Honda Building "Production Racer" CRT Version Of RC213V MotoGP Bike

Honda is working on a simplified version of its RC213V MotoGP machine to sell to teams as a CRT bike. Working together with Thomas Baujard, journalist for the French magazine Moto Journal, has learned that work on the V4 machine is already underway, though a production date for the bike is not yet known.

HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto confirmed to Baujard at Silverstone that work was ongoing on the project, though Nakamoto did not like it being referred to as a CRT bike. "Not a CRT bike," Nakamoto told Baujard, "it is a production racer!" When asked later by about the engine layout, Nakamoto confirmed that the bike was a V4 rather than an inline four. "It is a replica of this bike," Nakamoto told, pointing to the Repsol Honda garage, "But cheaper. It is easier to use an existing design."

The main differences would be in the level of technology in the bike. "The bike will maybe use a standard gearbox. And we are still thinking about pneumatic valves," Nakamoto said. The decision on using pneumatic valves was not dependent on the introduction of a rev limit in MotoGP, Nakamoto said. "The rev limit is not important." Pneumatic valves offer other advantages, such as more precise timing and more aggressive cam shapes, the pneumatic valves better able to follow a steeper cam profile.

Nakamoto was coy on when the bike would reach production. "Soon," was as precise as the HRC boss would be. "I know when it will be," he said, but he would not be drawn any further than saying "soon".

The production of a Honda RC213V replica CRT machine is a game changer for the CRT project. The return of a production racer, similar to the Yamaha TZ, Suzuki RG and Honda RS series of machines, has long been the hope and aim of all parties involved in MotoGP - back in early 2010, FIM President Vito Ippolito told that what was needed was a "series prototype", a production racer like the TZs he used to race in the 1970s and '80s - and Aprilia's ART machine was the first step towards such a bike. The Aprilias are suffering reliability problems, however: though built for racing, they were also designed to be rebuilt regularly. Max Biaggi used 28 engines during the 2011 WSBK season, more than two per race weekend. Randy de Puniet has 12 engines to last for 18 race weekends, meaning his engines need to last about three times as long as Biaggi's WSBK-spec RSV4 engines. 

Honda can use the knowledge gained from their RC213V (already a paragon of reliability) to ensure that the bike is both powerful and reliable enough, and being based on the bike currently being raced by Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, it should be significantly more competitive than the current crop of CRTs, despite the lower technology spec being applied. The bike should suit the spec Bridgestones better than the CRT bikes, helping make it more competitive. Pricing will likely be a little less than the million euros that satellite lease prices are likely to be capped at. With only a few satellite bikes available - at a million euros, the factories are not inclined to produce very many, as the cost of supporting satellite bikes is high - a CRT version of the RC213V would be very much in demand.

The fact that Honda are willing to produce such a bike and make it available to CRT teams could mean that the Claiming Rule itself is about to be dropped. The MSMA members have seen that the bikes being entered under the CRT rules are no threat to their domination of the MotoGP class, and therefore have nothing to fear from dropping the claiming rule. Indeed, not losing an engine to another factory makes it more attractive for a company such as Honda to build a CRT machine. HRC would have control in the first instance over who the sell the bike to, and by the time it is sold on at the end of the year, the technology would be sufficiently outdated to make it acceptable to lose to a competitor.

More details of the bike are keenly awaited. For now, we shall have to wait for Nakamoto-san's "soon" to arrive.

~~~ UPDATE ~~~

MCN has a little more detail on the contractual part of the bike. Matt Birt writes that the bike will be sold and not leased, but that it will not run as a CRT entry, presumably to prevent the engine from being claimed. Pricing will come in at around 1 million euros, according to MCN, which is the level at which the cost of leasing a satellite bike is set to be fixed at at the next meeting of the Grand Prix Commission at Assen. The bike will be ready for 2014.

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...but what will be the real difference when they go racing with this machine? They will still be slower than the satellite bikes, right?

Anyway, I hope more factories make replicas of their machines so we don't have to see the almost embarrassing home made CRT bikes lapping a few seconds per lap behind the rest.

