After Valentino Rossi described the switch from 990cc to 800cc in MotoGP as 'the biggest mistake the world championship has made in the last 15 years' [see separate story – click here
], Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has defended the move – despite the fact that an about-turn is on the cards for 2012.
From then onwards, the premier class will revert to being a category open to bikes with a capacity of as large as a litre – but their 800cc counterparts will be permitted to continue alongside them, for the time being at least.
Riders, teams and fans alike have bemoaned the diminished appeal of the 800cc era, with the greater emphasis on electronics having dulled the spectacle – but Ezpeleta refuses to agree with record-breaing multiple world champion Rossi's blunt appraisal of the initiative.
“I don't know if it was the biggest mistake or not,” the Spanish head of MotoGP's commercial rights-holder told Crash.net Radio
. “The years we have had with 800cc have been fantastic with some good racing, and at the end of it we can discuss what has happened.
“What we are trying to do with the new regulations is firstly reduce costs by working together, and secondly, if costs come down we will have more riders on the grid. I am sure the best riders will win regardless of what regulations we propose.
“The regulations that we approved in Valencia and in Geneva were up to 1,000cc, up to four cylinders and up to 81mm cylinder bore measurement. That means it can be no higher than those limits, but if people want to use less capacity of the engine it is possible.
“The proposal of the MSMA (Motorcycle Sports Manufacturers' Association) is to make some compensation regarding weight and litres dependent upon which bike you use – but in principle, the rules will be up to 1,000cc, up to four cylinders and up to 81mm cylinder bore measurement.
“With the litres and the weight, we think the performance will be more-or-less the same as we have right now with 800cc. I am not a very good forecaster, but I hope we will have good races with 1,000cc.”
TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW IN FULL: CLICK HERE