm x 42.5mm and that 42.5mm is low enough to require pneumatic valve operation.

Rev limiting with a spec ECU package (but not a spec engine) is the best way to avoid Draconian engine tech rules, imo. Revs is not a fundamental engine technology. Nothing magical happens when the revs get higher so regulating it is a good idea. Regulating compression (unless they use pump gas) and limiting engine construction materials via homologation is wise as well, imo. Stop fixing bore and cylinder count. Motorcycles are not cars. The engine configuration can make a night and day difference to the feel and handling attributes of the bike. If motorcycle racing is going to do anything worth while, it will continue to support experimentation with engine layout, cylinder count, and bore/stroke.

I say let people create. The quest for more horsepower from the same displacement is a pointless game under race conditions. Been there. Done that. We shot the moon in 3.0L F1. Mankind climbed Everest. It was beautiful, but there are bodies strewn all over the mountain. Anyone who wants to copy F1 can go it alone. No more dragging an entire motorsport along for the journey. Make a halo product.

BTW, good interview.

Total votes: 301

I can't see why Moto2 is more valid than World Super Sport just because it's ran on the GP race day. The racing is similar in both classes. M2 has slicks and the chasis is adjustable but WSS has more electronics, power and it would seem to me harder to set up. Call it a draw.

One of the major points of both classes is to prepare riders for the next level. Statements from Jerry Burgess, Stoner and others don't seem too flattering toward Moto2. For me it's close racing but to elevate it to "the best racers" in the 600 class is a stretch. Have real qualifying and the top 25 line up for the race.

Also, with Motogp only having 17-19 bikes, where are the up and coming racers going to go? It's a joke that's not funny. I won't go off on an off topic rant so I'll just end it here.

Total votes: 217

Great to hear from Randy, there's a very interesting take on the whole situation.

Total votes: 277

by Phoenix and NWslopoke. And a great interview from someone I really enjoy reading/listening to, Mr. Mamola. The point that struck me the most was World Superbike crossing over too much and may need to be absorbed. Every article and opinion I ever hear is that MotoGP is crossing over to WSBK territory with 2012 rules, but Randy brings up a great point that WSBK is too FAR from stock. Those engines are so highly tuned with factory unobtainium the point is pretty much lost. For once, the AMA series seems to be doing it right these days. The superbikes are not as fast as WSBK, but at least teams not named Yoshimura are also able to build a fast bike and compete.

Total votes: 274

The problem with going close to stock is that there is a place where parity is completely lost from model year to model year. Just take a look at Daytona Supersport and tell me that the Yamaha doesn't have an advantage? The top 7-8 finishers are all on the Yamaha with only the interuption of Myers on the Suzuki. Two years from now, a different manufacturuer will hit it out of the park and that bike will dominate. Who is the best up-and-coming talent in that class? I'm not sure. I can tell you who is the best Yamaha rider though.

At the same time, WSBK has gone way too far in the opposite direction. The bikes have been nothign like the production version but now we are getting into prototypes being built for the class and then a production version being derived from it.

I will agree that I think AMA has gotten as close to right as anyone with the Superbike class.

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MotoTheory.com - MotoGP Data & Statistics

Total votes: 300

AMA was smart to move to more stock rules with a homologated parts lists; however, they are using WSS rules.

WSS is stock pistons but free compression so the teams need a machine shop to grind the cylinder head. Furthermore, maximum compression is a sensitive technology so tuning houses like Graves and Yoshimura are only willing to lease their engines to small teams. I've heard both companies have been pleasant to work with, but DMG did say they wanted to change the supply chain bottleneck. How is a bottleneck at Graves or Yosh preferable to a bottleneck at American Honda or American Suzuki? Graves and Yosh provide support to anyone who can pay (very positive change for the better), but the supply chain still runs through two companies for engine prep.

If DMG had worked with technical partners like JE or Wiesco, they could have homologated high compression pistons at a fixed compression ratio. Performance would be slightly lower than free compression, but compression bolt on mods can be performed by a competent dealer. A dealer prepped engine would still be inferior to an engine from a proper tuning house, but small teams could use the dealer network if they were so inclined. Getting the dealers involved in engine tuning is critical, imo.

Anywho, I hope against all hope that they use homologation and rev limiting in Moto2 b/c I don't think I bear to see GP change to four strokes, but still maintain fixed cylinder count and bore figures. Tragic. It is so unecessary.

Total votes: 281

I don't disagree with any of that. My point was really that a bone stock class has problems just like an open class. As it stands, there is work to do in AMA superbike but I am not seeing anyone that has gotten as close to right in a premier class currently.

