Ant West Returns To MotoGP With Speed Master CRT Entry

Ant West is to make a return to MotoGP in 2012, racing with the Speed Master team, which has entered the class under the new CRT rules. West made the announcement on his Facebook page - a small irony, as the last time he switched to MotoGP (with Kawasaki in 2007) he also announced the move using Social Media ahead of an official press release, at that time on his MySpace page.

Full details of the deal are yet to be ironed out, but it appears that West will be riding an FTR chassis with either a Honda or an Aprilia powerplant. MotoMatters.com understands that the deal is for one year only, but by signing a deal to ride a CRT machine, West hopes to gain important experience for 2013 and beyond.

West is the second high-profile rider to sign with a CRT entry, after Colin Edwards made the biggest splash at Misano announcing his move to the NGM Forward Racing team. Recent pronouncements from Carmelo Ezpeleta, that the CRT rules are the future of the class and that the playing field will be leveled between the factory machines and the CRT bikes in 2013, including a spec ECU and a rev limit, encouraged West to take the plunge, and by entering early, West positions himself better when the rules are equalized in 2013. With many of the names being linked to CRT rides being less experienced names such as Yonny Hernandez or riders racing in the Spanish CEV championship such has Carmelo Morales and Ivan Silva, having more familiar names on CRT bikes is crucial to Dorna if the CRT concept is to succeed.

West spent the last two seasons riding for MZ, first aboard the abandoned steel trellis chassis built and designed by Martin Wimmer, and from earlier this year, aboard a 2010 FTR. West struggled to score points, but the arrival of veteran Australian crew chief Warren Willing helped turn his fortunes around, Willing providing the stability in the garage that is crucial in a class that depends upon set up. West scored his best ever Moto2 result at Valencia, finishing 4th, just a couple of seconds short of the podium.

Ant West is to make a return to MotoGP in 2012, racing with the Speed Master team, which has entered the class under the new CRT rules. West made the announcement on his Facebook page - a small irony, as the last time he switched to MotoGP (with Kawasaki in 2007) he also announced the move using Social Media ahead of an official press release, at that time on his MySpace page.Full details of the deal are yet to be ironed out, but it appears that West will be riding an FTR chassis with either a Honda or an Aprilia powerplant. MotoMatters.com understands that the deal is for one year only, but by signing a deal to ride a CRT machine, West hopes to gain important experience for 2013 and beyond.

Comments

Correction!

Always good articles David but there's a mistake in this one, Warren Willing is an Aussie and was quite a brilliant road racer himself before moving into the role of crew chief.

He raced most things up to the TZ750's before heading up the Yamaha Australia superbike team in the late 80's who had a couple of fair-to-middling riders like Kevin Magee and Mick Doohan!

He then moved to 500GP where he worked Roberts Petronas project.
I believe he was asked (by Ant West?) to help with his Moto2 bikes set up half way through this year with a coresponding improvement in results.

I really hope he's got Warren in on this CRT project.....the guy's got a wealth of experience

Total votes: 54

Corrected!

I don't know why I thought Warren Willing was an American. I just assumed it somehow, rather stupidly. Corrected it now, thanks!

Total votes: 44

US crew chief?

Funny, I remember a young Warren Willing racing an H2 Kawasaki at Amaroo park, west of Sydney...

Total votes: 42

I know ......

...... people will hate me for saying this, but I'm really looking forward to the racing that CRT will bring in 2012 & future years.

Yes, I know that they are 4 seconds off the pace at the moment, but sometimes the slower 800 riders were close to that much slower then the front runners.

Also, lets not forget, at the recent Valencia tests, the HRC's & YRT's will have had them "1000's"* turned up the max. Full power through the electronics with no care for fuel mileage & no care for engine life.

No wonder they were so fast.

The top spec GP bikes improved only slightly over the entire test, where as the CRT bikes were making big jumps every hour.

Also, lets not forget that the riders at Valencia on the CRT bike were not used to the bikes, the power delivery, the electronics and more importantly .... them horrible Bridgestone tyres.
The best man to hold CRT's head high was sadly not there. With Colin out of action the test times were always going to be in shadows. I'm not saying Colin would have done ALOT better, but with his knowledge of the power style & the rubber, I'm 100% sure he would have been very closer to only 3 seconds off the pace. Not bad for such a early shakedown.

