Production Engine GP/SBK Dispute Update

May 31, 2011
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

Marc VDS Racing 2012 motogp prototype
Marc VDS Racing is already planning to campaign a BMW-prepped S1000RR engine for the 2012 MotoGP season.

BMW Director of Motor Sport, Bernhard Gobmeier, confirmed that while the Bavarian manufacter will not join the expanding MotoGP grid in 2012 as a factory team, it will supply engines to the CRT (claiming rule team) squads. Foremost of these BMW-powered CRT efforts is the Marc VDS project. The team will campaign a BMW-prepped S1000RR engine housed in a Suter chassis. Marc VDS racing currently supports two riders, Scott Redding and Miko Kallio, in the Moto2 Grand Prix class.

The move to 1000cc in MotoGP has caused much speculation, as the production-based Superbike engines will power these CRT racebikes. When questioned about whether the Aprilia V-Four could compete in Grand Prix, RSV4 rider Max Biaggi was unequivocal – the answer was no.

Infront Motor Sports CEO Paolo Flammini also has serious reservations about the 1000cc era. Not the size of the displacement, but the production nature of the CRT teams.

“Obviously, MotoGP can be any capacity they choose, this is not our business,” said Flammini in a one-on-one interview with Motorcycle USA. “It is not quite clear whether it is possible to use production-based engines or not. So that is what we are asking the Federation (FIM) to clarify and it is something that is becoming very urgent. So we open a table with the FIM in February and expect some results in the next few months.”

The local Utah media gets a word in with Infront Motor Sports President Pablo Flammini  the man behind World Superbike racing.
Infront Motor Sports CEO Paolo Flammini (seen here in a media interview during the 2010 Miller SBK round) says the use of production-based engines in MotoGP still needs to be clarified by the FIM.

Flammini and the IMS contend its contract with the FIM retains exclusivity for production-based motorcycle racing. Asked whether there is a degree to which IMS would accept production-based racing in GP, Flammini said:

“I think it is very important, irrespective of what contracts say, to maintain a clear distinction between prototype racing and production racing, so the two championships will retain their own personality, which is crucial.”

The CRT MotoGP and SBK conflict is yet to be resolved, and it seems will remain a point of contention as the 2011 season progresses. (Read more on Flammini’s thoughts about MotoGP, SBK’s future expansion, the open spec tire contract and more in a forthcoming feature interview from Motorcycle USA.)

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