THE MotoGP QUESTION: Two-Strokes

We asked eight MotoGP riders if they would welcome a return to 500cc two-stroke engines for, say, 2017. The answers may surprise you

Valentino Rossi headshot


Valentino RossiCourtesy of Yamaha

Valentino Rossi:
"It would be really curious. But I guess that even if the 500 two-stroke bikes would be back, they would never be like the machines I rode. Electronics changes the character of the bikes. Anyway, I would really love to ride a 500cc two-stroke bike again!"

jorge lorenzo headshot


Jorge LorenzoCourtesy of Yamaha

Jorge Lorenzo:
"No. I like the four-stroke bikes and the technological development of the last decade has gone in this direction. The bikes have improved a lot, not only in terms of performance but also as far as safety is concerned, so I prefer to stick with what we have. The old 500cc were dangerous and difficult to manage. I have never had the chance to ride a 500cc machine, but I remember how it was to ride the 250cc. You needed to be so delicate with the gas to avoid a crash."

Marc Marquez headshot


Marc MarquezCourtesy of Repsol Honda

Marc Marquez:
"Ha ha ha. If it is the same for everyone, why not?"

Nicky Hayden headshot


Nicky HaydenCourtesy of Honda

Nicky Hayden:
"Yea, I never had the chance to ride a 500cc two-stroke bike and I would love to test it. I still hope that one day I will have the possibility to do some laps with a 500cc two-stroke bike, maybe at a show or a special event, why not?

Andrea Dovizioso headshot


Andrea DoviziosoCourtesy of Ducati Team

Andrea Dovizioso:
"No. I have never tried one, so I don't know what it would be like ride a 500cc two-stroke machine. But I think that bike was very angry."

scott redding headshot


Scott ReddingCourtesy of Marc VDS

Scott Redding:
"Yes, I'd love to be racing a 500cc two-stroke, especially with the advances in tire technology since they last raced. I think every rider will answer yes to this, surely?"

Bradley Smith headshot


Bradley SmithCourtesy of Monster Yamaha Tech3

Bradley Smith:
"The 500 two-stroke machines are over. The era is done and the new MotoGP bikes are more technically advanced. There is always an evolution in racing. Of course we enjoyed the period of the 500cc, but as everything in life we evolve. It is the same for the electric cars. I think we will arrive to a point where we will only have sport electric cars. I don't feel too disappointed I missed that era, although I would still like to ride a 500cc machine just to say, 'I have a picture and I rode one!'"

Pol Espargaro headshot


Pol EspargaroCourtesy of Monster Yamaha Tech3

Pol Espargaro:
"Why should we go back to the 500cc machines if we can ride faster with what we have now? For sure, I would love to test this kind of bike. It would be a great experience. Can you imagine jumping on the bike that great champions like Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson, Kevin Schwantz, or Mick Doohan rode? I would love to discover their feelings while riding. In the same way, I'm sure that they also would love to test a MotoGP. A rider simply loves to ride all kind of bikes."