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What is Moto2™?
The 600cc four-stroke Moto2™ category replaced the two-stroke 250cc class in 2010 with the intentionto be a prestigious yet cost-effective accompaniment to the premier class of MotoGP. What followed was sensational racing, healthy grid numbers and as many as 20 bikes covered by a single second on the stopwatch.
Some of the key characteristics of this category of Grand Prix racing are a single engine supplier and a single tyre supplier. Honda Racing Corporation is the chosen engine supplier, while Dunlop provide the tyres.
Powered by a one-make 600cc 4-stroke engine, producing around 140hp, the Moto2™ run a prototype chassis free from limitations. No production bike parts are permitted for the frame, swing arm, fuel tank, seat or cowling, meaning that these aspects of the machine are left to the manufacturer and designer’s discretion.
However, electronic systems are more limited than those that were permitted in 250cc, which had seen select factories bringing in traction control. Moto2™ rules allow for data loggers, ECU and timing transponders supplied by the organiser, with a maximum total cost of the ECU's components set at 650 euros. No other electronic control nor datalogging systems are allowed on the bikes.
The entry list for the debut season in 2010 was full of talented, experienced riders, with four 125cc World Champions competing in the class: Thomas Lüthi (2005), Gabor Talmacsi (2007), Mike di Meglio (2008) and Julián Simón (2009). Accompanying them were seven riders with experience in the elite class of MotoGP: Toni Elías, De Angelis, Niccolò Canepa, Yuki Takahashi, Talmacsi, Anthony West and Rolfo.
Since then Moto2™ has offered exciting, close racing, with 17 different riders landing on the podium in 2010 and 16 in 2011. The class structure has proved itself as a sound racing formula, with an oversubscription of applicants the first season and only less than the maximum number of 40 entries allowed in 2011.
Moto2™ in the CEV Buckler
Moto2™ bikes made their first competitive outing in the 2009 edition of the CEV Buckler - the Spanish National Road Racing Championship, with teams such as Promo Racing, Laglisse and BQR lining up early Moto2™ prototypes and displaying impressive potential.