The Coming Revolution: 8 CRT Entries In MotoGP In 2012?

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There is a storm brewing in the MotoGP paddock. The cause is well-known, and has been debated to death over the past three years: MotoGP is too expensive, for both teams and for factories and the grids keep getting thinner every year. After the departure of Aprilia, Ilmor and Kawasaki, it now looks as if Suzuki is on the verge of pulling out. And it's not just factories withdrawing, the number of satellite bikes available is reducing just as fast. While Honda has maintained six bikes on the grid almost every year since the introduction of the four-strokes, in 2012 they look likely to cut back to just four. Ducati, fielding a whopping six bikes for such tiny factory, a commendable effort, could see its participation cut back to just three bikes for 2012. This, though cannot be laid entirely at Ducati's door; the Bologna factory have kept their lease prices reasonable when compared to the massive price rise that HRC have pushed through for next year, but the miserable performance of the Desmosedici this season has combined with the growing poverty of the race teams to see Aspar split with Ducati, and Pramac holding out, possibly to withdraw altogether. Only Yamaha has maintained its position, staunchly keeping four bikes on the grid, though critics point to the six supplied by the much smaller Ducati and suggest that Yamaha could have matched the Italian manufacturer.

All things considered, it looks like there could be just 12 factory prototypes on the MotoGP grid for 2012, and this has given Dorna much cause for concern. After years of pushing the factories to cut their lease prices, and attempts to get the factories to lease just engines to teams, Dorna, IRTA and the FIM finally persuaded the manufacturers' organization MSMA to allow a new category of entries, called Claiming Rule Teams or CRTs. Teams can source an engine from anywhere - from tuned production engines or bespoke engine manufacturers - and place them in a prototype chassis and race them. To help the CRT entries be competitive, the bikes will be allowed extra engines, and more importantly, 3 extra liters of fuel.

The first CRT bike to take to the track was the Suter, powered by a BMW S1000RR engine and using Bosch electronics developed in part by the BMW factory. The bike's first timed public outing was disappointing, running over 6 seconds behind Casey Stoner, on the 800cc Honda RC212V. At Brno, the bike had improved massively, a good deal of the chatter the bike suffered gone, and the machine was within 4 seconds of the factory 1000s, a much more realistic proposition. But still, 4 seconds was a big gap, big enough to scare off teams who had been mulling over an entry.

At Misano, Colin Edwards announced he would be joining the first officially announced Claiming Rule Team, NGM Forward racing, and the presence of Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta gave the concept a boost. But teams were still reticent; speaking to FTR boss Steve Bones at Aragon, he explained that the teams were still unwilling to take the leap and spring for their CRT package, consisting of a 230 hp Aprilia RSV4 engine in a custom FTR chassis. Despite the fact that the package was massively cheaper than leasing a satellite bike - less than a quarter of the price of a Yamaha or Ducati, and nine times cheaper than a full factory Honda RC213V, including Honda's seamless transmission - potential teams were unwilling to take the plunge and commit to the investment.

That is all starting to change, the first signs of which were the fact that the Aspar team had abandoned its plans to run a Ducati GP12 next season, in favor of entering as a CRT squad. The Spanish media are reporting that Jorge Martinez decided that for the cost of leasing a single GP12, he could enter two CRT machines, and expand his entry as he had originally planned when he entered MotoGP. The defection of Aspar has encouraged others to take the plunge, and a consensus appears to be emerging that the number of CRT entries next season will not be just the sole NGM Forward machine of Colin Edwards, but likely at least 5, and possibly as many as 8 or even 10 bikes. Here's the state of CRT affairs, as far as we know at the moment:

