2012 MotoGP CRT Grid Taking Shape

June 23, 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.

Esteve Rabat on the BQR Moto2 entry. BQR will contest the upcoming 2012 MotoGP series as a CRT entry.
Esteve Rabat on the BQR Moto2 entry. The Spanish team will contest the upcoming 2012 MotoGP series as a CRT entry.

The Claiming Rule Team rules promise to expand the MotoGP grid in 2012. Earlier this month at the Catalunya Grand Prix, the FIM announced six teams will move forward with planned one-rider squads, MotoGP skimming the cream out of the Moto2 class. More details have now emerged for one of those efforts, as the By Queroseno Racing (BQR) squad will run a FTR chassis powered by a Kawasaki engine.

FTR Moto Director Steve Bones confirmed the details in a recent post on the company website, saying of the planned CRT MotoGP effort: “We will design and build the machine with BQR and following evaluation it was a Kawasaki motor that has been chosen for the project. This presents a great opportunity for FTR to become involved with this new initiative and a new era in MotoGP.”

Bones went on to state FTR will participate in the inaugural Moto3 series with a Honda-powered entry. The company has also been linked to the revamped Norton brand, the two firms partnered up to contest the 2012 Isle of Man Senior TT on a 1000cc V-Four-powered GP machine. (FTR competed in the 2010 Senior TT with its Moto2 bike piloted by Ollie Linsdell, running 21st before retiring with a mechanical.)

As for FTR’s support of a full-time Norton MotoGP project in 2012, Bones said: “I suppose the World Championship would complete the circle in terms of returning the Norton name to the scene of many former glories and we would love to be a part of that. I think Stuart Garner at Norton is pretty pragmatic and will follow the progress of the new V4 motor, the TT return next year and perhaps begin to make a longer term plan.”

Norton’s MotoGP effort was first reported back in September 2010. In an exclusive interview with Norton CEO Stuart Garner, Motorcycle USA learned Dorna had offered up two places on the ’12 grid for the historic marque. But Garner had not yet accepted the spots, and given the recent comments from Bones, the inclusion of Norton as a full-time participating manufacturer next year seems nill.

Marc VDS Racing 2012 motogp prototype
Test riders Damian Cudlin and Carmelo Morales conducted shakedown tests of the Marc VDS MotoGP prototype, which is powered by a BMW engine and utilizes a Suter chassis.

The top FTR rider in Moto2 crop is Ioda Racing Project’s Simone Corsi, currently second in the points entering Round 7 of the championship. FTR supplies chassis to a number of Moto2 entries, including BQR riders Esteve Rabat and Yonni Hernandez (Blusens-STX) and American Kenny Noyes (Avintia-STX). BQR’s expansion into the premier class will see it in all three GP championships, its 125 effort backed this season by none other than celebutante Paris Hilton. No details yet as to who will pilot the BQR MotoGP machine, though presumably it will be a rider promoted from the current Spanish-based team’s lineup.

Other details of the CRT entries are sparse, save one – the Marc VDS Racing team. The Belgian squad, which is managed by former Kawasaki MotoGP boss Michael Bartholemy, has already tested its 2012 prototype, which sources a Suter chassis. Powering the Marc VDS machine will be a BMW Inline-Four, with BMW Director of Motor Sport, Bernhard Gobmeier, confirming in an interview at the recent World Superbike Miller Round that the Bavarian marque will supply racing engines for CRT teams.

The other four CRT teams include Forward Racing, Keifer Racing, Speed Master and Paddock GP Racing. No set details yet on riders, chassis or engines for the remaining quartet.

Hiroshi Aoyama - 2010 MotoGP Qatar
Hiroshi Aoyama contested the 2010 MotoGP championship aboard the Interwetten-backed satellite Honda.

The Forward Racing squad operates in the Moto2 class under the NGM Forward Racing banner with riders Jules Cluzel and Alex Baldolini. The team makes use of a Suter chassis. It also sports some past links to the premier class, the squad entering Grand Prix in 2009 as the ill-fated but overachieving Hayate Kawasaki team.

Paddock GP Racing AKA Interwetten also has a history in the MotoGP, having supported Hiroshi Aoyama as a Honda satellite team. Interwetten currently backs Swiss rider Thomas Luthi in Moto2, running a Suter chassis.

The Speed Master squad, another Suter chassis entry in Moto2, supports Italian Andrea Ionnone.

Viessmann Keifer Racing is the lone Kalex chassis Moto2 squad to get its promotion papers for GP. Kiefer’s standing ace is German rider Stefan Bradl, who is currently running away with the Moto2 points lead.

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