We have previously reported that for 2026 the MSMA is talking about reducing the displacement of MotoGP bikes from 1000 to just 850 cc. Gigi Dall'Igna explained to Speedweek what is happening because there are many issues to discuss, and at the moment there is no agreement, either on engine capacity, or on aerodynamics or the various devices that allow the bike to be lowered.
This is because for some time the spirit within the commission that brings together the manufacturers has been anything but relaxed.
Remember the controversy over the 'spoon', the controversial double flap wing brought to Qatar by Ducati in 2019? Honda, Aprilia, Suzuki and KTM objected, but when Dall'Igna explained that it was simply used to cool the rear tyre, they were unable to get it banned.
Ducati's rival manufacturers had better luck by getting the front lowering device, which can now only be used at the start, banned for 2023. A decision, it must be said, taken by Carmelo Ezpeleta, who always has the last word. And currently he wants to further reduce costs and the top speed of the prototypes which now exceed 360 km / h on some tracks.
As for the reduction of the engine capacity from 1000 to 850 cc. "Three and a half out of five factories are in favour, one and a half against - revealed Gigi, whose extraordinary Desmosedici won twelve of the twenty MotoGP races in 2022 and eight out of ten already in 2023 - Ducati has lobbied hard to have 850cc".
KTM is not strictly opposed to 850 cc, especially because Brad Binder's top speed record with the KTM is 366.1 km/h. But the Austrians have so far opposed the reduction in engine capacity, probably also to exert pressure in order to obtain additional MotoGP slots from Dorna.
Aprilia, on the other hand, is decidedly against it. Massimo Rivola argues that engine power can be reduced with less effort thanks to a smaller maximum bore and biofuel that will be introduced in 2027.
“It's true, 850 is an alien engine capacity, there are almost no production bikes of this cubic capacity - admitted Dall'Igna - But in MotoGP we build prototypes. This is the reality. And the top speed will create problems for us in the future if we don't do something about it. The speed is already too high. We must take into account that the new regulations will be valid until the end of 2031, in eight years. If we continue with 1000 cc until then and increase the speed every year, we will have problems."
However, there is the risk that the other manufacturers will ask in exchange for a reduction or even an elimination of the aerodynamics, with the excuse that as they all have it, there would by now be an overall levelling off.
"Then we should also remove all wings from racing cars in Formula 1, because everyone has them - the Ducati Corse number one rejected the objection - It's an argument that I don't agree with. Wings increase safety in MotoGP. What is the most problematic phase when controlling a racing motorcycle? When the front wheel has no contact with the ground!".
The issue of increasing turbulence when getting a tow from an opponent does not convince Gigi.
“We also had this turbulence in the past when there were no winglets. In my opinion, we must reduce the speed of the bikes a bit for safety reasons. This is a commitment, I think. But we must not focus on the lap times too much, otherwise the 1000 cc four-cylinder Superbikes will be faster. At the moment, MotoGP bikes are three or four seconds faster on average. We therefore have some leeway to lower the power, but it is limited. We can increase MotoGP lap times by one second, but no more."
Dall'Igna is also against having less performing tyres.
"I'm against it because tyres are an important part of safety."