Having another good, smooth, fast rider like Ant West on board can only be a good thing. Dare I say, if Jerez is another wet weather race we may see Mr West running in the top 8 .... OK, top 10 easy.

Yes, the CRT's wont win any races in 2012, but I'm hoping that the different engine brands and prototype chassis's will bring some good, close, hard racing like we have seen in the 2 years of Moto2 racing.

I'm sure I'm not the only fan who has rated the racing in Moto2 far better then the GP class, this year & previous years. When I read on my Twitter timeline that people don't watch the 125 & Moto2 races, I think they must be mad. Does that mean that when the Blue Ribbon Class goes 100% CRT in a few years ( and it will ) they will stop watching because there are no prototype engines? Madness.

I for one would like to wish Ant West, Colin & all the CRT riders the best of luck. They are laying down the foundation's of the future of MotoGP. If you think we will have full prototype "GP" bikes forever, you are sadly mistaken. CRT IS the future of GP's and having high end talent like Ant & Colin can only be a good thing for the sport. In 5 years time will will look back to 2012 and praise these CRT riders for doing such a good job of laying down the brick work of what will become a great racing championship again.

At the moment, the Blue Ribbon Class is simply good ...... it needs to be FANTASTIC.

* 1000cc, I'm still not convinced the 2012 M1, GP12 & RC213V are true 1000cc engines due to fuel limits. I heard a little rumor the GP12 is only a 930cc for that very reason.

Total votes: 62

where did you hear that?

>>Also, lets not forget, at the recent Valencia tests, the HRC's & YRT's will have
>>had them "1000's"* turned up the max. Full power through the electronics with no
>>care for fuel mileage & no care for engine life.

Where did you hear this? Testing with the engine in a state it can't be raced in does not seem too good a use of testing time.

I guess you like CRTs but since they have not been in one race yet a lot of your preaching about them being the future is just wishful thinking. I have no qualms about letting production based machinery participate but to ban prototypes is to throw the entire history of Grand Prix racing out the door for some better TV broadcasting.

If manufactures and riders can't compete without rules made to benefit some and hinder others then GP should come out of the closet and stop describing itself as a sport.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 60

Rules trying to limit the

Rules trying to limit the advantages of factory backed teams go back much longer than i've been alive. I'd be curious to see an article about how the prototype concept has evolved over the years in Grand Prix racing. The championship goes back a good 60 years and I'm not sure the entire history has been about prototypes as we understand them today.

Total votes: 42

please list some

>>Rules trying to limit the advantages of factory backed teams go back much
>>longer than i've been alive

For example? And please list something besides the rookie rule.

>>I'm not sure the entire history has been about prototypes as we
>>understand them today.

Today? Or last year? Or 2002? For Dorna the definition of prototype is whatever they want to define it as. From my perspective GP racing since its infancy has been about building racing machines to a relatively open rulebook without regard for a homologation process. Spec tires and the proposed spec ECU both are against the spirit of what GP stands for. Actually banning prototype engines would be taking GP's history, crumbling it up, pissing on it, and throwing it in the trash.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 40

Examples

Well, limiting 125's to 2 cylinders (prompting Honda and Suzuki to walk out of the championship) and later to 1... and limiting gearboxes to 6 speeds.

An open rule-book is one thing, but putting some sort of cost limitation on it seems reasonable. Maybe if there is less opportunity for spending stupid money on the engine, there will be some more interesting stuff happen in the chassis.... if the minimum weight was lowered a bit. Why not allow 130kg twins and see if someone can make that work?

Total votes: 44

>>>>Rules trying to limit the

>>>>Rules trying to limit the advantages of factory backed teams go back much
>>>>longer than i've been alive

>>For example? And please list something besides the rookie rule.

limiting the gear boxes to 6 speeds were mainly what i was thinking of. also some of the early fuel rules.

as for the rookie rule, didn't that come in in 2009 or 2010? i'm not that young.

has anyone mentioned banning prototype engines? or is that seen as the logical conclusion to the statement about CRT being the future of moto GP?