Team Chassis/Engine Riders Notes Grand Total (low/high)
NGM Forward Unknown/Yamaha or Suter/BMW Colin Edwards At the launch of the NGM Forward CRT project, Colin Edwards told the press that given his long relationship with Yamaha, he expected to use a Yamaha R1 engine, and hoped that Guy Coulon could be perusaded to build a chassis for the bike. Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal has put a stop to that idea, pointing out that Coulon is busy enough with the Moto2 and a potential Moto3 project, without adding a CRT bike into the mix. As a result, it looks increasingly likely that the NGM Forward team will revert to using the Suter/BMW package that they had originally planned to use before the project was announced 1
BQR FTR/Kawasaki Probably Yonny Hernandez, and possibly a second, paying rider as well The BQR project is one of the least discussed projects in the paddock, but it is also one of the most far advanced. The FTR Kawasaki should be ready to test later in the month, and BQR are deadly serious about entering into MotoGP. Riders are likely to include the Colombian Yonny Hernandez, and a second rider, who would need to bring money to the team for a ride. 2/3
Laglisse BMW/Suter A Spanish rider, possibly Carmelo Morales or Jordi Torres Another sleeper project. Laglisse has been a powerhouse in the Spanish CEV championship for a long time, and has been looking for a way into MotoGP for a while now. The over-subscribed Moto2 class meant there was no option for them to join in 2010, but the CRT rules give them their chance. 3/4
Aspar Unknown/Aprilia or Suter/BMW Unknown, but 2 riders, possibly including Hector Barbera As discussed above, Aspar's switch to CRT status (in part a response to losing some of the support Jorge Martinez received from the Valencia regional government, after a shake up in local politics) allows the team to run two bikes instead of just a single satellite Ducati, and still save money on the deal. Riders are as yet unknown (and could be a problem, more of which later). 4/6
Gresini FTR, Moriwaki or TSR/Honda Yuki Takahashi A second satellite Honda is beyond the reach of Fausto Gresini, and after Honda vetoed his plan to work with Aprilia and field an RSV4 engine, the Italian turned to a Honda. The CBR1000RR engine is relatively small, not much bigger than the CBR600RR, and though the engine does not use the maximum 81mm bore allowed, its pace has been demonstrated in World Superbikes, especially once Ten Kate were allowed to use fly-by-wire throttles. Yuki Takahashi will make the step back up to MotoGP, keeping a Japanese entry in the class now that Hiroshi Aoyama has crossed to the World Superbike series with Ten Kate. 5/7
Paul Bird? Unknown / Aprilia "A British rider" After losing the contract to run factory Kawasaki machines in World Superbikes, Paul Bird has publicly turned his back on the WSBK paddock and said he will be coming to MotoGP. Whether this is a genuine entry, or just a ploy to pressure Infront into offering some kind of support is unknown, as the British team manager has also been linked with a satellite Aprilia operation in World Superbikes. According to news stories in MCN, Bird has already submitted an entry to IRTA, and it is currently under consideration by Dorna. 6/8?

So where did all these CRT entries spring from all of a sudden? While the BQR and Laglisse entries have largely progressed under the radar of the media, others, such as Gresini and to an extent Aspar, have been encouraged by a change of heart by Dorna. For years, Dorna has helped the satellite teams financially, helping them with the cost of competing in the championship. Naturally, part of the cost of competing is the cost of leasing machinery from the manufacturers, and as a consequence, Dorna has been indirectly subsidizing factory involvement in the MotoGP class.

This was fine as long as the satellite bikes were being offered to the teams at under the actual cost they represented to the factories. But as the economic crisis has bitten, cutting motorcycle sales, and the Japanese earthquake and tsunami have affected production, cutting sales and profits even further, the factories have responded by raising the lease prices to something much closer to the actual cost the bikes represent, including the research and development that got them here.

This, according to a story on GPOne.com, and in line with what MotoMatters.com has been hearing in the paddock for several months now, has caused Dorna to balk at the prospect of subsidizing the factories, and the series organizer has turned its attention to the potential CRT teams. GPOne is reporting that Dorna has now committed to supporting the CRT teams financially, preferring to help the projects that it believes represent the long term future of the sport, and reducing the series' dependence on the factories. After years of seeing factories make rules which have only served to increase the cost of the series, and break the covenant that Dorna has with the MSMA by failing to maintain the size of the grid, Dorna is putting its eggs in the CRT basket. As Peter Clifford, formerly of the WCM team, put it, the business of a racing team is racing; the business of the factories is selling motorcycles. Racing teams have nowhere else to go.

Dorna appears to be willing to risk its relationship with the MSMA and its mightiest proponent, Honda. GPOne is also reporting that Dorna is considering changing the technical regulations for the Claiming Rule Teams, to make it even easier for them to compete with the factories. Factory engineers were already concerned at the fact that the CRT bikes would have 3 extra liters of fuel; if they have 5 or 6 extra liters, the expensive electronics needed to conserve fuel and maintain power to the line would be made more or less obsolete. Given that the development of precisely these electronics, focused around throttle response and fuel management, is the very reason that the factories are in the sport in the first place, this could cause a very serious breach in relations between Dorna and the MSMA. The CRT entries have already unleashed one major storm across the paddock, but that could just be an omen of the hurricane that is to come.