they produce that V5 interceptor thats been spied every year since 2005.....
Have a very "i'll believe it when i see it" attitude now with honda making "production racers"
Hope they make an awesome CRT bike and sell it to half a dozen teams though.

As ever David, great article.

We're not all talking about who's gonna ride what and what VR's going to do if the Duke partnership goes.

This is my humble is the most interesting thing I've read about Moto GP for at least a season. It was only a matter of time before the heavyweights started to go down this route. And now Nakamoto San has shown (albeit a small) amount of their hand, how long before Furusawa starts making noises? Not long I'd wager. I'd think Yamaha might actually steal a little bit of march here, what with the current R1 engine. Admittedly it's not seen any dev in a year or so, but I think they'd have a good base.

I'm still think that Aprilia are onto a good thing with starting their project from the very start, after all, what gives better data than racing?

Genuinely excited by this project.

I'm guessing that the Karel Abrahams and Pramacs of the grid would much prefer this route - a more competitive satellite bike for anyone with the budget. I would think that Honda responded to approaches from various camps on this one.

It would also open up the aftermarket to produce bits (a Suter or FTR swingarm etc) for the bike.

I like it!

"The fact that Honda are willing to produce such a bike and make it available to CRT teams could mean that the Claiming Rule itself is about to be dropped. The MSMA members have seen that the bikes being entered under the CRT rules are no threat to their domination of the MotoGP class, and therefore have nothing to fear from dropping the claiming rule."

But i thought the factories did not want the CRT rules, and it was pushed though by Dorna, who was using the threat of CRT to keep the factories honest?

If Honda succeeds in getting the CRT rule dropped this way, it seems they will have won, and Dorna blinked.

CRT refers to the ability of one of the factories in MotoGP to claim the engine of a CRT bike for a small specified sum of money with the intent of disincentivising spending tons of money on engineering a engine in a CRT via a thinly veiled factory effort from Kawi, Aprilia, Suzuki, BMW etc.

For example, If you spend 300,000 to develop an engine, and it includes propritetary technology, you wouldn't want one of the factories to be able to claim it for 30,000.

What David is referring to is the claiming rule itself, not the Claiming Rule Teams rules as a whole. The term CRT is a poorly chosen name for a set of rules of which the Claiming Rule is just one.

This is great new. If it catches on with other factories (specially non MotoGP ones) it could lead to something great. It's specially good that it is Honda who's doing it, they were so critical of the hole CRT concept (and also of the ART bikes), this seem to point out that they are finally getting the idea.

What a prospective buyer is not paying for is HRC data techs and engine rebuilds.  That means those jobs will need to be done within the team.

This reveals that HRC are willing to design and build a bike their customers can tear down and rebuild - and manage the ECU data - on their own (presumably after getting a training seminar).

One wonders why they couldn't do this during the 800cc era...

Judging by the spy shots recently 'revealed' of the Suzuki testing in Japan, Honda are not the first to think this way.
The bike shown in those (strangely good and accurately positioned) shots seem to indicate that Suzuki are also building a production racer for MotoGP too.

Interesting times (and hopefully fuller grids) to come with luck

Bringing back a production racer in this fashion will definitely be a step forward for the non-factory teams. You know Honda is going to make sure that their production racer will be more than competitive against the current frankensteins that make up the CRT grid.

The real question would be whether they would even bother to give true factory prototypes to satellite teams once this bike finally reaches production. If everyone is complaining about costs, then the most cost effective route would be to have your factory team with the real prototype, and then your satellite team with the production racers. Another question would be what level of modification would the teams that buy these bike be able to make?

I wonder if this was one of the other concessions to getting rid of the rookie rule?

Before prototypes in general are no longer part of MotoGP? . I would think that a company like Honda would only agree with this rule if they were still able to race and develop their full prototypes.

Though one has to also think that a company can greatly benefit from proving that anyone can take their base package and be competitive. It can also be very profitable and make sense as a business case.

David, do you know if Honda has asked for any "concessions" in agreeing to start building factory racers?

"production racer" ...... Isn't that what WSBK is about ?