Total votes: 48

neither rule singles out the factories

6 speeds transmissions and cylinder limitations that apply equally to all teams/machines do not single out the factories. Having different rules apply to different teams and allowing the group of sanctioning entities to change teams' status for no reason at all (besides embarrassing the status quo) seem to me to be unprecedented in GP rulemaking history.

Dorna has been vocal about all machines from 2013 on being CRT machines with a spec ECU. The only difference between a CRT bike and a factory bike is the engine origin. KR's bike was not a CRT but he was not a factory team. Peter Clifford's bike was a true CRT but because it didn't fit into Dorna's plan at that time they banned it. It just seems like there is not much long term planning going on, only pissing on whatever fire is burning brightest at the time.

In the past GP rules have not been about specifying equipment origin or creating different tiers of teams in the paddock but about limiting the specifications equally across the board and letting competition do the rest. If/why that is no longer good enough is debatable.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 45

I see the distinction now.

I see the distinction now. Yes, this is unprecedented (to my knowledge).

Total votes: 52

You may have a point about

You may have a point about the CRT's being the most radical change in rules ever since the 990cc 4 strokes were introduced. I agree that other rules to balance things would be more beneficial but how much does the MSMA want that?
Over growing costs has been discussed for years. Economic crisis didn't happen just yesterday.
Seems to me the MSMA doesn't want any of that "lower-cost/balancing" stuff, otherwise we would already have it.

You also forgot a really important fact (for convenience?) that contradicts your argument, which does favor the CRT, and immensely...
You mention the history of GP's, perhaps you should take a closer look to that...?
The "golden years" of Grand Prix had a LOT to do with the way the formula was balanced and especially affordable to more teams and riders - there were heaps of privateers once upon a time.
You had supply of factory engines for handcraft/tuner own chassis (Harris, ROC, Saber and TSR being later examples), there were even good numbers of customer racebikes (NS500, RG500, etc) which would compose half of the grid.
What was once a really huge part of it is all gone for more than a decade (well over that, in fact!).
Has there anything successful as that being done at all ever since the 4-strokes got in?

Noone said that the manufacturers prototypes will be "kicked out" of the sport. How would that be done anyway? ...by embarassing them with hot-rodded production based engines? HAH, it suddenly starts to look interesting! :-)

If the CRT were aproved also by the MSMA, it was because they (MSMA) still see a chance, for the meanwhile, to keep on releasing more overpriced, over-developed racebikes, and keep playing in the game of boundless tech superiority "show-off" that prototypes became (while they can afford it, that is!).
It's like a race to see who gets out of resources sooner. That was not what Grand Prix was about.

Count the number of non-CRT bikes for 2012... it's not getting any better, is it? What can we expect in three years, full grid of half a dozen bikes and two manufacturers?
We're living in a miserable economy, for Pete's sake. There's plenty room and reasons for CRT.

Total votes: 38

the golden years

Were golden but nothing like the CRT concept. As you say in your own post all of the privateers were on either factory racers sold in limited quantities or custom frames built around prototype engines that the factories also sold in limited quantities. Both cases revolved around a bike built around factory based prototype race only engine. And all of the bikes still had to follow the same set of rules.

The CRT concept prohibits factory engine supply. If you are found to have factory support you are reclassified as a factory team with yet a 3rd set of rules until you start to do well, then you're moved onto a more stringent rule path.

My point is that GP racing have been around a long time and endured many economic cycles while staying true to its roots. Messing around with multiple classes of the premier class instead of finding a uniform (and most especially NON SPEC) formula that applies equally to all teams seems to me to be the wrong approach.

The big money will always move to the front. Moto2 is the perfect example. Now in the 2nd year people know which bike to buy so the team with the most money gets the best parts. Exhibit 1 is Marc Marquez. Exhibit 2 is Stefan Bradl. Both big money teams and both far ahead of the rest. Both quality riders, but its the money that helps keep them in front consistently. To think it will be otherwise is silly. If the object is to have 20 racers in 2 sec then that already exists, its SuperSport.

GP racing is something special. Always has been and always should be. And a big part of that is the machinery.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 46

Lease bikes

I always wonder about the lease-only nature of the current (prototype) bikes, even more so since the "cost saving" engine limits which also have the convenient by-product that nobody is allowed to look inside, not so much as take the valve cover off.
Factory electronics technicians oversee the ECU's, denying teams another avenue of tuning (my cynical opinion is that they are deliberately de-tuned to keep them from mingling with the factory bikes).

