By Stephen J. Carter

Nearly five months since the last race in Valencia, the all-new 2012 MotoGP season kicks off Thursday at the Losail circuit in Qatar. But before the action gets underway, here are your responses (full list below) to the survey about the current and future status of MotoGP.

With MotoGP the most prestigious motorcycle racing series, it's no surprise that the riders are also seen as such. Approximately 83% agree that MotoGP is special because of its riders, with 64% believing that the top ten in MotoGP are the best in the world.

Recently, it was reported that Valentino Rossi's long-time crew chief Jeremy Burgess expressed his displeasure with the new 1000cc MotoGP regulations, specifically citing concerns over top speed.

Indeed, after five seasons of trite 800cc racing, Dorna found themselves in a bit of a conundrum with pressure to bring back the elusive 'spectacle' once enjoyed by premier-class enthusiasts.

81% of responders agreed that, with hindsight, the switch to 800cc in 2007 was a 'big mistake' (over half strongly agreed) while 73% feel that the change back to a larger capacity will improve the 'show' in 2012.

64% felt that increasing overtaking should be MotoGP's number one priority.

In terms of man vs. machine, 62% of responders felt that winning in MotoGP now has more to do with equipment; thus, talent takes a backseat to technology. A satellite MotoGP rider has not won a race since 2006 and 71% believe that will again be the case in 2012.

Nevertheless, a majority (70%) believe that MotoGP is special because of its technology, underlining that any 'dumbing-down' in the name of cost-cutting should be done with caution.

However the love of technology didn't seem to extend to advances that harm 'the show'. 67% agreed, 38% strongly, that a standard ECU (banning traction control) should be used in MotoGP.

On the other hand, 84% believe rev or top speed limits - also among the options on the table for 2013 - are not appropriate in MotoGP

Reaction to the present MotoGP fuel limit was overwhelming negative (75%), while 67% would like to see open-tyre competition return to the premier-class.

Just over half the viewers felt the new privateer CRT class will be good for MotoGP, but there was clear opposition to the statement that a standard engine should be available for all CRTs, similar to Moto2.

The clearest consensus was that MotoGP needs more factory manufacturers, backed by 95% (76% strongly) and that MotoGP must always be quicker than WSBK, backed by 92% (72% strongly).

The latter will surprise some, who insist that because MotoGP prototypes are 'harder' to ride, the lap time is not crucially important.

Full results from the survey are listed below...

1. The top ten MotoGP riders are the best riders in the world.
Strongly disagree: 7.71%
Disagree: 28.77%
Agree: 39.15%
Strongly agree: 24.37%

2. '80% rider, 20% bike' still applies for success in MotoGP.
Strongly disagree: 19.84%
Disagree: 42.45%
Agree: 25.63%
Strongly agree: 12.08%

3. MotoGP is special because of the technology.
Strongly disagree: 9.64%
Disagree: 20.02%
Agree: 43.90%
Strongly agree: 26.45%

4. MotoGP is special because of the riders.
Strongly disagree: 2.09%
Disagree: 14.23%
Agree: 50.55%
Strongly agree: 33.13%

5. The move from 990cc to 800cc was a big mistake.
Strongly disagree: 5.16%
Disagree: 13.67%
Agree: 24.67%
Strongly agree: 56.50%

6. The new 1000cc engines will improve the 'show'.
Strongly disagree: 4.90%
Disagree: 22.30%
Agree: 50.74%
Strongly agree: 22.06%

7. A standard ECU (banning traction control) should be used in MotoGP.
Strongly disagree: 13.47%
Disagree: 19.16%
Agree: 28.59%
Strongly agree: 38.77%

8. The MotoGP fuel limit is a green gimmick that harms the show.
Strongly disagree: 7.80%
Disagree: 16.46%
Agree: 29.81%
Strongly agree: 45.93%

9. MotoGP should allow more than one tyre manufacturer.
Strongly disagree: 12.80%
Disagree: 20.11%
Agree: 26.33%
Strongly agree: 40.77%

10. The new CRT class is good for MotoGP.
Strongly disagree: 17.17%
Disagree: 26.42%
Agree: 39.25%
Strongly agree: 17.17%

11. A standard engine should be available for all CRTs, similar to Moto2.
Strongly disagree: 45.24%
Disagree: 34.25%
Agree: 14.80%
Strongly agree: 5.71%

12. MotoGP's biggest priority should be to increase overtaking.
Strongly disagree: 5.81%
Disagree: 30.04%
Agree: 33.14%
Strongly agree: 31.01%

13. A satellite rider will not win a race in 2012.
Strongly disagree: 3.96%
Disagree: 24.53%
Agree: 32.64%
Strongly agree: 38.87%

14. MotoGP needs more (factory) manufacturers.
Strongly disagree: 2.23%
Disagree: 2.57%
Agree: 19.01%
Strongly agree: 76.20%

15. MotoGP must always be quicker than WSBK.
Strongly disagree: 1.66%
Disagree: 5.90%
Agree: 20.66%
Strongly agree: 71.77%

16. Rev or top speed limits are not appropriate in MotoGP.
Strongly disagree: 5.59%
Disagree: 10.99%
Agree: 23.65%
Strongly agree: 59.78%


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