There is a storm brewing in the MotoGP paddock. The cause is well-known, and has been debated to death over the past three years: MotoGP is too expensive, for both teams and for factories and the grids keep getting thinner every year. After the departure of Aprilia, Ilmor and Kawasaki, it now looks as if Suzuki is on the verge of pulling out. And it's not just factories withdrawing, the number of satellite bikes available is reducing just as fast. While Honda has maintained six bikes on the grid almost every year since the introduction of the four-strokes, in 2012 they look likely to cut back to just four. Ducati, fielding a whopping six bikes for such tiny factory, a commendable effort, could see its participation cut back to just three bikes for 2012. This, though cannot be laid entirely at Ducati's door; the Bologna factory have kept their lease prices reasonable when compared to the massive price rise that HRC have pushed through for next year, but the miserable performance of the Desmosedici this season has combined with the growing poverty of the race teams to see Aspar split with Ducati, and Pramac holding out, possibly to withdraw altogether.

Comments

A little confusing...

I don't understand why teams are so reluctant to give CRT a try. It's not like Pramac and the other satellite teams are fighting for podiums. I would think it would be more of an embarrassment for a team running a prototype bike and not getting results than running a production motor and and still fight for 10-15 place.

If I was a team manager it would be almost a no-brainer. In the first year of CRT they will be getting plenty of media coverage, probably more than as a true factory satellite, because everyone is going to be watching them. You would think the sponsors would be lining up to get all that media coverage.

No one expects them to be truly competitive anyway, so why not give it a shot, get the media coverage, and literally save yourself millions of dollars in the process?

Although based on this article it looks like the tide is turning a bit, so that's good I guess.

Total votes: 149

In the last paragraph you

In the last paragraph you touch on the point that I've always felt was going to the CRT limiting factor. At 24 liters of fuel the 1000cc bikes are still going to be "fuel mileage" racing. With 25-26 liters the privateer tuners can just concentrate on power and drivability and could start to worry the factory teams at many tracks.

The early evolution of the Suter/BMW being 4 seconds slower than Casey on the highly developed 1000cc Honda should not be alarming. If Casey had been on the Suter/BMW it probably would have been almost 2 seconds faster.

Total votes: 171

But Casey won't be racing on the Suter/BMW

Maybe if Casey was on the Suter/BMW he'd been 2 sec faster then Kallio. Let's say that's true. Only Casey and the other top riders will be on full factory bikes and the CRT teams for the most part will have tier 2 and 3 riders like Hernandez, Takahashi, Torres and Barbera. The best CRT rider will likely be Edwards and he's never won in MotoGP even when he had a factory ride.

Hopefully I'm wrong... until I see more CRT teams actually testing a motor/chassis combo rather then rumors and talks of "Edwards hopes to run an R1 motor with a Tech3 chassis" I'm not going to be very optimistic. From the looks of things, there won't be many satellite-spec machines so it's looking more and more like we'll see a race up front with the factory bikes and an second race with just CRT's.

Of course if the fuel rules are loosened for the CRT's then all bets are off... I just don't see the MSMA voting for that.

Total votes: 153

My point was that the bike

My point was that the bike was not completely awful, even at this early stage of development. With a couple of years of development and some hot up and coming riders there could be some surprises. Maybe not wins, but some podium finishes are possible. Maybe better than the current satellite teams are going.

At the cost difference and potentially little performance difference between a CRT bike and a satellite bike; there may not be any satellite teams. So there would be some good riders on CRT bikes. The only way for satellite teams to continue to exist would be for the factories to give them the "good" equipment and electronics. Either way there will be a greater number of competitive bikes.

Total votes: 152

I'll believe it when I see it...

Seriously, so far we've had how many CRT teams actually test a bike? One right? And the Suter/BMW combination which arguably should be the best CRT bike in terms of chassis development and engine was 6-4 seconds off the pace. The other CRT teams like Forward Racing haven't even started development because they don't have a motor OR chassis yet... and the motor they're apparently considering (the R1) isn't generally considered to be competitive in MotoGP due to the bore.

Sure, it's a 1000cc and companies have been building liter bikes for over a decade now, but these things take time- especially understanding how to build a chassis/electronics for the Bridgestones. And the one similarity between motorcycle and software development is: "Time, quality, features... pick any two." Time is quickly running out and quality/features take $$$ which is in short supply in the MotoGP paddock. It's not like a CRT team is going to come to a test with 4 different chassis to test in order to speed up development.

Just look at how much problem BMW is having competing in WSBK and they've had 3 years to develop the bike/electronics with one of the best development riders in Corser and it's not like BMW hasn't been throwing money at the problem.

The best thing that Dorna could do is allow the gear cam driven RSV4 to compete, but that seems unlikely to happen considering the politics (technical regs are easy to change in comparison).

What seems like the most likely to me is that Suter/BMW will have 3-4 CRT entries on the grid and everyone else will stay home when it comes to Qatar in 2012. The rest will be full on factory or factory-lite satellite teams like Tech3.