At the end of the year, everything is recalled to Japan/Italy and crushed or otherwise stored/recycled. This is why there are so few bikes on the grid, and also why they are not raced anywhere but in the WC - in direct contrast to the "good old days" when any aspiring racer could buy a TZ or a year-old RG etc, or even in later years the NS500R twin.

It seems to me that this is the paradigm shift that occurred in the late 80's, starting with the premier class and gradually making it's way down - the factories stopped SELLING grand prix bikes. There are no domestic championships (SEV Moto2 excepted) and in years to come there will be no "classic racing" with RC211V's etc.

I know all rules can be subverted and unintended consequences end up worse than the original problem, but what about a rule somehow stipulating that all bikes on the grid must be owned outright, not leased? Older bikes flow to the lesser teams, grids are filled out, and not a shopping trolley CBR in sight. I know, I know, impossible...

Total votes: 41

maybe I just didn't make myself clear

@thecosman:

Sorry, maybe I just didn't make myself clear, as it seems we're talking about different things.

You talk about "lease" I talk about "selling".
Even if leasing factory engines was a possible aproach for 4 strokes it's just stupid expensive (Moriwaki MD211vf and KR v5 being examples of this). Even when there was more money around (economy was not so bad then) those who tried it suffocated.

I think Breganzane (see his post) approaches what I was saying.
If you look past some few decades (the "golden years"), you would have national and continental championships of 125, 250 and 500cc (the premier category).
The same machines that could be enlisted in Grand Prix.
Privateers had a chance to shine and use/prepare/develop their machines and talents other than (and for) worldwide levels. They would BUY those bikes, even modify them if needed (within rules), no leasing business limits. That says a lot.
Last time I saw, you don't have national or continental championships of MotoGP.

In the late 80's everyone stopped SELLING 500cc racing machines (NS500 3 cylinder was the last one from a big manufacturer), even engines. Leasing took place, for machines and engines.
Yet, as 2 strokes were more efficient regarding cost/performance, you would always have more than one independent project around in the whole season (last ones being MuZ, Pulsar and Proton/Modenas/Kr, from what I recall).

The only comparable "non-factory" full prototype you have effectively racing in 10 years of 4-strokes is the project that will be introduced this year by INMOTEC. It took them almost 5 years just to bring the racebike and we don't even know how long they'll be able to sustain the costs, much less how it will perform.
It can't go on like this, the main problem can't be forever ignored. The class is just too expensive for anyone else to get in with prototypes, even for manufacturers.

GP racing is indeed something special. But if noone is able to compete and bring more "special" machines, then it just a flawed concept, a parade of some few ultra expensive over-the-top machines.
Grand Prix racing purpose was always about bringing the fastest machine/rider combos, private or "official" (manufacturer), little guys and big guys all together. Not about being such an expensive sport that only the multi-million dollars can afford. But then, I guess, we can all agree that all good things always get corrupted. :-)

Total votes: 43

you need to reread the comments

My posts never mentioned anything about leases. They are about not wanting to have subclasses and different technical rules dividing the premier class and the opposition of any spec equipment.

And your history of GP racing being for the masses is a bit flawed. GP racing has always been a rich person's sport.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 56

Yes, but now it's not so much

Yes, but now it's not so much a sport for rich people as a sport for rich companies.

Total votes: 47

>>And your history of GP

>>And your history of GP racing being for the masses is a bit flawed. GP racing has always been a rich person's sport.<<

Sorry, but no. That's your version of the history of GP racing.

No one said it was "for the masses" but it was actually affordable if we compare to what we see today, translated currency into the era and all, perhaps with the exception of logistics costs (transports of the material to other distant parts of the world, staff, etc). That's why you would see lots and lots of "wild cards" at each GP, or just running only some GPs (in proximity to country of origin).

What you may say is that the sport was living with half a grid of really well paid riders and factory machines, while another half was at almost amateur level, obviously so if compared to what you see today (and I suppose you would hate something like that too today, right?).

Total votes: 44

stop reading so much into my comments

I don't hate most things bar spec equipment in top level GP classes.