Regardless, ,I love the idea and hope it puts a lot more bikes on the grid, at an affordable price, and makes a far more sustainable series.

Honda would have to homologate the bike (produce and sell over 200? 1000? units) to race it in WSBK, so I don't think this will be a anything like that.

I think the difference is, as well as homogelation, that Sbk is production bike gone racing, and this will be racer gone production, if that makes sense.

when the CRT concept was being introduced, I mentioned that the satellite machines will be a thing-of-the-past if the factories would create a new platform to race with! So here it is finally! Now the really brilliant thing to do now is to make various levels of this platform for MotoGP, WSB, AMA etc etc then finally to us... the drooling public! If any brand could do it... it would be Honda! I bet J.Rea is crying right now because he's so happy... tears of joy! The RVF1000rr is on it's way like the SPs and RCs of the past. The entire Honda sportbike line-up can be rejuvenated from this 'production racer' technology! Imagine a Honda CBR600rr or 1000rr V4!? Thanks for bring us this info, David!

I had suggested that one way to do away with the rather dumb and potentially corrupting CRT concept is to require manufacturers to make a production racer for sale for one million euros if they wanted to race their prototypes. Looks like DORNA didn't have to make the desire explicit or write a rule for it; I suspect this is part of the ongoing shell game for negotiations.

HRC's move is smart on many, many levels. Fills the grids, captures the satellite teams that want to play but can't get factory bikes, drives the CRT manufacturers pretty much out of the game - or exposes them for the factory efforts they actually are.

It proves that the insane cost of a MotoGP machine is in chasing the final fraction of a second. Turns out that it's completely possible, once the basic design of the machine is set, to make small production runs at a fraction of the cost of the prototype.

And finally, if DORNA insists on keeping the CRT concept in place and monkeys with the rules to make CRT teams competitive, now HRC has staked out a position on that front. That alone will ultimately kill off the CRT concept.

Really, it's all common sense. And I think Honda is only the first to go this route.

p.s. No way any of these machines wins a race in the dry.

p.p.s. Predictions like the one above frequently make the author look silly.

A discussion like this always exposes the gap between how the fans and the satellite/privateer team owners think.

The fans by and large want to see close racing, with every rider having an equal chance of getting into the mix.

The owners of the non-factory teams know they don't really have much of a chance of winning races. They are out there to compete and to hawk either their own goods and services or someone else's goods or services in the form of sponsorship/advertising splashed up the side of the fairing. They are out to make money and what they want is a cost-effective route into the sport that allows them to do it. As evidenced by the plunge into CRT bikes this year - they all know they don't have a dream of winning or getting on the podium but that hasn't stopped them.

In other words don't condemn the Honda production racer just because it probably won't be competitive. Getting on the rostrum is far from being the whole equation.

People who are talking about modifications and tinkering with the bike by customer teams like the good old days are getting a little ahead of themselves as I don't see a quote from Nakamoto san that actually confirms the bike will be "sold" to the customer teams. It might just be a cheaper and lower technology lease bike confirming to the 21 litre regulation for prototypes.

One of the stated objectives of HRC through Nakamoto san about these bikes are that they want to prove that a production racer can be within 1 second of the the factory bikes. See here

For that goal to be achieved i would think the electronics of the bike is very important which i am sure Honda is not about to let other people meddle with.

HRC would have control in the first instance over who the sell the bike to, and by the time it is sold on at the end of the year, the technology would be sufficiently outdated to make it acceptable to lose to a competitor.

Sounds like it's a sale, with accompanying service contracts that could be very lucrative for HRC.


With all due respect to the editor of this site, I believe it is his take on what Nalamoto meant when describing it as a "production racer". I am still sceptical that Honda can make a production racer which is significantly faster than the current ART CRT's with a standard off the shelf ECU's. If making a modern day race bike was as simple as having just a well balanced frame and a powerful engine, the Suter BMW would have by now been on the heels of the satellite prototypes given that the engines they use are the same and as powerful as WSBK factory team's. Thus i am even more sceptical that Honda will sell a bike with advanced electronics to customer teams which competitors could potentially get their hands on. It will be great if they indeed sold the bike lock stock and barrel to customers but for now I will file it under "believe it when I see it" section.