There is one idea I have which would dramatically reduce costs + improve the performance: Have Dorna create an ECU for the CRT teams. Basically all the CRT teams + Dorna put their money in a pot and call up Magneti Marelli and have them build a kick ass ECU for the BMW. Then let Suter/etc build a chassis around that. It wouldn't be a black-box spec ECU like in F1/BSB, but rather a starting point that the teams could use to get a head start without everyone re-inventhing the wheel. Would be great if BMW kicked in some $$$ too since they could use the same ECU for their WSBK effort, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards. This talk of CRT teams using CBR/Kawi/R1 motors is just stupid IMHO.

Total votes: 173

I guess...

No one wanted the embarassment of circulating 6s off the pace. However as I said from the start, that difference was at least half due to set-up issues, and a bit more due to riders.

The other side may be that a lot of crew chiefs are going to be exposed: can they really master the set-up of a bike that isn't delivered from the factory with a whole bunch of data on what works and what doesn't? Moto2 seems to have shown that many were not as good as they thought they were... but to be fair the length of experience since moving from 2-strokes has been relatively short.

The third point is that jumping early for the wrong engine could be a costly mistake: whether that meant going with Aprilia and finding the choice artificially vetoed, or going with a Honda and finding access to HRC parts is cut off.... or simply that the chosen motor turns out to be slow.

It's interesting to me that (I believe) the claiming fee is only 20K€, the same as in Moto2 and less than double that in Moto3. That seems artificially low, as it values an entire season's supply of engines at 180K€... or did I get my numbers wrong?

Total votes: 186

actually

"It's interesting to me that (I believe) the claiming fee is only 20K€, the same as in Moto2 and less than double that in Moto3. That seems artificially low, as it values an entire season's supply of engines at 180K€..."

If I'm not mistaken this is something different. The claiming rule stipulates, that a CRT team is obligated to hand out an engine for €20k to any competitor who asks for it. This is not to be understood as fixed engine cost rule. The point of it is, that competitors can check your engine this way to see what you're racing with.

They are trying to prevent big manufacturers to enter MotoGP through the backdoor and abuse the CRT advantaged. Nobody will develop and build engines at a program cost of several millions to hand them out for 20 grand a piece and give away their technology. Or in other words: CRT teams can only use production line engines that anyone could buy on the free market anyways, because nothing more sophisticated will be available.

Total votes: 171

Dorna

What should we believe: 1. Dorna are trying to coerce the MSMA with posturing and idle threats? 2. Dorna are actually following through on the CRT rules they worked so hard to force through?

I don't know, and I don't even care to guess. My patience is running thin with all of them.

I'll never understand how an entire industry can be this dysfunctional. They have no plans to improve the sport or the industry. They have no clue how to make money. They're only concern is maintaining marketshare and keeping competitors away. The sportbike industry is the epitome of uncool, and that's a very dangerous thing to be when your company sells superfluous luxury goods.

Total votes: 162

all crts may be a good idea

back in the day (70's) most stuff was production based. Maybe where headed back there and allow lots of mods. that would save big bucks and be faster than WSB! just a thougt

Total votes: 164

That's what scares me.

I wonder whether CRT is a device to soften up the consumers (fans) and that eventually there will be no 'factory' teams as we know them now. In other words, all teams will have some basic support from factories in the form of engines etc, but will be free to go their own way on chassis etc.
I hope not, as this would mean it's a quasi superbike class, and if I wanted to watch superbikes rather than GP bikes I'd already be doing that.

The fact that we are talking about R1 and R1000RR and CBR1000 engined bikes going around makes me wonder whether we are heading for a production-based racing class rather than a prototype-based one.
I like the idea that MotoGP is at the bleeding edge of development. Pneumatic valves, carbon disks, highly developed electronics......some of that stuff leaches out into production bikes and that's the a large part of the raison d'etre of a prototype class.

Total votes: 189

Agree

Couldn't agree more.

I hate to see the grid so small but I hate the idea of CRT/production bikes on the gird more.

Too me, either way means a slow death of prototype racing.

Total votes: 191

Ever higher and stronger, but not forever

The problem is that the technology, and the materials, have advanced to the point where there's no cheap way to do it. No cheap way to do any part of the venture at all... look at the cost of top flight racing leathers now that they have all the super safety bits stitched into them, and let's not even start on race boots.

The technology is eating itself... there's a limit to everything, and perhaps we've seen the glory days of prototype racing?

Total votes: 176

Horrors...

no 'factory' teams as we know them now. In other words, all teams will have some basic support from factories in the form of engines etc, but will be free to go their own way on chassis etc.

That would be the situation in that low rent 4-wheel series, Formula 1, wouldn't it?

