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:
TWO PROJECTS IN 2012 FOR SPEED MASTER TEAM: WEST IN MOTOGP, IANNONE IN MOTO2
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.