looking at the website for the RCV21 3 I noticed that most of the moving parts in the engine seemed to be machined from billet. Is this technology cost efficient enough now to be used in a production racer?

I suspect that production racer is poor wording. The meaning of production more likely to mean that the bike will be produced and sold. It will still essentially be a prototype (although made in volumes of 10s rather than 1s). It would be updated yearly and sold rather than leased.

I suspect that Honda believes that it can make a bike equal or better than the current CRT teams, for a price that they sell and either make a small profit or break even. I suspect that Honda had not considered that teams would want to buy a bike that had no chance of winning (CRTs) and find the funds.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but it would effectively increase the size of the Honda factory resources, while not increasing cost (revenue - expense). Realistically it'll be last years frame and engine, with some unobtanium bits stripped out.

But production it will not be.

I like your thinking alive19.

Given that all factory bikes are probably at the maximum bore size to allow for the biggest valves they can get in. That means the bore and stroke ratio are now set, change for the next couple of years? Why?

So Honda looks at their bikes and says leave that off and that off and we can make one for X. If X is any where near where the ART bikes are priced then bingo time to make some.

The more they make the of their own major engine components, and the countless hours spent developing them they amortize the money paid faster.

Great idea Honda, now can Yamaha or Ducati match it?

re: "I suspect that production racer is poor wording. The meaning of production more likely to mean that the bike will be produced and sold. It will still essentially be a prototype"

simply mkI versions of the bikes (pre updates) that the factory guys are using. think the spring valved RC212 circa 2007 vs. the 2008.5 RC212 with the mega-buck pneumatic top end makeover. when nakamoto eludes to the bike coming with pneumatic valves he's just being diplomatic. what he really means to say is NO, it won't have it. just as you say, whether sold or lease, satellite/customer bikes will continue to be 2nd tier kit as has been the grandprix way for decades. nothing to see here folks, move along.

Assuming this thing will actually be sold to teams or individuals, not just leased, then this is fantastic news. Quite apt too given HRC were the last manufacturer who offered a Grand Prix bike that anyone could go out and buy:

The 500V was their answer to an earlier instance of shrinking grids and a lack of useable machinery in the class. In the right hands it was capable of podium positions.

Can we optimisitcally read between the lines of this machine, and the one leaked earlier by Suzuki, and consider the fact the manufacturers have reached some sort of gentlemans agreement to provide GP bikes for sale?

Interesting development. I'm kind of on the side of those saying they'll believe it when they see it. Historically at any rate, there is basis for this sort of thing so it's not an obscure concept. I say, if Honda goes through with it, it's about time.

Should have happened several years ago when it became apparent that things were headed towards grids of less than 20 bikes. Frankly I'm surprised that Yamaha, having sold bunches of YZ500s that filled the grids in the late 80s and early 90s didn't do something similar before Honda.

Nothing against Honda if in fact they proceed, could be the best thing to happen to the series in years. Hopefully other companies will follow suit and the series will be healthy again. One can only hope that this is what happens. As the saying goes, the best laid plans can go awry.

Key to making this thing work (read 'competitive but not overpriced') will be the electronics package. I'm guessing Honda will want to make it work, but not, as someone above suggested, give away secrets to competitors. The hardware ain't the hardest thing - it's a motorcycle, and all the bits are well-known. It's the system you plug into place and how you program it.

Just a "fer example": There's a company in the U.K. known as Bike Sport Developments. They sell and service Magneti Marelli systems. For about 16,000 pounds British sterling, they'll sell you the former BSB or customer World Superbike-level Magneti Marelli SRT system. For another small stack of cash, they'll install it - and for a bit more, they'll dial it in for you.

I know pro racers who have ridden a bike with the BSD-developed SRT system and they raved about it - seriously, guys with very good off-the-shelf stuff on their race bikes who used this system and went ga-ga over it. It's a good enough system to podium at the WSBK level.

