How would the current crop of MotoGP stars cope if they were transported back in time to race the formidable 500cc two-strokes that ruled the premier-class until 2002?

Marc Marquez, Joan Mir, Alex Marquez and Alex Rins all said they would welcome the chance to try a 500cc machine, which offered none of the sophisticated electronics that help riders control the current, much more powerful, 1000cc four-strokes.

Kevin Schwantz is one of my idols," said Suzuki's reigning MotoGP champion Joan Mir. "Although I was not even born yet, I have watched many videos of him and his riding style was so spectacular.

"I would have liked to test those 500s without a doubt, but evolution has brought us to the current situation where the bikes offer more help, but they are also much faster and more effective.

"Every era is different and they are all good. It’s not a matter of better times, they’re just different eras.”

But team-mate Alex Rins, who revealed he has already asked to try a 500cc Suzuki, felt riding talent played a bigger role in the outcome of the two-stroke races.

"Those riders from the 500 era were brutal! I would love to try a 500 with a two-stroke engine without electronic aids and, in fact, I have already asked Suzuki if they would let us try one, but I think it would be very difficult to race with those bikes," Rins said.

"I think the competition would be less equal because with these bikes you need much more riding talent than what a four-stroke demands, without a doubt, there would be bigger differences between riders on track.”

While only six riders finished within 14s of the race winner at the Jerez 500cc race in 2001, that same time gap covered the top ten in MotoGP last Sunday.

Eight-time world champion Marc Marquez rides in a modern version of the Repsol colours first made famous by five-time champion Mick Doohan on the NSR500.

“Riding a Honda NSR 500, I think it would be very difficult at the beginning, as those motorcycles would feel very physical," said Marquez, speaking ahead of his third race since a nine-month layoff for a broken arm.

"All riders in the modern era have already grown up with electronics, something that helps a lot but also makes things difficult depending on the case.

"Anyway, I think it would be nice to compete in an old school race with those old motorcycles because the fans would surely enjoy it."

Younger brother and fellow Estrella Galicia 0,0 backed rider Alex added: "I would say that 500cc is another era with a different riding dynamics. Everything would change a lot and without electronic help it would be more complicated.

"We are evolving, logically, there is more technology because bikes go faster and faster and all those new solutions are necessary.

"It's just a different kind of approach to the competition and it can't be compared, but I would love to try a 500 and make a race with it.”

Valentino Rossi is the only remining rider on the current premier-class grid to have raced in the 500cc era, in 2000 and 2001.

 

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