Your point about scarcity of equipment and leasing are spot and the main reason for the lack of GP wildcards.

>>What you may say is that the sport was living with half a grid of really
>>well paid riders and factory machines, while another half was at almost
>>amateur level, obviously so if compared to what you see today (and I
>>suppose you would hate something like that too today, right?).

This year is not far off and next year we will have exactly that yet all I am complaining about is having different rules in a single class. And spec equipment.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 43

Not any more

If the object is to have 20 racers in 2 sec then that already exists, its SuperSport.

Not since they started stretching the motors to breaking point. Moto2 is much closer now.

Chris, I see your point : a rule that specifically seeks to distinguish factory from non-factory is perverse. The WCM case was the same issue, run backwards. The CRT rules are a sort of positive-discrimination inversion of the "no production" rules.

However, when politics has led you to a bad place, sometimes it needs an unnatural political strategy to reverse out of the mess. I don't think there can be any doubt about the need to change direction: if a competitive bike is to cost 4.5 million €, plus team infrastructure, getting 20 bikes on the grid requires finding over 100 million € of sponsorship (either explicit or as manufacturer subsidy). It simply isn't available.

At the moment, MSMA has control of the rule book and they've come up with a disasterous set of rules: heavy, over-powerful bikes that can't safely function without massive electronic support, limited by fuel rules which are contrary to all the technical traditions of the sport. The weight and power of the bikes makes it extremely difficult to build tyres that will provide sufficient grip, not too much chatter and are able to last the distance: the control tyre was forced by the fact that no one wanted to race on anything but the Bridgestones... just as Dunlop had become the defacto control tyre in 250 and 125.

CRT is just a temporary strategy to get back the rule book.

I actually like Burgess's suggestion of 600cc... or even smaller. Or limit to twins or triples. Some simple power limiting constraint that doesn't need fuel limits to keep the speeds sane. Lower weights to make the bikes race bikes, not fat barges with huge tyres.

Much as I'm sad to see the demise of the 2 strokes, I think the Moto3 rules are excellent. If we can then replace Moto2 with similar 2-cylinder, light-weight 500cc bikes with a fixed rev-limit, no fly-by-wire and minimal traction control, so much the better.

Then? A radical alternative would be to stop there. Less radical: 750cc triples. Same rev-limit, same bore limit, unlimited fuel, control ecu (all the fuel and ignition mapping you want, but no fly-by-wire, no wheel sensors, no accelerometers). Make it a challenge that is within reach of someone without HRC's R&D capacity...

Total votes: 50

Sponsorship

Your comment about the €100mill that just isn't there made me think. The root cause of all these problems is this money, or rather the lack of it. Perhaps Dorna (and the racing teams themselves) need to look here for fixes.
The solution to costs increasing shouldn't necessarily be to drastically cut costs with harsh rules. Maybe Dorna should promote their series more, and promote bike-racing more. Attract the sponsors. There is money out there, some F1 teams probably spend 4.5 Million in development between races (baseless guess, but not far out I'd imagine).
Most non-motorsport fans in the UK & Ireland will have heard of the name "Lewis Hamilton". Most (if not all) of these same people will have never seen an F1 race. How is this possible?
Ask 99% of people in the same countries who James Toesland or Cal Crutchlow is, they'll ask you are they 1) on Strictly Come Dancing or 2) English cricket players?
Tell someone your watching a WSS or BSB or AMA round, you'll get asked "Is Rossi still winning that?"
Some people will tell ya that Harley Davidsons are the fastest bikes out there, ffs.

People don't know shit about bikes, and they don't care either. And if people don't care, sponsors don't care.

There is money out there; Ferrari & McLaren threatened to leave F1 if there was a cap put on expenses for F1 teams. The cap was €50million/year. They thought this figure was ridiculously low. MotoGp teams just need to get in on the action a little more. If every country cared for MotoGp as they do in Spain, then there would be teams tripping over themselves to get on the grid.

Total votes: 47

WCM

Dorna didn't ban the WCM bike. IIRC, Clifford said that everyone in the GP paddock was largely supportive and that Yamaha even agreed to let them use parts of the engine. WCM were banned pursuant to the contracts the FIM signed with the FGSports/IMS. It was a sport court or a real court that made the ultimate decision.

