The paper proposes some design criteria for the MotoGP engines, complying with the FIM 2007 Technical Regulations. Five configurations have been considered: engines with three cylinders in line and four cylinders in line, and three V engines with four, five, and six cylinders. All the analyzed solutions have been optimized from a fluid-dynamic point of view by means of one dimensional engine cycle simulations. Then, the engines are compared in terms of full load performance at steady conditions. Finally, the influence of engine performance, along with operation regularity and motorbike weight, is assessed by means of a lap time simulator, developed by the author on the base of real data. The best configurations turned out to be the four-cylinder engines, while three-cylinder and five-cylinder engines are quite penalizing. The key of the four-cylinder engines success is their good breathing capability and mechanical efficiency at high speed, yielding an optimum power-to-weight ratio, associated with a good engine regularity, i.e., a smooth response to throttle angle variations.

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