Vito Ippolito, the president of motorcycling's governing body the FIM, says 1000cc engines are the best way forward for MotoGP, and denied that this would lead to conflict with the World Superbike Championship.
MotoGP rights holder Carmelo Ezpeleta floated the idea of using production-based 1000cc engines from 2012 earlier this year, and a modified version of this plan now looks likely to be adopted, with production-derived engines eligible but not mandatory.
Ippolito believes that a move to 1000cc power unit will be welcomed by the MotoGP teams. The change from 990cc to 800cc engines for 2007 has failed to reduce costs or the bikes' cornering speeds.
"MotoGP manufacturers want 1000cc engines, so that's the way now," Ippolito told Motosprint. "The 800cc formula hasn't worked because power is more or less the same [as 990cc], but cornering speed has increased. And costs have increased, too."
Superbike promoter Infront Motor Sports reacted angrily to Ezpeleta's first suggestion of a 1000cc MotoGP formula during the summer, but Ippolito said there would still be adequate separation between the two series because MotoGP bikes would remain prototype racing machines even if some of the engines had production origins.
"The difference is the rule about homologation: a bike is or isn't homologable," Ippolito explained. "The discussion starts and ends here. It doesn't matter whether the engine is 1000, 1200, or 750cc – MotoGP can't be homologated, so it can have whatever engine it wants, since the discriminating factor is another one."
He believes MotoGP and Superbikes cater to different audiences and can therefore happily co-exist whatever regulations are in place.
"We are satisfied with both series, because they meet the requests of the fans," said Ippolito. "SBK offers the opportunity of racing and showing off to people who have fewer resources, while MotoGP is the global image of motorcycle racing. So we need both, but it's important to keep a difference between the two: someone who watches Superbikes watches his own bike racing. MotoGP is different, and someone who watches it wants to see something else."