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The Moto3™ class’ inaugural season has not only been a challenge for the riders to adapt to the new machinery, but also for the design engineers and teams themselves to ensure their bikes make it through the season within the allowed engine allocation. motogp.com takes a look at how the riders’ engine allocation is fairing as the next round at Indianapolis awaits.
Whilst the Spanish and Italian national series (CEV and CIV) had allowed some Moto3™ bikes to run in 2011, the machinery’s first ever season on the world stage was always going to be a big challenge. The issue of engine allocation was initially raised at the Sachsenring round, as Ioda Team Italia’s Luigi Morciano had to start from pit lane as his season’s allocation of eight engines has already been used up – and will continue to do so until the end of the season. His then teammate, IodaRacing Project’s Jonas Folger, who has now been replaced with Armando Pontone, was fairing slightly better, yet the Italian could suffer a similar fate as his compatriot towards the end of the year, as his team have already discarded five of the bike’s engines and he now only has three left for the next eight rounds.
This is in stark contrast to some of the front runners, such as Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Sandro Cortese (KTM), Blusens Avintia’s Maverick Viñales (Honda), RW Racing GP’s Luis Salom (KTM) and Caretta Technology’s Alexis Masbou (Honda), who have only discarded one engine so far, despite having used in the region of four to five. The reasoning behind this naturally points towards the much larger factory influence of KTM and Honda, who have had more money and resources to put into their Moto3 projects.
Mahindra, similarly to Ioda, are not using the large factory’s engines, but have instead gone with a design from Oral Engineering, which, despite having some top-end power issues earlier in the season, has proved reliable. Both Marcel Schrötter (now replaced by Riccardo Moretti) and Danny Webb have only discarded two engines each so far this year.
With eight rounds left to go it looks like the KTM and Honda riders should not suffer any significant trouble with their allocations, which is a tremendous feat for such a new class of racing motorcycles. Ioda have however been plugging away, and despite their reliability issues have been towards the sharp end with Folger a few times now, which Pontone might be able to improve on.
The racing has been fierce and close in Moto3 so far, and with very few engine woes for the majority of teams and riders, fans should be treated to another spectacular half season of racing once the entry-class descends on Indianapolis on the 17th August.
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