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Two-strokes versus four-strokes; who has what?

The 2003 Motocross GP class will see an interesting blend of machinery with the 250cc two strokes facing off against a slew of new 450 thumpers. The matter of which bike will prove to be more effective is one of the biggest and most exciting question marks hanging over the prospect of the first ever MXGP competition.

While the rule changes for motocross will not see the class flooded by growling thumpers in 2003 (for the future, who knows for sure?) there is still a hefty mix of different engine capacities. Here´s a quick guide as to who will be riding what come next March.

Undoubtedly the main attractions at the first GP will be the battle between 250cc double World Champion Mickael Pichon, who stays on the very successful two-stroke, and double 500cc World Champion Stefan Everts riding the brand new Yamaha four-stroke. Pichon has two-stroke support in the forms of Suzuki team-mate Kevin Strijbos, the factory Kawasaki team of Andrew McFarlane and Kenneth Gundersen, the works squad of KTM with Jamie Dobb and Pit Beirer, possibly Josh Coppins alongside Yoshitaka Atsuta in the factory supported CAS Honda team.

Marko Kovalainen and Carl Nunn will also be on Kawasakis with MJ Church.

Everts will be able to hear a roar of four-strokes behind him thanks to team-mate Marnicq Bervoets and Kurz Casola´s Johnny Aubert also on a Yamaha. Gordon Crockard will be steering a Honda 450 and leading a pack of numerous non-factory supported bikes with Brian Jorgensen also 450 mounted. Yamaha and Honda will be the main exponents of the four-stroke bikes in 2003 until the other manufacturers look to jump on the bandwagon. The 450 factory KTM effort remains unresolved at this moment with Joel Smets allegedly alluding a favouritism to the new 650 (his old 500cc stomping ground) and Yves Demaria commenting at the end of 2002 that he would be looking to stay in the senior category.

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