Thursday, March 15, 2012

MotoGP: Filling the grid

While the new group of privateer 'Claiming Rule Teams' has arrived just in time to fill the 2012 grid, discussions are underway to point MotoGP in a clearer way for 2013 and beyond.

Following Suzuki's departure and a decrease in satellite entries, full prototypes have been abridged from 17 to 12 for this season - each of the remaining manufacturers (Honda, Yamaha and Ducati) supplying two factories and two satellite bikes.

But the network will still rise to 21 courtesy of the nine new CRT entries, running Superbike-based engines in a prototype chassis.

Extra fuel and engine concessions will be obtainable to help the CRTs compete and the controversial Aprilia project has set lap times that propose its top riders will be in touch with slowest satellite machines.

However other CRTs have far less possessions and the difference in technology between the front and back of the 2012 grid might be greater than at any point in premier-class history. As a result, track performance is likely to be just as wide-ranging.

“The concept of CRT we agree with… but the lap time difference is too big at this instant,” said HRC executive vice president Shuhei Nakamoto, who has previously stated that Honda test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi was only one second slower on a Superbike than on an 800cc RC212V at Suzuka.

But none of the three factories are next to the CRT concept. After all, where would the 2012 MotoGP World Championship be without it? Nevertheless, this season is very much middle, with May targeted as the deadline for agreeing the full set of proposals for 2013 and beyond.

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