The thinking at DMG is mostly right: make all the parts available to all of the teams but yes, some of those parts (or more correctly, the mods) are still unattainable because they are too expensive.

Total votes: 289

I was replying to vling. I agree that AMA Supersport is too stock to make a good racing class.

Total votes: 322

Are you talking about AMA Supersport or Daytona Sportbike? They don't even televise supersport, it's a class for up and coming kids, so I really have no comment on that except that I don't think Graves or Yosh have teams in that class. The racing in Daytona Sportbike has been insane! I don't know how anyone could say the racing in DSB is not good.

Total votes: 284

I was referring to Supersport - the kids class. You don't need to see the races to see what is going. Just looking at the results is enough (the AMA results page wsn't giving me results for a lot of races so this is what I could get):

VIR Race 1
Pos Rider(s) Team Bike
1 J. D. Beach Rockwall Performance Yamaha YZF-R6
2 Joey Pascarella DNA Energy Drink CNR Motorsports Yamaha YZF-R6
3 Huntley Nash Huntley Nash Yamaha YZF-R6
4 Tomas Puerta Tomas Puerta Yamaha YZF-R6
5 Miles Thornton Miles Thornton Racing Yamaha YZF-R6
6 Travis Wyman Travis Wyman Racing Yamaha YZF-R6
7 Nicholas Hansen Vesrah Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R600
8 Travis Ohge Travis Ohge Racing Yamaha YZF-R6
9 Eric Stump Eric Stump Racing Yamaha YZF-R6
10 David Gaviria Top Gun Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R
Mid-Ohio Race 2
Pos Rider(s) Team Bike
1 J. D. Beach Rockwall Performance Yamaha YZF-R6
2 Cameron Beaubier Rockwall Performance Yamaha YZF-R6
3 Huntley Nash Huntley Nash Yamaha YZF-R6
4 Tomas Puerta Tomas Puerta Yamaha YZF-R6
5 Dustin Dominguez Dustin Dominguez Racing Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R
6 Joey Pascarella DNA Energy Drink CNR Motorsports Yamaha YZF-R6
7 James Rispoli James Rispoli Racing Suzuki GSX-R600
8 Elena Myers Lucas Oil Roadracingworld.com RMR Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R600
9 Travis Wyman Travis Wyman Racing Yamaha YZF-R6
10 Miles Thornton Miles Thornton Racing Yamaha YZF-R6
Elkhart Race 2
Pos Rider(s) Team Bike
1 Huntley Nash Huntley Nash Yamaha YZF-R6
2 J. D. Beach Rockwall Performance Yamaha YZF-R6
3 Tomas Puerta Tomas Puerta Yamaha YZF-R6
4 Miles Thornton Miles Thornton Racing Yamaha YZF-R6
5 James Rispoli James Rispoli Racing Suzuki GSX-R600
6 Cameron Beaubier Rockwall Performance Yamaha YZF-R6
7 David Gaviria Top Gun Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R
8 Nicholas Hansen Nicholas Hansen Racing Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R
9 Daniel Guevara RoadRacingWorld.com Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R600
10 Ryan Kerr Ryan Kerr Racing Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R

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MotoTheory.com - MotoGP Data & Statistics

Total votes: 274

This is getting a little more difficult to draw conclusions. We're talking about third tier AMA now. JD Beach seems to put a whoopin on everyone. So are the best riders on the R6? Or the R6 is just the best bike (by far)? Also, it's disappointing that American Honda has pulled out of AMA, which makes the situation worse.

Total votes: 287

I think that when you look through all of the races and the only time anything but an R6 enters the top 4 is when the leaders crash out, it is pretty easy to draw some conclusions, particularly when you consider that there are several different teams running them.

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MotoTheory.com - MotoGP Data & Statistics

Total votes: 292

I think we all agree that the AMA rules are better for the competitors this year. Rats, and I are simply saying that it is possible to go too much stock as evidenced in AMA Supersport where there is very little parity. I also said there isn't much help to the privateers if the AMA use stock parts but free compression ratio like they do in DSB and SBK (both classes use WSS rules except DSB is stock cams). Yes, Graves and Yosh have been great to the smaller private teams, but WSS rules aren't cheap, and the supply chain for engines still bottlenecks at a few major tuning houses.

Imo, the AMA needs to reinvent Superstock, a contest that can be horribly lopsided like Badovini's dominance in FIM competition, by regulating compression (aftermarket cylinder homologation) and banning cylinder head mods. Pump gas, spec ECU with a rev limit, and DOT legal tires from a non-Dunlop supplier to widen the financial base of the technical partners.