Total votes: 169

Pointless comparisons

To compare a CRT bike to Stoner or any top tier rider is not the point of the project. It is a cheaper option for satellite teams. So it would be fair to compare the Suter times to any non factory bike which is already a second or so off Stoner's pace.

One big problem MotoGP will suffer next year is too many changes at once. The CRTs should have had a year under the 800 rule to sort itself out. What we will see in 2012 is a lot of teething issues. Surely on the CRT bikes and likely on some Protoypes, ala Ducati GP12.

Total votes: 178

PBM: Definitely a Briton

Can you imagine how snarky it would be if Paul Bird would have signed Yonny Hernandez?

Total votes: 160

Factories should embrace the CRT model

How many businesses love to spend way more money than they'll ever really see a return on? I think factory machines in Grand Prix racing are a great exercise for the developers at the factory, but as an exercise it can't be attractive for their bottom line.

If they were to embrace the idea of their product getting the exposure as the engine base they could be reaping the savings just like Aspar and the rest. They could have the riders using their engines splashed all over their ads. And at what cost to them? The cost of continuing to make great production sport bikes (with the hidden potential of being bad ass world class race machines). CRT is the best thing to come along for factories since the shift to 4 strokes. And it seems like much more like an evolution of that shift than any strictly prototype rule change.

(Endurance racing should be the test bed for factories anyway.)

And where is the Yoshimura group in this? Can they be the Suzuki presence

Total votes: 180

Agree

Factories don't like it, and commercial rights companies are often inattentive, but racing must be a for-profit activity. Fans don't want to hear about it so organizations like FOTA hide cost restrictions in private documents like the RRA, but it is nonetheless a vital part of making racing work. Without cost controls to balance revenues and expenditures, racing is unregulated mercantile warfare. Sounds entertaining but ask any sports exec how long it can sustain itself.

CRT is a better way to generate revenues from IRTA teams, and it increases the entertainment value of the sport by enlarging the grid and keeping more riders in the GP paddock. The current bore, cylinder count, and displacement regs are also good for CRT b/c it reduces costs. However, I'm not convinced that CRT is appropriate for the entire contest.

Valentino Rossi spilled the beans about the current 19,000rpm rev limit in GP. If the MSMA were smart, I think they would broker a rev limited formula in place of the 81mm 4-cylinder rules. It gives them more engineering freedom and improves the show while still reducing the cost of CRT equipment. Doubt it will happen b/c fuel regs keep people away much better than rev limits.

Total votes: 177

CRT model

The now banned Aprilia WSBK gear driven cams - motor was making more than 230 hp, that motor in a Steve Bones FTR has to make more and better sense than a Ducati GP11 . Have to think that by the mid point of the season that the CRT bikes are closer than any of the wild cards or Ducati satellite teams.
Cost of 1 - 9th the lease price of a Honda 213 I have to think that Davids higher estimates would seem more likely.

The best estimate that I have seen as of late was a direct comparison of John Hopkins private BSB Suzuki no factory support as seen this season in BSB and WSBK wild card appearance . Please see in Julian Ryders - Soup colum. The whole story is here >> http://www.superbikeplanet.com/2011/Oct/111014rydernotesfri.htm

Maybe a comparison with John Hopkins' times and the MotoGP records at Silverstone would be more instructive. His Suzuki Superbike has had no factory help and did a 2min 4sec lap on qualifiers and a 2min 5.74sec in the race. The MotoGP pole this year was 2min 2sec, one and a half seconds quicker than the best dry race lap, set in 2010 by Lorenzo. So the difference between the best laps, in round figures, is two seconds in both qualifying and race trim. If you'd lost two seconds a lap to Jorge at the dry 2010 Silverstone race, you'd have finished tenth with four bikes behind you.

So let's take a Superbike motor and electronics, stick them in a Suter, FTR or TSR chassis, add carbon brakes and Bridgestones and put Colin Edwards or John Hopkins on it. My initial instinct that with the extra fuel and engines CRT bikes would be competitive got slapped down by some knowledgeable people like Jerry Burgess, who I later realized would consider a two-seconds a lap deficit to the fastest guy cause for a total redesign of their motorcycle and/or rider. But a privateer team might think differently. It would certainly be cheaper than leasing and you'd be doing better than some leased Ducatis and Hondas are doing this year
There are still some sponsors out there with some money to spend, I would love to see that Aprilia motor again, and they have no place to use it unless a CRT team buy them.

Total votes: 167

Ducati

I have no sympathy for Ducati; their treatment of Checa is disgraceful. Carlos is has won them a Championship, yet they don't want to know him; instead choosing to put all their basket/millions into Rossi - who have delivered nothing but embarrassment and humiliation to the factory.

Well done Ducati.

