Interesting points made but I think for me what made the GP's such a prototype class was the fact that you couldnt buy any 2smoke 500's with the exception of the Yamaha and the Suzuki which were sold right around the time I got jumped in to racing.Here's the issue with me and "prototype" racing. GP wasn't based on pure "prototype" machinery in the early days. The motors that were used from the 60's to the last of the two-stroke 500's in 2000 were based off production motors. It wasn't until the 990 4-strokes that it all changed. So, the argument that "prototype" racing isn't pure any longer with the inclusion of CRT machines is flatly incorrect. CRT teams need desperately to step up their game, but "prototype" machines will have a horsepower edge until DORNA forces "limits" on technology. Should they- have no idea. I do like "prototype" racing but with only 8 competitive bikes and teams that clearly can't afford to lease them next season (Gresini Honda) then where does that leave the sport for the spectator?
Honda is aware of this and is going to "copy" the Aprilia ART CRT bike. A "kit" v-4 with "different" chassis than the "prototype" will be fielded next season. Think about that for a moment. Honda will sell a "prototype" production version of the V-4 to ANYONE willing to buy it. Remember when Ducati put the 990 Desmo on sale to the public. All Honda has to do is produce 200 "street" bikes and in theory they can race those V-4s in WSBK if they meet the weight requirement. An "out of the box, race ready" bike available to the masses for probabaly less than $80k. The only company that sells a race ready bike right from the factory now is Buell and with all the trickest parts it's about $50k. Imagine a GP-based bike for only $30k more?
Honda's in a tough spot next year. I don't think they can replicate what Stoner has done for them for the last two seasons. Dani is not the guy they bought years ago. So, they have their work cut out for them. Yamaha will continue to be the best handling bike on the grid and the CRTs will need 15 more hp to be competitive- HRC will help with the production V-4 on that front.
Nice link Moke.