MotoGP rookie and former 250cc title contender Andrea Dovizioso believes that the quarter-litre grand prix class is the 'best to be in' before moving to MotoGP and doesn't want it changed.
On June 27 the Grand Prix Commission announced that it had accepted a proposal by the MSMA to replace the 250cc two-stroke class with 600cc four-strokes from 2011. The deadline for manufacturers to express an interest in taking part in the new class expired yesterday (July 31).
The precise technical specifications are still to be 'discussed and established', although it appears that - in order to keep costs as low as possible - a production-based engine will controversially be used to power a prototype chassis.
Whatever the eventual regulations, Dovizioso - who took four 250cc wins and finished second in the world championship to Jorge Lorenzo in both 2005 and 2006 - thinks any change will be for the worse.
"I like two-strokes a lot and especially 250," Dovizioso told Crash.net
. "I think it is the best class to be in before moving to MotoGP and I don't want the 250cc class to change."
When asked about the differences he had experienced in moving from a 250cc two-stroke to an 800cc four-stroke, Dovi admitted that a premier-class prototype is hard to prepare for - but believes the lessons learnt while racing the infinitely-adjustable 250 have helped him adapt.
"The move to MotoGP was completely different," said the Italian, who took 26 podiums from 49 250cc starts with Honda. "The four-stroke is very different to the two-stroke - the engine braking, weight, power, everything - but with the 250cc class you learn many things that prepare you for the MotoGP class."
Dovizioso is currently fifth in the MotoGP World Championship for JiR Team Scot with a best race finish of fourth (three times) from his first eleven starts. The Italian is the top satellite rider in the standings and just 11 points behind leading rookie Lorenzo of the factory Yamaha team.
Of the four 2008 rookies - Dovizioso, Lorenzo, Alex de Angelis and James Toseland - only double World Superbike champion Toseland has not raced in the 250GP class.
Opinion is divided as to which class presents the best preparation for MotoGP - and why.
Although many agree with Dovizioso that the unforgiving nature of 250cc two-strokes helps prepare a rider for MotoGP, others state that the main advantage of the 250GP class is simply that it is part of the MotoGP paddock - allowing riders to learn the tracks and have their success noted by MotoGP team managers.