I expect to see the field spread out a little more, at first. This will hurt the quality of the actual "racing" but in time the field will level out again and the dicing up front will return to the fantastic levels that we've seen recently. In the near term (partially compensating for the less exciting racing) we will see and hear some fantastic machines and innovations. I can't wait.
It seems to me that engines didn't have much to do with this years racing; It was setup, setup, tire choice and setup with great riders taking advantage of the least differences. All the current and future machines can provide more power than the bikes and riders can handle.
I like the four-strokes because I can't ride two-strokes on the street. Since the manufacturers want my money, they need to put their PR bucks where it means something to us.
Probably, the wins will go where the money is spent next year and for all time.
I would expect even more high-tech innovations to show up on showroom floors. Look how much tech has affected motorcycling in just the last 25 years and then multiply that effect by a factor of 10...or 50...or...? Good times are ahead for consumers.
Now, as for the question of what will we see on the track next year? Maybe not a big change at first, but records are made to be broken. Even when you think you're at the apex of ability, something comes along and suddenly new strides are made and old records fall. Personally, I'm looking forward to it.
the thing that i am going to find most interesting is when some of the WSB riders get to compete in GP racing on four strokes , how they will measure up against the two stroke guys like rossi and biaggi. obviously rossi is going to be fast no matter what bike he is on but maybe some of the four stroke specialists will be competitive against him. seeing as how the four stroke guys have found it very hard to make the transistion to two stroke so far....walker this season for instance
Right now, I expect to not be able to watch the races next year. (
The SpeedVision thing.
I think the season could be very interesting, what with triples, fours, a five, maybe a six, an eight (the Drysdale), maybe even a twin (Ducati GP?) all competing against the two-stroke gold standard.
I'm not sure much if anything will filter down to street bikes. Street bikes are becoming more regulated and in the years ahead that will only increase, so the opportunities to incorporate full-on race technology might be slim.
Street bikes will evolve though, but that evolution (IMO) will be more toward existing street automobile technology--traction control, active handling, more extensive VTEC (maybe with actual continuously-variable valve timing), maybe super- or turbo-charging, and electronics. Also bits like the variable compression and stroke engine design that came out on the net a couple weeks ago.
I think it'll be an interesting racing field at first!
With the factory teams going heavily to the 4-stroke engines, the year-old teams may have a mechanical advantage for much of the season! We'll see if the factories can overcome the weight penalties! )!
Who says you can't ride two-strokes on the street!? You can't ride -new- ones, b/c there aren't any... there are some -relatively- new ones... if you want to import them (not impossible, just difficult).
Yeah, I know what you mean.. just kidding.
As a two-stroke fan, and owner of same (RZ350 and TZR250), I have to say that not much comes closer to 'real race' machinery than your typical mid '90's two-stroke repli-bike. Two strokes are such simple machines, outside of porting and materials, the engines are largely the same between race and street (configuration wise). You want something close to GP tech, get a two-stroke!
It's funny... when you have one type of bike that dominates a race class (Ducati in WSB, Honda in GP500), everyone gets bored and stops caring so much. Yet, when the racing comes down to setup and rider, and the races are close, everyone then says "oh drat... these bikes are all so close, we need to muck it all up again!"
No one is ever happy it seems. Give them a dominator, they get bored with the winner... give them close racing... they get bored with the machines and claim that it's stagnant.
I always thought the goal of the racing sanctioning bodies was to level the playing field as much as possible. They have that now! Adding big $$$$ 4-stroke prototypes is only going to result in Honda (deep pockets) dominating yet again....the grids will shrink w/in 5 years after everyone else has spent themselves into the poor-house. As well, forget about any privateer or even semi-privateer teams... like the ones on the v-twin Hondas. That'll dry up quick fast and in a hurry.
Secretly, or not so..., I hope KR Sr. keeps with the KR-3 and sorts it out and hands it to '4-stroke-Inc' on a platter. I do think the addition of 'diesels' will be cool, don't get me wrong... but I think in the end the result will be the same, and it'll just cost a TON more.
If somehow a good does of 2-strokes keeps racing outside of just the next couple of years, I think things will be much more interesting. Hell, once the smaller teams are broke on 4-strokes, they may well go back to 2-strokes.. it may even wind up in the furthered development of 'clean' 2-strokes and get them back on the street! (Honda has 'clean' 2-stroke tech. already, they're sitting on it though.. the bastards!)