Total votes: 38

all that changed was perspective

I'm sure all the teams in the paddock liked the effort, however the teams don't make the rules.

Dorna seemed not willing to go to bat for WCM. Not much has changed since then except now Dorna wants to include production based engines in the series. It made them lay their cards on the table and say a prototype is a non-homologated motorcycle. Exactly what PC built with the WCM. The only difference was the factories were not on Dorna's no-christmas-card list as there were plenty of entries.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 52

WSBK 2003

WSBK is a completely different sport today than it was in 2003. In 2003 they were still using the air-restricted formula. The IMS/MSMA row changed WSBK, but after the change, no one was going to dump money into a project that might be illegal. When Ezpeleta got fed up with the manufacturers he looked into production engines.

According to Ezpeleta it's all about homologation. Imo, the homologation papers changed after the IMS/MSMA row. That's why the Flamminis are unable to stop Dorna from using Honda CBR600RR engines in Moto2, and SBK engines in MotoGP.

Total votes: 41

Fuel mileage and engine life are essential for 2012

I really don't think Honda nor anybody was running with full power without concern about fuel mileage and engine life.
It's got to be the exact opposite because these are the main concerns they have for 2012, gathering relevant data about fuel consumption and engine lifetime is far more important to them to prepare 2012 that leaving with the best time.
That being said I mostly agree with the rest of Wiggysan comment.

"but to ban prototypes is to throw the entire history of Grand Prix racing out the door for some better TV broadcasting."

I think I understand what you mean, but you might be mistaken, it is not merely for some better TV broadcasting but mainly for the survival of the sport itself.
If not for the CRTs next year we would have a 12 bikes world championship, the sport could not survive like that for long...so something had to be done.
It is changing the spirit of the sport but going on with full prototypes is not an option suitable for MotoGP future anymore, it would only mean sub-10 bikes world championship...

Total votes: 54

my only ......

...... reason for saying what I did about the "full power" reference was the fact that HRC top brass want to look the best EVERY chance they get.

They (now) have more test time to get the 'real' data they need for race pace, so this Valencia test is just a smoke screen to show how fantastic HRC will be in 2012. This is why I feel the Valencia test went against all normal testing plans. They needed to pull out all the strings to show the M1 & GP12 boys how fast the RCV will be.

The strings been: MPG / reliability / tyre wear etc .... it all meant NOTHING. The Valencia test meant nothing except for getting the headlines " HRC 1 - 2 " & " Honda Dominate test "

After (at last) winning the 800 chase, HRC need to lay down their rules again. Their rules been "WE are the best ever rule".

The sad truth is ( regarding on what power setting the RCV was tuned to ) the RC213V WILL be 99% unstoppable in 2012.

Total votes: 47

The claims you are making

The claims you are making about Honda at the last Valencia test are similar to claims that were made about Honda at the beginning of 2011. At the time Stoner completely rubbished the claims, saying that there was no point whatever testing something that they weren't able to race. It is more likely that Honda were sandbagging at Valencia. This would be consistent with the rumours of stunning lap times put in by Stoner at the first 1000cc private test at Jerez. I think the HRC management are a whole lot more sophisticated than you give them credit for. What they want is to win championships, not generate meaningless headlines after a test session.

But I agree with your last sentence. I wouldn't be at all surprised if 2012 becomes a straight shootout between Stoner and Pedrosa, with the rest making up the numbers.

Total votes: 56

Can't fault you sir. I pretty

Can't fault you sir. I pretty much agree with everything That Wiggysan has said. Surely CRT is the way forward. Closer racing which can only be a good thing and reduced running costs, therefore more bikes on the grid, which this year and for the last 3 or 4 years has been a major problem. CRT IS the way forward forward whether you like it or not Mr Stoner

Total votes: 48

mr stoner

mr stoner won't mind at all, in fact please change the specs every year, it would be perfect

Total votes: 50

go ant !

Westy has had to deal with poor machinery for years now, so i think it is brilliant that he's got a line back into the show, he must be totally stoked.