Total votes: 179

Reckon Ducati are 100%

Reckon Ducati are 100% responsible for their lack of bikes in the top class next year, Pramac would and I believe from Jorge Martinez comments he would also have had ducatis with pleasure if they were guaranteed to be more competitve that a crt but there is little evidence of that.
As for wsbk Ducati have already commented that they are no longer a factory effort if Altea want to pull out ducati are and should be under no obligation to support an entire factory effort no other manufacturer is or does quite the opposite..
I have little doubt Checa will be on a very ride again next year and prob a ducati... Diverting money or not, Ducati have more than ever to play with for one reason only, Rossi. It always makes me laugh when folk say a team is impoverished because they have Rossi it's the exact opposite just take a long look at yamaha since he left.. Ducati would be in bigger trouble(hard to imagine though it is) if Rossi wasn't there.. Ducati have to fix the motopg bike simple as, but they aren't they are putting gaffer tape on a product that's not only never been good(yes even with CAsey) enough no matter who riders an further more has no evidence to back up the theory it ever will , take about st jude syndrome..

Total votes: 170

MOTOGP comparisons

Dorna should just tell the factories to kiss off. They're NOT interested in anything other than creating an advantage for themselves, even at the expense of spectator or sponsor interest. Individual racers and teams can come up with interesting machines and intelligent rules can keep things competitive WITHOUT any factory involvement.

Total votes: 180

Not really...

AMA racing has suffered since the factories left. The actual racing is better than ever but the total experience is less.

When you go to a race with no factory transports, factory tent exibits and no factory brolly girls it seems more like a club race than a national series.

If the factories pull out it will lessen the "show" as a whole. MotoGP needs the factories and the factories need MotoGP. Each needs to give a little to improve the racing and all will benifit.

PS: Congratulations to Mr Stoner. He is without a doubt the fastest motorcycle racer on the planet this year. He is living the dream and I say good on ya mate!

Total votes: 172

totally agree before you know

totally agree before you know it it won't be on tele anymore.. The sport seems to do plenty of stuff that isn't cost effective(Paul Denning said hospitality is 1m for the year that's 18 races worth of sandwichs and beer cans.)!!. Weakening the show whilst keeping cross planet trips back and forth each week seems to be missing the point again.. The sport needs money in not out there are some teams with zero money problems who are turning sponsors away perhaps Dorna should look at them as the example not those who are getting it wrong(yamaha).. David's comments the other day about emerging markets has to be vital.. I'm sure Bernie would have a major sponsor have to thrown in to get the race booked..
Don't like the engine claiming rule it could stifle competition in a class that needs as much of it as it can get, are the manufacturers ensuring the crts won't put too much money into the engine??

Total votes: 164

AMA "manufacturers"

The AMA "manufacturers" are more dumb than the MSMA. It is common practice in production automobile racing for all equipment to be sold on the open market. Believe it or not, the MSMA know WSBK should work that way, but they dumbed down WSBK to such an extent that the Flamminis took away the rulebook.

AMA "manufacturers" think they are running a motogp series. All they need to do is sell motorcycles and promote motorcycles via AMA. DMG didn't kick the manufacturers out, the manufacturers left b/c they wanted to run AMA Pro. DMG's rules have some problems in DSB, but the manufacturers left out of spite. They can still race, entertain, and sell bikes. They are too obsessed with themselves to serve the shareholders and fans.

Total votes: 168

predictions & reflections

There is no reason to talk about the sense or even the competitiveness of CRT bikes at the current stage of progression. It´s a simple fact of mathematics: The MotoGP formula is (and of course everything in this capitalistic, oligarchic society) a big bubble based on financial/monetary insufficiency; it's more illusion (perfectly covered up with money from REPSOL and their "friends") than reality.

Nevertheless: As a fan of sports beyond this pecuniary stupidity I see one logical consequence in this process: In the next few years all factory based efforts will be ended and CRT will become the status quo.
Step 1: MotoGP => Moto1 (Moto2 => Moto3 => ...)
Step 2: WSBK + Moto1 = MotoX ...
Step 3: MotoX => NOtoX (as a conseuence of the upcoming crash of our current money/value system based on an - anti-universal / non-natural - exponential function ...).

(ex) graduate engineer
(current) free spirit

Total votes: 171

TINA

Remember the dictum of one M. Thatcher: There Is No Alternative.
While we may wish for a (competitive!) factory bike with seamless gearbox in every garage, the cost is not sustainable.

Total votes: 174

It's getting closer every day...

I've been saying it for a while now. The CRT bikes will surprise a lot of people. Imagine what a top flight WSBK team could do with an even more lenient set of rules...

On a side note: All those who seem to think that a certain BMW engine is the best because of its 81mm bore need to know that ANY current available liter-bike engine could be brought to those specs with custom internals...