Anyway, these ramblings kind of tie into the idea of engine homologation as suggested by Mamola for Moto2 competition.

Total votes: 304

Does anyone know if Elias' call for three bike grid rows is actually being considered for next season?

vling - Bang on the money with regard to the AMA/DMG finally getting something right by keeping the bikes closer to stock.

Total votes: 280

I think the two main changes we can expect to see in the class next year are lower number of racers and increased power across the board. If I recall correctly from an interview with Carmelo Ezpeleta in spanish weekly Motociclismo before the season started (sorry no link as it was the paper edition) he said that they (DORNA) were anticipating and planning for a smaller field (32 - 36 bikes max), but seeing the success in the number of entries, they thought that everyone who wanted to enter should be allowed to go racing in the first year.

I think they are hoping for a "natural selection" process to happen for a smaller field next year.

The other point he made was on horsepower. At that point, it was already obvious that the Honda derived engine was going to be short on power vs. the top SS machines and the team and fans expectation. To answer that he said that the emphasis for year 1 was on costs and reliability, so Honda had been conservative, but he saw no problem for them to turn up the wick later on if the bikes were too slow.

I think that will be it in terms of changes for year 2. At this stage what they need is for the category to mature bit by bit and stay true to the concept, but I'm sure in the future they will open it up to more engine manufacturers to juice up the chasis/engine package options.

Total votes: 294

I knew I wasn't halucinating when I saw the Ducati Moto2 bike a year or so ago. I was so excited for the lower class... then the single engine supplier :(
I have to disagree with a lot of you and Mr.Mamola, Moto2 has been extremely entertaining and exciting this year. Lowering the grid takes away from the sport. 32 or 36 bikes not SO bad but still 40 seems to be working alright. There have only been a couple of red flags this season. And seeing all those bikes head into turn 1 is unbeleivable. Its edge of your seat stuff! If only motoGP was this exciting! I wish there could be more engine manufacturers like Mamola said with really strict guidelines, Honda shouldn't be the only engine, just keep the specs strict.
Guys like Elias and Iannone winning consistently and sometimes with sizable gaps just speaks soooo much for their talent. Being able to beat 40 other guys riding the same exact bike really says a lot.
Keep the magic of Moto2 alive... just let the other manufacturers in.

Total votes: 279

Moto2 hasn't nearly been as exciting as you say. I don't count first corner mishaps as excitement, you take away those and it's decent, nothing more. The 250cc races were MUCH closer last year, who can forget Misano? Or Sepang?

Total votes: 272

I have to agree that the 250 class was more exciting in general, particularly before it became a sinlge manufacturer class. If you had the number of builders in 250 that we have chassis designers in Moto2, you would have racing that was at least as good and almost certainly better.

Truthfully, there have been a few good races this year but there have been more that were won by huge margins. Three races won by over 4 seconds and a couple of those were split by well over 6 second before the final lap.

From what i can see, the primary reason the races are exciting is because there are so many bikes out there it looks really busy.

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MotoTheory.com - MotoGP Data & Statistics

Total votes: 328

I expected a better spectacle from the new class this year,but thus far it has not been the case.Some teams are so far ahead in the chassis department that others using the control engine have no chance.So we sit with the same scenario we find in MotoGP,but in reverse.Control chassis,more or less for the factory and sattelite teams,but free reign and take what you get viz a viz factory vs sattelite engines and electronics.
I agree totally with what Mamola and Elias said about the field size.It's too big and too bunched. 24 to 27,3 per row is a better idea.No one cares about whose trolling around 36th on the first lap anyway.
As for riders getting into this class in the first place,they should impose some sort of qualification system.Draconian even,based on superior previous achievement in disciplines from SBK,AMA,125 etc.A sort of grading system.
I'm getting myself into a maze as bad as the MSMA and DornaSports are right now.
Good to hear Randy's views.Nice one David.

Total votes: 307

I dont think it is fair to compare 250cc two stroke racing to Moto2.

They are entirely different animals. Moto2 are production engined 4-strokers that weigh 50% more than the very highly evolved pure racing machines the likes of Simoncelli, Bautista and Barbera were racing in the end. If these machines hadn't cost +1MM Euros, a Moto2 would not have been necessary. Obviously 2 stroke racing is going to be better in the small classes. Just look at any 125cc race for entertainment value.