As an Aussie we have had a lot to cheer for in the motogp this year, i wonder how the aliens will go on crt bikes come 2013 ? I don't think we will see a great shifting of power though, no one can touch stoner at the moment and i don't think 2012 will be any different. CRT will level some of the field i think, but probably not as much as some people think it will.

Wiggysan - i completely concur with everything you said, well written.

Total votes: 48

Re Warren Willing correction x2

Good to see Westy with a MotoGP ride, CRT is the place to head for, as proto`s are many times to expensive. People will say CRT`s are to slow, but most of the same people said the same when the diesel`s took over from the 500cc two stroke`s. That one worked out pretty well, i think. Hopefully Warren will be in the shed to help out. Regarding spec ecu`s i think F1 run them these days and no traction control so if the factories want to play them`s the rule`s.

Total votes: 38

Great news ... but spec ECUs?

Are we saying both the top flight teams and the CRTs will get the same ECUs? I wonder how much incentive will be left to develop new technology if we force the competitors into using the same kit. How far do you go with standardisation in the interests of cutting costs?

Good news for Anthony West - he must be a really top lad because you'd think others with better results under their belt would have gotten the ride before him. Just goes to show where treating people right can get you.

Total votes: 43

Spec ECU

Aren't all factory teams basically already using a spec ECU?
If I'm not mistaken, they all use Magneti Marelli electronics anyway.
As Prezioso said, electronics is an area where you can transfer a lot of development from MotoGP onto the street.
But if the spec ECU is sophisticated enough I don't think it will really hinder development.
I might be totally wrong though.

Total votes: 45

Spec software

The fact that they all have MM is like saying two people are both running the same sort of PC... what matters is the software they are running.

A spec ECU would mean no replacement code, the teams would only be able to access specific tables to tune the bike (like an upmarket super-deluxe power commander).

Total votes: 48

Ah, ok, i thought spec ECU

Ah, ok, i thought spec ECU would only affect the hardware.
This makes it a totally different issue of course.

Total votes: 38

Vermeulen?

I read in MCN this week that Chris Vermeulen has been looking into the possibility of getting a CRT ride next year. Any truth to that or is it Chris starting his own rumour?

Glad to see West back in Gp, always liked him. Hope his team is solid and retain him for a few years because he tends to switch teams often & they aren't always competitive either. (Hope he gets the RSV4 engine :o) )

Maybe CRT's should favour hiring rain-meisters like the 2 above, thus giving them a chance of a couple of top 10's next year when the heavens open.

Total votes: 35

BSB?

Actually, it'd be great to see Chris Vermeulen in British Superbikes in 2012. A few wet tracks, of which there will be plenty, could be helpful! :-)

BSB are also moving to the spec ECU and no traction control position in 2012. This will be a real litmus test for both WSB and MotoGP as to whether such restrictions will be viable.

Total votes: 45

Go Ant!

It's great to see Ant back in the MotoGP class!

Total votes: 39

A bleak 2012

As things stand MotoGP is looking very bleak for 2012. Now that Suzuki have pulled out we are left with the prospect of just 12 factory bikes, four each from Honda, Yamaha and Ducati. Realistically only four of these riders are going to be anywhere near the front leaving a battle of eight riders battling for the top non-podium finishes and another 8 or so CRT bikes a minute or two behind. Not a great prospect.

Total votes: 45

Spot the difference

I can't see how that will be much different to 2011. Except there will be more bikes on the grid and more technical interest from the greater variety of machinery. Realistically, there are only 3 riders capable of winning a race right now (until the Ducati gets fixed, if at all), and places 4-7 are fairly predictable too. There will be more bikes being lapped next year, because there will be more bikes.

Total votes: 50

Three plus Spies

and in the context of GP history that is a pretty healthy number.

Total votes: 44

Hang tight lads. I hear

Hang tight lads. I hear people say it's always darkest before the dawn. I don't see the CRT/Factory switch as a new sunrise, but more as an evolutionary transformation. I personally believe that we need to shed some blood in this revolution. Some feelings are going to get hurt, someone will get the short straw, and in the end we'll have a renewed and revitalized MotoGP premier class.

Ant West making the jump to CRT is a perfect rain drop to help put a crack in the dam. I'm really hoping Iannone makes the jump to CRT, as well as a few other riders who are alwas looking for a fight on track.

