More Moto2 Details - Spec Engine Will Be Heavily Modified CBR600 Unit

On Saturday, shortly before qualifying practice for the MotoGP class was about to kick off, the FIM and Dorna released a joint statement announcing that Honda had won the contract to supply the standard engine for Moto2. But the announcement from the Permanent Bureau, as the FIM / Dorna committee styles itself, was light on detail, saying only that Honda "offers high level performance engine," and that "the horse power will be over 150."

After the announcement, Shuhei Nakamoto, vice president of HRC, spoke to GPOne.com, revealing more information about the engine. The engine, which Motorcycle News reports has been under development for the past two years, will be based on the unit which powers Honda's roadgoing CBR600RR sports bike. The engine will have a wet clutch and unusually for a race bike will not feature a cassette-style gearbox. Cassette gearboxes allow the gear shafts to be extracted from the side of the bike, without having to remove the engine from the chassis.

Honda will provide an ECU for the engine, but it is unknown whether that ECU will have traction control capabilities. The current World Supersport machines are not using a great deal of traction control, but the extra power from the Moto2 engine may make it more of a necessity. The shape and size of the airbox will be unregulated, and up to the teams to get the most out of.

Cost of the unit will be around 24,000 euros, or 17,000 without a gearbox. Dorna will buy the engines from Honda, who will pass the engines on to the team. The engines will have a service life of around 2,000 km, meaning that the teams should only need 3 engines to last a season. The 150 horsepower rating is "obviously more powerful than the engine which is in the Supersport," according to Nakamoto. "We expect to be ready in October," Nakamoto said, "and the engines will be prepared by Honda R&D, as HRC doesn't have the capacity to produce them. But the two departments will collaborate very closely on this." Though the engines will only be ready in October, the teams are expected so receive CAD drawings which they can use to start designing a chassis around within the next few weeks.

With Nakamoto publicly admitting that the engine will be based on the CBR600 unit, the question is how will the Flammini brothers and Infront Motor Sports react. The Flamminis claim they have exclusive rights to production-based motorcycle racing, an agreement which the Moto2 unit could be said to violate, or at least that's what could be argued in the courts. We shall see how IMS responds in the next few days.

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Comments

why is dorna advocating a 600cc engine spec instead of 400cc or some other arbitrary capacity? i get that basing the spec off a production engine can save money on development costs and time. but fgsport has a case against dorna if they go ahead with this engine. they should've asked ilmor to develop the moto2 engine.

One would have the hope that the Flamminis and Dorna will ignore each other on this one. Wishful thinking, tho'.
It does seem stupid of Honda to bring up the 'based on the ....CBR600RR' point, which undoubtedly Flammini's lawyers will get hold of and run with. It will be hard for Honda to deny the connection to a production based motorcycle, to which the FIM have given Flammini full rights to run their racing series.

Cheers
Barry

I agree it seems bizarre that Honda would state the CBR600 relation. So much contradiction during this motor choice process.

This spec motor puts a lot of control/power into Dornas hands, how this plays out remains to be seen of course but from a fans point of view its quite suspicious. To that end i think a Dyno run with a HP limit, done post race, would be necessary for the public and the teams involved to take it seriously.

At no point was i able to find information on submitting a bid for the motor contract. If anyone knows where this information was posted please let me know as I am curious what the outline looked like.
Baron

InFront have no cards to play. The MSMA is the real power in international motorcycle racing. If InFront don't allow the manufacturers to slowly transition heavily modified engines into Moto2, the manufacturers might have to drop factory support for WSS and WSBK so they can concentrate on building prototype 600s (similar to 2003).

InFront have no leverage in this situation because the MSMA have made it known that they want a 600cc GP feeder-class. The MSMA will retaliate if InFront sues Dorna.

Dorna/MSMA/IRTA/FIM have completely ruined MotoGP. Flamini Bros should make some popcorn and relax. How long will it take for Moto2 to become 2-wheeled travesty? Actually, this class has potential, especially if they keep TC out of the sport.

It isn't bizarre that Honda would publicly state the new engine is derived from the CBR600RR, but it does indicate that negotiations have already been made behind closed doors and Honda have been given the go ahead from Flamini. I suppose the engine might actually be a prototype lump that Honda are branding CBR600RR, but that seems somewhat unlikely.

There will be no lawsuit unless Ezy disregards the closed door negotiations. Slowly but surely the big 4 will build heavily modified production engines for Moto2. They will be nearly identical in performance to the Honda engine.

Why not use the 250 class to develop clean 2stroke technology which is already being used by Aprilia and Kymco in their scooters? Instead they're turning it into a Honda spec class.

WCM was only a debacle because the rules were quite clear about the use of production components. Dorna and FIM wrote those rules and I imagine that the FIM can write new ones as they see fit. It then comes down to whether the guys over at Infront feel sufficiently threatened or concerned that one of their Supersport entrants is making the engine for the Moto2 class in another racing series using their Supersport engine as the donor, however loosely related it is to the base lump.

I think that they'd be dumb to take too much umbrage from it as it still leaves them with a vibrant Supersport class that won't be affected by the other series. Moto2, even with a spec engine is still not going to be cheap, with the use of avant garde frames, suspension etc...whereas just about anyone with some good engine knowledge and suspension know how can go and play Supersport for a (comparitively) modest sum. Heck, you can even buy bikes from some of the other teams as ready to roll bikes.

All this politicking and struggle for World domination is so 1990's. Just please, let's not go down the F1 path with contrived rules to ensure a level playing field, where rules are changed and interpreted differently from week to week.