I'm not saying that this specific system is the one that Honda is going to put on a proddie racer. I'm simply trying to avoid working, so I'm spending my time speculating!

But even if the system needed to operate the RC213V proddie bike costs 50,000 pounds sterling, that's still pretty cheap in the land of 60,000 euro brakes. One route Honda could take is to outfit the proddie bike with a system like this. No HRC electronics magic need ever leave HRC hands, and the bike, I'd suspect, would run pretty well, if the system were tuned properly.

Just some perspective on real-world electronics systems costs and capabilities, and something to ponder. How good would an RC213V with non-factory-magic electronics actually be?

Anyway, thanks to breganzane for the reminder about that v-Twin. That was my dream bike for years. I've known a couple of people who have ridden it, and they loved it - like a big 250cc GP bike that never stopped pulling!

If Moto GP is to move to a spec ECU then these bikes could prove very worthwhile.

"The hardware ain't the hardest thing - it's a motorcycle, and all the bits are well-known", tell that to Ducati. LOL

I'm a bit tipsy today, don't mind it...

HA! Awesome ...

I meant the RC213V hardware is well-known to Honda. Chatter and all, I'd be willing to bet there are teams who would kill for a simplified version of the bike.

Back in the day, when Porsche was trying to make its 917 competitive, the company policy was to build a new car for each factory driver for each major race. The car would be sold off after the race. This helped swell the grids, even though - of course - the car would be outdated by the next event.

I think it was 1969 when Porsche built 52 917s.

Is it likely to see teams rushing to buy one of these babies for next season?
It could really turn silly season around having more "semi-competitive" bikes around, especially giving rookies more potential to showcase their talent in the big class.

If you were a team owner, for 1 million € would you buy an ART with a sub-WSBK-spec engine (to last all season with 12 engines) or a Honda with a prototype V4 engine derived from the RC213V?

We may "soon" see lots of Hondas on the grid.

If CRT bikes must be prototype chassis housing a production engine, which engine will be used?

As I understand correctly a CRT engine can be claimed by another CRT team/factory for a certain amount (15000).

What stops a manufacturer like Honda for inserting some hidden settings in this engine which will make it perform better if you know them?
For example Honda runs a very successful "factory like" CRT team because they just use the full factory (or slightly less advanced) engine but add a simple box which enables the real deal of this engine. Or maybe they do it less obvious by using settings which are not known to other CRT teams.
In this way they can run a CRT team with the engine of a full factory one without giving another team the "unlocked" engine and still have the fuel (22 litres) advantage. I know it will be costly to suply this full factory engine to everyone who pays the 15000 but you can make it underperforming so nobody wants it or find some middle ground where you create a financial acceptable engine with most of the technology of the full factory one.

TL;DR. create a very fast engine but don't supply the other CRT teams with essential information (adding a black box or something).
Couldn't this be an evil but legal loophole?

Yeah they could probably do that... but I think you underestimate how much proprietary design and highly developed technology goes into just the engine alone not including any electronics.

It's a big part of the reason Ducati continues to struggle. Like Rossi has said many times, there's only so much the ECU can do to give the desired power delivery and handling characteristics.

@ samjenkins

I think you'd end up with a bit of a night mare with no rules at all!!

How bout this for MotoGP -
control tyres,
control fuel,
unlimited number of cylinders BUT an 18,000 RPM rev limit (pneumatic valves are relativly common technology now),

unlimited fuel BUT an end-of-race weight of 140KG (this allows the smaller teams to run with extra fuel at the beginning of the race till they get their electronics up to speed, it also encourages the factories to chase fuel economy so they can have a lighter bike at the beginning of the race without forcing it down their throats),

1 extra hour of practice per race weekend for any team 6th place or lower on the points table.

If top speeds become an issue, use airo as a restrictor (like enforcing the use of a blunt nose on the fairings)

"end-of-race weight of 140KG"

That's an interesting idea... but you can really accomplish the same objective without it by just having unlimited fuel. Mainly, larger teams will try for more fuel efficiency anyway without the weight limit, just to have a lighter bike at the beginning of the race as you point out. Smaller teams would just be burdened with having to dump (burn) any unused fuel at the end of the race by monitoring fuel consumption and adjusting to make sure they're not over-weight. Why bother them with that when they're already paying the weight penalty of extra fuel?