Next season is gonna rock. It'll be the season of the underdogs.

And everyone loves an underdog story!

Total votes: 159

CRT $$ limit

Don't forget, the idea behind the Claiming Rule team is the abilty to actually claim the engine. Originally 20,000 Euros ($30,000 US), 12 engines and 24 liters of fuel. That was the original plan. It's seems to have been tweaked a bit over time.

So the question is, how much performance can be squeezed out of an Aprilia or BMW for that amount. Considering that is about the same price as a Moto2 motor which still can't match 600 WSS hp output.

Total votes: 166

I don't think that the

I don't think that the possibility for another team to "claim" an engine for $30K means that will be the spending limit on them. Teams are gonna spend way more than $30K building engines.

Plus, I believe the whole real reason that teams can claim engines is so if the factories get embarrassed by their performance, they can claim "foul play" and claim that engine away. They might tell you it's so other manufactures don't supply special engines as a way of entering through the back door, but I feel that's a whole lot of BS...

If Honda is really worried that Aprilla will supply super spec motors, they should probably be more worried as to how a rivals heavily tuned production engine can rival their full works equipment.

Total votes: 178

CRT $$ limit

No I dont believe there's any BS there. CRT is nothing new. The idea is to prevent ANY team from investing huge developmental dollars into an engine lest it be claimed for a smaller value. Its a good roundabout way of limiting the cost of an engine without explicitly doing so.

It happened in AMA or AFM back in the 70's I forget the exact details of the story. I believe Roberts was the rider in question, a competitor team claimed his bike, only to find the engine was stock, as it should have been. The superior performance was all Kenny. If anyone remember the story please fill in the details I've forgotten, or correct them :)

Total votes: 141

CRT needs to happen. The

CRT needs to happen. The MSMA, with Honda having most of the weight, are driving away sponsors, teams, and bikes. There were how many bikes on the grid for PI? 12?

You can clearly see Ezpeleta trying to change the sport. He knows that the fans are tired of traction control, and all the nannies. But the MSMA (Honda) is huffing and puffing about electronic rider aids and R&D. The reality is the MSMA very much likes tc because it takes away rider control and puts it in their programmers hands. It's just more control for them. Casey Stoner said before PI that is no longer 80/20 any more, meaning 80% rider, 20% bike. Now it's 50/50. This is electronic control of the bike and its effect.

The MSMA doesn't need MotoGp for R&D in regards to TC. They could test it on their own test tracks, or let them do the work in Supers on the production derived machines. The MSMA (Honda) want it the way it is today so they can spend their way to a title if need be. Honda, as an example, putting a one million dollar transmission on their factory machines. Now the others have to do the same to try and stay competitive so their budgets go up. The 6 engine rule, in my opinion, wasn't for cost savings, it was an engineering exercise. In fact many of the rules are just stupid. This is racing at its highest level but you can only use 6 engines per season, and we won't let you go to 25 liters of fuel with the displacement change next year. Let's fix MotoGp very easily.

1. Bump the fuel reg up to 25 or 26 liters.
2. Up the engine allotment to at least 9 so one motor only need to last 2 races.
3. Ban TC, LC, anti wheelie, anti spin, etc by going to a controlled ECU.
4. Up the amount of test days so mfr's can fix their problems.

The MSMA and this sport should be focused on building engines and chassis. It's hurting the sport (electronics), everybody involved knows it and the MSMA and Honda might take their ball and go home if it changes.

I will say that I loathe Honda. They are the same as Ducati in supers, always getting their way and controlling part of the rule making. I know they are the NASA of the motorcycling world and have more $ than the others but they need to be leveled. They have shown us this year that they'll spend or shall I say outspend everyone else if that is what it takes for them to save face and get a title during the 800cc era. Nothing against Casey, he rode what he was given and deserves the title, but Honda spent a big pile of dough to insure that they would, millions. The job of the mfr is to design and build the best package they can, and kudos to Honda for doing so but pretty soon Honda will be the only one left standing. It baffles me why the MSMA is so stubborn on some of these things. What they are doing is driving the sport into the ground (teams leaving) to the point that there will be 6 bikes on the grid, 2 from Honda, Yamaha, Ducati, and that will be it. CRT is a step in the right direction. The current model just isn't sustainable. Honda are you listening?

Regarding Checa as someone mentioned him earlier....in 2002 Edwards had just won the Suzuka 8 Hr and the WSB title for the 2nd time for Honda. He was asked for a meeting with the bosses and they informed him that they had no ride for him. My point is they all do this.