I do agree entirely with pit-bull that there needs to be a way (more than a system) to attract the talent here. I would have loved to have seen Crutchlow, Laverty and RL Hayden in Moto2.

Can someone explain why the better British and some US riders prefer to stay at BSB, AMA, SS or SBK?? Is it easier and better pay..??

Total votes: 299

First, to me it seemed like the Aprilia cup the last few years in 250.

I guess I will agree to disagree with most of you that that was better racing than the moto2 effort is currently.

To answer why Brits and US riders tend to stay in those other series, I think it is just the more natural progression for them rather than mini bikes and regional 125cc classes for most of the mainland Europeans.

It is a job for them and most will go where they think they can do well or get paid well. If you come up in the US and are really talented you will likely get noticed by the AMA series first and racing as a kid across the US has to be easier than across the world. So that is what you do. Then you start winning and the offers get better and better to move up in the AMA until one day you are Ben Spies or Nicky Hayden. Then what? Well you can do like Mladin did and stick with the AMA (though he had a crack at GP too) or if you have the desire you move up to an international series. But which one? Seems that Nicky going to GP without a stop in WSBK worked out decent. Looks like Spies did right by cutting ties with Suzuki and making Yamaha happy by getting them a WSBK title. But it would be a bit foolish to think that one of them would have jumped to WSS, ESS, 125, or 250's when offers to go to the bigger shows were on the table.

Now when you say better British and US, maybe you mean the guys who don't win but are usually high up in the standings. Some of them do go (BBoz did years ago to WSBK but he was also and AMA champ) and others don't care to. Some get offers but the money simply doesn't make any sense.

I can't think of anyone in SBK right now who hasn't already been in GP that wouldn't go if the offer came in. But there aren't that many offers. In the top of the standings there are 3 guys without GP experience (Rea, Crutchlow, and Camier) and I only hear talk about one of them getting a crack at GP next year. Seems the series has a real need for at least one Brit.

I hope that answers your question but I am not sure I fully understood it so if I missed it, my apologies.

Total votes: 271

There is another component. There seems to be an expectation in Moto2 that a rider will bring his own sponsorship and get paid that way and maybe even help fund the team.

US riders in particular do not really have the same rider sponsorship system that seems to exist in Europe and more importantly, the sponsors they might have typically do not have market interest in Europe so the riders cannot bring that to the table when looking for a ride.

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MotoTheory.com - MotoGP Data & Statistics

Total votes: 276

I will agree with that statement, but I wonder how many in 125/Moto2 actually bring their own sponsorship (enough to decide if they race or not)? I know "we" hear about it a lot and with a kid like Abraham, it is hard not to feel that it is a dominant force, but just for shnitzen giggle, I would like to see what the numbers are across the classes.

On a side thought, Elias thinks he will have a hard time going back to MGP because he is a Spaniard and there are already several good Spaniards in the class. Thus Dorna isn't too concerned with bringing him back from a marketing perspective, blah blah...So at what point does Dorna decide, "we want the most talent we can get in the class, to have the best racers showing off the best racing" versus "we want to have a Brit because that is an important market, and an American, and a Frenchman, and a German, and a..." ? Personally, I want the most talent stacked class possible.

I got into watching GP because I made a group of friends who watched it religiously. I saw how interesting/awesome it was and I have been watching it for about 7 years now. It has nothing to do with there being an American in the class. Maybe I am a bit unique that way but I sure hope not. If Nicky, Ben, and Colin all went to WSBK next year (which would be awesome by the way), I would still watch GP.

Total votes: 288

Remember KTM disappeared from the class after the Moto2 annoucement, Aprilia were willing to scrap RSA's and only produce spec RSW's to continue 250cc racing.KTM was willing to supply an entire grid with 250's Those facts notwithstanding, the decision for murdering 250's/125's was pure payback, because Aprilia withdrawing from MotoGP to go SBK racing while continuing to make a profit from GP racing.

Total votes: 291

We should also remember that the biggest motorcycle company in the world is historically opposed to two strokes.
Coincidently, who got the moto2 engine contract?...

Total votes: 283

people were so disappointed with moto2! 250 was cool don't get me wrong but IMO the current moto2 racing is much more exciting. And NO I'm not talking about crashing in the first corner. I get excited to see everyone come out cleanly on turn 1. The idea that so many riders can hit that turn with no crashers is unbeleivable. Artificial excitement? Why, cause the engines are stock? You could call anything artificial excitement. This is the innalgural year. Next year there will probably be fewer bikes and the riders will be more used to the formula. It will only get better.

Total votes: 387