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'New era' for MotoGP as 1000cc returns in 2012

11 December 2009

Valentino Rossi has got his wish – the maximum engine capacity for MotoGP will return to 1,000cc from 2012 onwards, ending the era of what the Yamaha star has in the past described as 'the biggest mistake the world championship has made in the last 15 years'.

The announcement was made following a reunion of the Grand Prix Commission at the Geneva headquarters of governing body the FIM to discuss the future of MotoGP, assembling leading representatives from commercial and television rights-holder Dorna and the Motorcycle Sports Manufacturers' Association (MSMA).

After the maximum engine capacity was reduced from 990cc to 800cc two years ago – replacing the highly successful four-stroke regulations that had been introduced back in 2002 in place of the two-stroke 500cc – the decision has now been taken to practically reverse that step. The rules will continue to adhere to the four-stroke, unlimited cylinders 800cc variant in 2010 and 2011, with a maximum usage of six engines per rider next season and two extra engines available to each manufacturer for 'wild card' entries.

“It was a very important meeting to decide the future of the MotoGP class,” explained Dorna chairman Carmelo Ezpeleta, quoted on motogp.com. “From 2012 the bikes will have an engine capacity of up to 1,000cc, have up to four cylinders and the maximum bore will be 81mm.

“It's a very important measurement, because with this we can have all the characteristics of the engine. This has been approved, and between now and the start of the 2010 season we will have another two meetings to define the rest of the specifications for this new class.”

“The main changes we have decided on are new rules for the MotoGP class,” added FIM President Vito Ippolito. “We will have four-cylinder engines, four-stroke of course, with a 1,000cc maximum. This base will give all the manufacturers the opportunity to start work. At the beginning of next year we will produce the new rules in a more complete format, but that is the basis. 2012 will be the year of a new era of MotoGP.”

Last week, record-breaking multiple MotoGP Champion Rossi stated that if the rule-making was up to him, he would 'return MotoGP to 1,000cc and remove 70 per cent of the electronics' in an effort to place the focus more upon talent than technology [see separate story – click here].

To see the full details of what emerged from the landmark meeting, click here


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