Control tires and fuel, I like.

But I'm curoius what you think what would be so bad (nightmarish) of no rules?

I can see the point of view that with no rules, only a few teams will actually manage to get it right and be ahead of the pack every race, but in my dream world, it'd just be one of 2 races, and the prototype race would really be mostly (almost exclusively) about the machines anyway...hopefully seeing many different types running at the same time, like turbos, 2-strokes, 6-cylinders.

Of course, a no-rules race would only fit in my head if there was the other spec race to balance it to showcase rider ability.

what they should be aiming for is what David implied in the post, TZ's RG's these were raced at club level up to world championships this sort of CRT bike would allow proper wildcards again, imagine a full grid of 'Production Racers' in Motogp and you could have BSB riders WSB riders CEV riders doing wild card rides and having a shout at a result in the same way Hislop Tamada etc did in WSB.

Joe punter could have Motogp level technology (most likely 2-3 year after production once a top team has finished with them) in his garage to go racing with at BSB level potentially, rules withstanding. Certainly at the IoM TT!

hurry up and do it next year, scrap the prototypes !

Hey, the M2 and M3 classes are really competitive, and so winners. MotoGP needs that kind of answer, but... is'nt it a bit too much "Honda Cup"?

David, Is it possible that Stoner caught wind of this new platform HRC was developing and decided he didn't want to ride this watered-down version of the RCV he's riding now? That in addition to his requests for a 1-year contract being denied? So Stoner just decided to stop negotiations and wanted out of the game. MotoGP as it is now... is officially on the chopping block with this announcement from HRC. Yamaha will follow Honda soon enough. The best thing for the series will be that more quality riders will be on the grid for Lorenzo to play with while on his way to 2 more championships!

Nakamoto has made it clear that this production racer is a less technical copy of the current prototype, not a CRT which, in practice, is a prototype chassis with a production (as in road bike) engine. The question of purchase or lease is important as private teams must pay for their machines with sponsorship money. With the level of technology in the bike purchase makes more sense for Honda and the teams. Leasing has always been the bane of satellite teams. This production racer would have to follow prototype rules and also it opens up the opportunity for teams to modify these bikes. The money saved on these bikes can then be used for better engineering. It's a brilliant solution and if Aprilia designs a prototype engine for the ART and Suzuki comes in with a production racer there is the chance for private teams to flourish once again. I would not be surprised to see Ducati go down the production racer path in the near future as these production race bikes, marketed correctly, will sell a lot of street bikes.

Jeehzus... the constant rule changes.

The article David has on a fix for the GP forumulae is so simple, I seriously want to tie it around a rock and throw it through Carmen's window. Come on. lost me as a customer couple years ago, and only seem to watch Moto2 and then only highlights of the big bikes. Its all stole my thunder, put a bad taste in my mouth... and that should scare Dorna because I eat breath and bleed the stuff.

Its just become ridiculous. 15 years from now we will look back on now and :facepalm Im doing it now

I'm pretty sure it was David who wrote in an article recently that the manufactures had agreed on a rev limit in exchange for the "rookie rule" being dropped, and I'm pretty sure that rev limit was going to be no higher than 15,000 RPM.

So assuming the rev limit will be announced now the rookie rule has gone, why would Honda bother with a prototype at all next year and put up with the 6 engine rule and a 19 litre fuel capacity?
A race bike with a 15,000 RPM engine and 147 KG dry weight can be built from a Fireblade, (or a "production" RC212V with a valve spring engine that can be bought by anyone)

I believe Honda's "production racer" will be the bikes that ALL Honda riders will use next year (and I reckon Stoner knows this and this is why he's bailed)

This might be the last year of the real prototypes .....I don't know about you guys but I find this depressing

If the manufacturers didn't want to put up with the 6 engine limit and 21 litre fuel capacity they would change those rules. At any rate, from the update to David's article it looks like these bikes will race under normal prototype rules.
