125cc GP class may be replaced by Moto3

New class to use 250cc four-stroke race bikes

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jun. 01, 2010
The two-stroke Grand Prix era may be coming to an end with the 125cc class to be replaced by 250cc four-strokes.

According to a report by MCN, discussions are underway for the new class, to be called Moto3, to debut in 2012. The change is expected to come just as the premiere MotoGP class increases engine capacity from 800cc to 1000cc. Moto3 is expected to replace the 125cc motorcycles with 250cc single cylinder bikes and join MotoGP and Moto2 on the Grand Prix tour.

The International Motorcycling Federation and promoter Dorna Sports replaced the old 250cc two-stroke class with Moto2 this year, with the Moto2 using Honda-produced 600cc engines in prototype frames. Moto2 has drawn a lot of interest from race teams and sponsors, with a typical race fielding a grid of 41 entrants.

A side effect from the popularity of Moto2 is a depleted 125cc class. In 2009, the 125cc class typically featured about 35 riders per race, with the smallest grid featuring 30. Through three rounds this year, the 125cc grid numbered 26, 31 and 29 entries, with three local wildcard entries each in the Spanish and French Grand Prix rounds.

Discussions are still in their early stages but the Moto3 class is not expected to be a spec-engine class like Moto2. According to MCN, the Moto3 class would cost less than the current 125cc class. It would also be more affordable than competing in Moto2. Moto3 may include such purpose-built race bikes as the Moriwaki MD250H that is used in several domestic racing series.

The Moriwaki MD250H and the Aprilia RS125 faced off in a recent Motorcycle.com Shootout. See the related reading link to see who won.

A 125cc class has competed in every single Grand Prix racing season since the inaugural 1949 season. The current 125cc grid is dominated by the Aprilia RS125R with a handful of Derbi entries and a couple of Hondas and Lambrettas.

For an interesting read, see our Moriwaki MD250H vs. Aprilia RS125 shootout.

Related Reading
Moriwaki MD250H vs Aprilia RS125 Shootout