Tech 3 Looking To Run Moto2 Bike

Feelings are still mixed about the new Moto2 series, with the purists shedding a tear over the death of the 250 two-strokes, the pessimists fearing a tidal wave of lawsuits emanating from Switzerland and IMS if any production bike engines are used in the machines, while the optimists see this as a very affordable way of building interesting racing machinery. But if the fans and pundits are divided, the teams are quietly getting on with examining the rules and evaluating the options for competing.

The Blusens BQR team were the first team to break cover, launching the Moto2 bike they will be fielding in the Spanish CEV championship just last week. And it looks like they are not alone. In an interview with the motorsports website, Herve Poncharal of the Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP team has announced their intention to start building a bike ready for the 2010 season. Poncharal's reasoning is interesting, and builds on the findings which came out of the IRTA talks which happened in Bologna at the end of January. The Moto2 championship would function even more as a feeder series, with the satellite teams picking up promising young talent, and grooming them to be ready for MotoGP, first with the satellite teams, and if the rider starts to achieve some of his potential, then they could move on to a factory team.

The benefits for the satellite teams would be twofold: firstly, it would give them a platform where they could be competitive, and actually have a chance of winning races and championships. Secondly, it would give them closer links to the factory teams in MotoGP, with a chance of more support from the factories in the top class.

But Poncharal's words highlight the potential threat which the Moto2 championship could pose to MotoGP. Poncharal told "if, as an independent team, we want to play the big team fighting against Fiat Yamaha, Ducati Marlboro etc then we are wrong! Because we will never have the same means and we will never have the same budget, we will always be one level down. But we can still be happy and successful as an independent team."

The danger is that if the satellite teams find much more success in Moto2 than in MotoGP, they may start to consider whether their participation in MotoGP is actually worth the huge expense. If satellite teams become too successful in Moto2, they might start focussing their efforts on that success, and start pulling out of the premier class. If they feel they have a shot at a championship for a tenth of the expense of a top 10 finish in MotoGP, then grids in the premier class could thin out even further. And that surely can't have been the goal when the new rules were drawn up.

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I, and many others have probably beaten this to death at this point but since Moto2 appears to be so easy to get into for non-factory teams, perhaps the way to look at MotoGP rules and cost issues is to take a completely different perspective. Rather than trying to fiddle with the existing rules book, why not just build up a rulebook from what they have done with Moto2?

I couldn't agree more with RatsMC. This kind of formula in a large displacement format, with a little tweaking here and there, is the way to go for MotoGP. I honestly think it is only a matter of time before the 800's go the way of F-750, 500's and 990' pieces.

Heck, if you can get nearly a grid-full of independent teams to participate in MotoGP through a Moto2-style formula, then who really needs satellite teams?? Especially satellite teams that must play second fiddle to the factory bikes. I think about how Alex Barros was criticized when he passed a fading Casey Stoner on the factory Ducati Marlboro bike, while he was riding the "satellite" Pramac Ducati to claim 3rd place in Mugello in 2007. That was lame.

The issue is that we are stuck with the 800cc rules until 2012.

Unfortunate but probably for the best.

History provides the answers to the 250 class in Motogp, just as the economy holds racing hostage at the moment. Full grids and pretty good racing in 250cc racing were a given in the 1970's, both club racing and international racing, despite a fuel crisis and a recession because it was cheap. I could go over and see Bob Work at Yamaha Canada in Richmond BC, and for approx $7,000 Canadian dollars buy a brand new tz 250 with a spares kit that would easily last a complete season, (up until 1980 that was also true in the F1 class buy a brand new tz 750 with a season of spares for $10,000.) Load the bike in my van drive down to Daytona in March and be competetive, take something to beat Jimmy Filice back then because he was dead fast and weighed 90 pounds with a boulder in his pocket.

Riders didn't care if Honda or Kawasaki had a bike, as long as Yamaha did, and it was a good bike. The fans never stayed away because Honda wasn't in the 250 class, it was good racing and we had huge grids from Europe, Britain ,Japan and the southern hemisphere. Riders went home early if the couldn't qualify, there was that many bikes. Then the factories ( Yamaha ) just sold bikes, to anyone who paid up, there was no highly paid factory sponsored 250 riders, but a lot of paid fatory riders would ride the 250 class because it was great racing. Daytona speedweek over, I could load my van and bikes onto a boat arrive in Amsterdam drive off to the nearest track and be competetive, anywhere, not just Europe, anywhere.

The factories changed that with the need to compete in the 250 class, and then the wheels started to come off the whole deal, the difference between what they (the factories sold ) and what they raced slowly escalated and has continued until today. Since the late 1990's in 250 cc racing you have not seen a true by my understanding World Champion, you have a manufactured champion. 6 factory 250's given to the chosen one's, who could beg borrow or steal there way onto the bike. Failing an act of God, no one could possible beat a factory bike, period. The factories took it further by having their favorite rider (Lorenzo, Pedrosa) who would and could still have a mechanical advantage over even their teamates factory bike.

Have the factories build the bikes and sell them to anyone who has the cash. no factory teams, sponsor teams only. Rules package and easy multi factory incentive's make the rules really simple
1) weight, say a 125 kgs, no less.
2) displacement say 600cc by volume - any number of cylinders, valves ,aspirated no turbos or superchargers
3) Fuel tank - say 20 liters.DOT tyres, run what ever you want, change mid season or between races,
The great equalizer, a Claiming Rule, if you choose for a fixed price, lets say the ( SUGGESTED RETAIL )after a race win, any competeing team could purchase the race winning bike.

Great racing does not need to be expensive to succeed, it needs to be competetive. The incentive for the factory, build the best bike and sell lots of them and make a profit. Keep the bikes simple so any team could run them.
Sounds like the 1970's all over again. Cheap bikes ? what a concept imagine leasing a Honda v2 500 cc 2 stroke, during the end of 500cc times for a million US dollars a season, it was a joke, a bad joke and some guy's did it.