I think this is a good thing.

-H8R

Total votes: 38

The more the merrier

Even should CRT prove to be a Championship within a GP Championship I look forward to it. Glad to see Ant West there or thereabouts for 2012. I hope he gets to use the Aprilia mill.
Moto GP 2012 is shaping up pretty well.
A season 2x2x2. Rossi/Hayden vs Spies/Lorenzo vs Pedrosa/Stoner. Thats the shape of it right now. A six horse race theoretically for the title.
I sincerely hope that the TV crews focus much time on the CRT battles.
Ever the optimist and the more the merrier.
Its a real pity that Suzuki are apparently on their way out.
The GSVR 800 could have been a 'one off' spanner in the works at various circuits much like the Honda 2 stroke back in 2002.

Total votes: 43

The more the merrier

"A season 2x2x2. Rossi/Hayden vs Spies/Lorenzo vs Pedrosa/Stoner. Thats the shape of it right now. A six horse race theoretically for the title"
Hayden, absolutely zero chance. Rossi, can't dismiss him as he was a genius but now passed it and on a Ducati with disappointing lap times even with new deltabox frames. Spies, very disappointing year so would seriously question his ability to win a race without some very good luck. That leaves a three horse race with an obvious 2012 champion.

Total votes: 49

Alvaro Bautista?

What about the 3rd RC213V? Would he be close enough to stir the proven ones?

Total votes: 31

Warren Willing

Great news for Ant and he certainly improved over his more favoured team mate once he had Warren in the garage. Here's hoping he takes Warren to the CRT team.

Total votes: 42

Ant West

I think Ant West will be very entertaining on a CRT bike, wet or dry Westy gives it a good go. I keep hearing and reading about the 4 second difference between CRT vs prototypes and I fail to see difference standing up for more than a season at best. John Hopkins this year on his BSB spec Suzuki is a good example having riden Factory Gp bike and Denning / Crescent BSB bike an article in Superbikeplanet.com written by Julian Ryder brings the stopwatch trackside and the differences are not that signifigant and less so when looking at WSBK spec motors . With carbon brakes and extra fuel I think there will be more than a few surprises >> http://www.superbikeplanet.com/2011/Oct/111014rydernotesfri.htm
Phillip Island has always been known as a racers racetrack where horsepower and a set of balls has seen fast laps since it opened , have a look at lap times broken down here >> http://www.phillipislandcircuit.com.au/laptimes.html

I grew up watching the once proud spectacle of F1 racing 1960's through the 1990's and what rule set / period provided the best level of racing and I still think that the customer Cosworth DFV >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosworth_DFV
Racing was close as it ever was and the engineers went about getting more from a fixed horsepower figure. Toyota Honda BMW Alfa Romeo Mercedes Ferrari Judd Maserati and more have all waded into the money tide thru the years and none have or will have the level of success that all the constructors through the late 1960s well into the 70's had.
I think the best quote from the golden age of F1 was from Frank Williams who when asked what he would do to improve F1 racing ? His answer " Stop changing the rules " technology trickles down and becomes more affordable over time, and will find it's way into the smaller budget teams it does not as by magic trickle up.
Dean Adams again from superbikeplanet.com see's the MotoGp situation in much the same light as F1 has found itself in over and over again, the rules well not the rules but the constant changing of the rules. please see the almost constant state of change in MotoGp > http://www.superbikeplanet.com/2011/Nov/111111a.htm I really look forward to the CRT teams, competetive for certain . $4.5 million euros to lease a Honda 213v with those numbers beyond reason I can see some very clever engineers making 1/4 million dollar WSBK spec squared bikes with enough gas to race all the way to the checkered flag and stopping on carbon brakes showing more than a wheel to some of Motogp's paid stars in 2012

Total votes: 44

Go Ant!

So happy that Westy is back in MotoGP. I have always wondered why he has not been in the class as a wet weather specialist? We get a couple of wet races per season and the coverage Ant generates for his team and sponsors in these races is awesome. Wet race and Westy will be scything his way through the pack from the back of the grid and as at Valencia this year its all the commentators can talk about! Would'nt a couple of big publicity wet race results with the possibility of a podium be better than the purgatory of being in the bottom half of the field every round?

Total votes: 49

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