Speed Master Confirms West In MotoGP, Iannone In Moto2

After the initial leak by Ant West on his Facebook page on Monday, today, the Speed Master team confirmed that the Australian will be racing for the team in MotoGP in 2012. West will be racing as a CRT entry, and using an Aprilia RSV4-powered machine in the class. It is as yet unclear whether this bike will use an FTR chassis, or the chassis which Aprilia is believed to be developing for CRT machinery, based on the RSV4 road bike design. Aprilia will not be allowed to provide a chassis as used by the World Superbike teams, but the rules do allow that chassis to be used as a basis for a new or similar design. As long as the chassis is not as homologated for World Superbikes, the MotoGP stewards will rule it legal.

Speed Master also announced that they will be retaining Andrea Iannone for 2012 as well, though the Italian will not be making the jump into MotoGP. Instead, Iannone will remain in Moto2 for 2012, to take another shot at winning the title. Speed Master will be dropping the Suter chassis, which they switched to for 2011, and returning to FTR, possibly the FTR as modified by Speed Up, using the FTR chassis and modified bodywork. 

Below is the press release from the Speed Master team confirming Ant West and Andrea Iannone for 2012:


Speed Master team is pleased to announce its sportive plans for 2012 Championship.

Speed Master will make its debut in the MotoGP class, with Anthony West, who will be riding a CRT motorbike with an Aprilia engine. Tommaso Raponi, skillful Crew Chief who's been part of the team since 2011, will take care of the technical side of the crew that will work with the Australian.

Andrea Iannone, who finished the Championship in third position, will stay in Moto2 with Speed Master team, ready to fight and improve the results that have been achieved so far. The rider from Vasto will use a FTR bike, looked after and developed by Eros Braconi, who will be Andrea's crew chief in the upcoming season in the middle class.

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As long as they sell it to the team, and don't provide too much ongoing support.

This is the ideal model from Dorna's perspective; factories selling reasonably priced 'racing only' models, which the team are then free to modify to their hearts' content.

I just hope BMW follows suit.

Indeed, it's a very clever way (almost cheeky this exploit) for other manufacturers to get involved somehow (or get back, in the case of Aprilia).

Notice that Alex Hoffman (ex-MotoGP rider, currently Aprilia test rider) is testing in Valencia an RSV4 with SBK specs, but with carbon disc brakes and Bridgestones tyres fitted, same as used in MotoGP, to evaluate their SBK chassis (and engine?) in such scenario.

More than ever, and after loosing "business" with the 250cc and 125cc 2 strokes farewell, the Aprilia fellas must be dying for some revenge where it might hurt among the MSMA - the CRTs and their possible success.
After this, others may follow Aprilia.

I got to say that I didn't expect it would get these proportions, at least not this soon.
Even in the middle of a crisis, these are some interesting times!

and of course Dorna can also decide they are a true factory team:
limiting the number of engines and limiting them to 21L of fuel.

This seems a little out of hand to allow Aprilia to do this.

The bore is too big, at 86mm. It would take way too much work, better to go for a different engine.

Look who's crying foul. WSB & GP had long established boundries. The new boundries are now whatever Dorna say they are. Now an Aprilia engine with gear driven cams in a...hmm, call it lab derived chassis, will be interesting :)

Aprilia could use the drawings of the superbike frame. Replace the molded parts for CNCed. E voila : we have a CRT frame.

Bring on the Frankenbikes!!!! Go Ant!! With the Aprillia engine and a half decent setup he must surely be a contender along with CE for the best of the rest award you'd hope.

Also good in some ways to see Iannone stay in Moto2. He will be the catalyst for some very enjoyable racing I hope.

Ant West started to get some good results in Moto2 when he had Warren Willing working with him. I hope his team has someone like his. The guy can ride, but he seems to need a very good enginieer to work with in the pit box to get the best results. Look at his Kawasaki experience. He rode the wheels off the thing and achieved outstanding results to start with. But as the other bikes developed, his Kawasaki didn't and he plummeted down the result sheets. I know Kawasaki weren't putting in the $ as well, but perhaps he needs a very good pit crew chief to get the best information out of him.

The different configurations of machines on the MotoGP grid starting 2012 and beyond will continue to evolve... but into WHAT? Will it all become factory and satellite machines again someday but with less/simplified electronics thus placing the bikes' performance back into the rider's wrist and talent!? The CRT bikes will have 'race' only frames provided by the factories for their beefed-up production engines to separate them from WSBK! Supplying engines, motogp frames and eventually technical support... Aprilia, BMW, and Kawasaki mind as well become Factory CRT teams! Why are they wasting time? The conflict with WSBK may become an issue again... but so what!?