And I'm still waiting to see a pneumatic valved bike down at the stealer. The MSMA is always hollering R&D when the subject of banning tc comes up which makes me laugh. The MSMA wants a R&D series while everyone else wants a sport. And what do pneumatic valved, carbon disc fitted prototypes have to do with production machines? Honda offers no 800 or 1000cc v4 sport bike, neither does Suzuki, both companies choosing to making rather bland inline 4's instead. Ducati made a road going version of their 1000cc MotoGp machine but it had a price tag to match rendering it unaffordable to most hence the few production numbers. Only Yamaha has made an affordable production model of their MotoGp engine, the rest are blowing wind. Many of the technologies used in MotoGP are too costly for production machines so the MSMA's R&D argument is utter bs to me. Bring on CRT, just figure out a way to rid the series of tc along the way.

Total votes: 192

Most obvious

problem with the CRT rules is the engine claiming price. Setting it at 20k € effectively says the factories are capping the cost of a season's supply of engines at 180k€. It seems to me that the gap between that and 3 million € for a leased Yamaha (unavailable in any case) or Ducati (uncompetitive and likely to injure the rider) is a bit too big.

Sort of like Mike Tyson at his peak saying he'd be willing to take on anyone... weighing less than 45kg.

Total votes: 160

Spot on

Well said BrickTop. couldnt have expressed it any better. I long thought Dorna was in the back pocket of MSMA, or vice versa. Either way I thought it was all rigged. But this news has given me renewed hope. Dorna actually has a sack. They actually care about the sport. They might actually fight the MSMA and win. I figured if Dorna wanted they could force, by regulation, to limit cost of leasing engines, or making more engines available. But they never did. This on the other hand is a more subtle approach and i like it.

The M in MSMA represents D, K, Y, S as well as H. So if Honda get their knickers in a bunch and take a hike that still leaves the other manufacturers with a fighting chance again. Look at it like a hostile takeover form within. MSMA stays involved just under new 'management'

Total votes: 165

Costs!

Win on Sunday to sell on Monday . . . isn't that the ole antage? A few months ago, an article in one of the Brit mags had a pic of Stoner/Rossi, w/the caption 'Have these guys hurt what you buy', or something like that. The factorys say they are racing to better their product. Really? The current crop of sportbikes are 'stunners', but who are they marketed too? Their ridding position is for a 25 yr old guy who probably can't afford it OR the insurance!

After 20 yrs w/out a M/C, I decided to get back into the sport (been following racing all that time, just didn't have a M/C!). My bikes ranged from a '70 Honda 750--'74 Z1--'79 CBX--'84 Ninja . . . . So in '09 I went to buy a bike and was very disappointed at what was being 'offered'. What I wanted was a sportbike w/a decent ridding position. At 55 w/back & wrist injurys, there is no way I can ride the current crop of sportbikes. I can afford them AND the insurance . . . . Ducati came out w/the MS, which is their best selling bike, but where's the R1/Gixxer clone?

The rules in Moto GP don't even make sense . . . fuel limits and 19,000rpm! How does that transfer to a street bike? On my last road trip, a 3000 mile excursion w/my FZ1, I averaged 43+ mpg Does anyone bitch about their fuel milage out of their 800+cc sportbike? NO! The factorys make these rules for ONE REASON: give themselves a better chance to WIN! AMA/WSBK makes sense, as the product actually transfers to the street, but the factorys still don't offer a product for the market that has the $$$$ to buy 'em! And quite frankly, I don't see much change coming from Japan (OK, the 'adventure' market is huge, but that is at the opposite end of GP).

What's the point of my rant? Moto GP use to have great racing, until the factorys decided to screw everything up! I have zero sympathy for the factorys whinning about the cost of GP racing when they are the ones that have driven UP the costs and then say they're doing it for the product they bring to the market! What a bunch of bull****!!

OK, I'm done. Anything I just wrote make sense, or is my martini hitting its intended mark?

Total votes: 184

Errr...

Are you saying that GP bikes should be required to have high handlebars to respect the aging backs and wrists of the market?

I think you have some valid points about the direction of sport-bike development, but maybe that's more relevant to a race series for sport bikes, ie WSBK. MotoGP is a prototype series, like F1... and the ability to enjoy a quiet drive in the hills in a RedBull F1 replica doesn't seem to be a concern.

Total votes: 156

How many engines are WSBK

How many engines are WSBK teams using in a season?
Realistically can you get close to MotoGP competitive horsepower out of a WSBK based engine with the CRT engine number limit?

If CRT is the future of MotoGP then surely factory MotoGP racing budgets will shift to WSBK and MotoGP will become the poor cousin.

There is a lot for the common owner of Dorna and Infront to get sorted out besides calendar clashes if they are to keep both series running into the future!

Total votes: 155

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