I think that Honda not putting any full prototypes on the grid next year is about as likely as Loris Capirossi winning this year's championship.

only competing with sub-spec RC213V available for sale to anybody for 1 million € (remeber they lease the RC213V around 3 million € a year!) to compete with Yamaha and Ducati.

No way a bike for this price would fight for the championship and Honda does not wish to be humiliated by its competitors so not gonna happen. This production racer will be sold to private teams while the official team will still race RC213Vs.

Also let's not get ahead of ourselves, for now we don't know much but according to MCN this bike will be available from 2014, not next season.

The CRT bikes get to use 12 engines and are allowed to carry 24 litres of fuel.

The fact that WSBK bikes can use as many engines as they want makes a mockery of the engine limit rule for CRTs since they are presumably the same engines (potentially in a higher state of tune admittedly).

or maybe not, but I don't fear full prototypes go the way of the dinosaurs if it means closer and exiting races. I don't follow MotoGP to watch who makes the fastest, coolest bike followed byt the second fastest and coolest bike and so on.At this point, Moto2 is beating the cr..p out of GP in every race as far as exitement goes and these guys are riding the wheels out of a 600CBR with some fancy chassis, and look at the result:the best riders are always at the font. If full prototypes dissapear , I'm afraid the only thing we will miss would be one or two Hondas/Yamahas a mile ahead, followed by a real race for 4th.

Racing is a sport, which involves athletes AND bikes, and it's still 80/20 in favor of the rider making the difference, if I wanted to know who's bike is technologycally superior we can put a spec-robot aboard the bike, or better yet, Honda can come up with some electronic ghizmo that would make the bike ride itself(we have RC bikes already) and we can all gather and watch those "races" but what I do want to see who's the darest, most intrepid human that can defy fear and ride a motorcycle somewhat similar to the one I do race and we can do that with prototyes, CRT's, prod racers or whatever they come up with.

That's a point I think a lot of people would agree with you for the most part. But lets take it to it's logical conclusion, we'd have a spec series for MotoGP. Same bike across the board, teams can only setup suspension and maybe play with mappings. It would still be a prototype machine, but identically delivered to all teams.

But then, if every bike is identical, then what's the point of having it be prototype? Just to say it's faster then any production-based machine? There's a little value in that I suppose.

If not to that extreme, then allow different manufacturers except with very strict spec rules for engine types, stock ECU, bore & stroke, amount of fuel, total bike weight... oh wait... minus the ECU that's what we have in MotoGP today... :)

Your statement about rider/bike ratio of influence pretty much nails it on the head, in that, we just need a consensus on how much we value the rider, and how much the bike he's on.

I agree with you that come race day I'd like to see a competition dictated predominantly by rider skill, however, I don't want a spec series.

When races are going on I like to read about the different bikes, engine configurations, firing orders, advancements in materials, suspension, and yes, electronics. I like engineering, and different solutions to the same problem adds to my enjoyment of the sport.

It's a balance that everyone around MotoGP has a take on.

My dream wishlist for MotoGP would be a perfect compromise of the two extremes. Run two short races (2/3 distance of current race) with the same riders. One with a spec prototype machine from a single supplier. The second... :) COMPLETE prototype:

1. No fuel limit
2. No bore spec
3. No displacement limit
4. No engine configuration spec
5. Allow turbos
6. No minimum weight

Wait... let's make it simple:

1. Two wheels, one behind the other.

Same points for each race, combine... bake for 120 minutes at 220 mph, done.

Ahhh... there I go day-dreaming again.

David, does it look to be introduced for next season? If Honda put this out there would we expect to see Yamaha, Ducati, Aprilia follow suit and others return to the series (Suzuki, Kawasaki, MV Agusta) and possibly new manufacturers (i.e. BMW, KTM)?

With the Production Racer bikes would the teams own the bike, as opposed to satellite teams leasing, and be able to develop parts for them such as frame, swing arm, etc? Or would they be bound to only using parts that the manufacturer approves for them?