Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta...
Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta (left) tries to explain his ideas on the upcoming 2013 rules to Ducati Motor General Manager Claudio Domenicali.
MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO, ITALY, JAN 12 – The Aprilia RSV4 CRT machine raised more than a few eyebrows when it made its debut with Frenchman Randy de Puniet aboard late last year.
The Team Aspar machine de Puniet rode didn’t have a prototype chassis, which the CRT rules mandate; rather it was seen as little more than a thinly-disguised Aprilia Superbike, with duct tape over the swingarm pivot area and the rest of the frame painted black. The bike de Puniet rode at the post-Valencia test is unlikely to be the machine that shows up at the first Sepang test at the end of the month. The frame certainly won’t be stock, but how far it is from stock will be scrutinized by both the FIM and the rest of the MotoGP field. As it is, at least one of their competitors doesn’t believe the Aspar effort is what the FIM and Dorna had in mind.
“It’s on the limit or a bit on the other side of the limit,” Ducati Corse CEO Claudio Domenicali said at Wrooom, the Ducati/Ferrari team intro in the Italian Alps.
I think that if we end up with a (MotoGP) championship in which every manufacturer will race with Superbike, is not any more the (MotoGP) championship... "
Ducati Corse technical director...
Ducati Corse technical director Filippo Preziosi (left) and Domenicali are willing to accept the CRT concept...as long as the rules are followed.
He continued. “So let’s say that we are in a difficult economic situation.” Still, he added, “it was not the spirit of CRT. CRT was born as the spirit to make the possibility for a chassis manufacturer to buy an engine, to tune the engine and build a prototype. While here we are in front of a Superbike machine that is just painted in a different color and (is said to be) a MotoGP machine. So I don’t think it’s very nice. But let’s say for one year, and for this year only, we consider that maybe it’s not a big problem.”
Aprilia is the engine of choice for the bulk of the nine CRT bikes. The Aspar team tested the RSV4, essentially an Aprilia Superbike, with De Puniet and Aleix Espargaro. Danilo Petrucci will make his MotoGP debut on a chassis made in-house by Ioda Racing Project with power from Aprilia. Anthony West will use an Aprilia engine in his Speed Master CRT machine. And James Ellison will use Aprilia power for the Paul Bird Motorsports CRT entry. The chassis makers haven’t been announced for either West or Ellison.
Domenicali believes that the...
Domenicali believes that the Aprilia CRT situation needs to be addressed as part of the new rules package being formulated for 2013.
Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta is pushing for a new rules package for 2013 that would increase the competitiveness of the CRT bikes, while limiting the performance of the prototypes as a way of closing the gap between the haves and the have-nots. Ezpeleta has held meetings with Honda and Ducati, and will meet with Yamaha, to formulate the rules package which he wants nailed down by May. Domenicali believes that the Aprilia situation needs to be addressed as part of the new rules.
“I think that if we end up with a championship in which every motorcycle manufacturer will race in the championship with Superbike, is not any more the championship, it’s a kind of different animal,” he said. “It’s not any more a prototype. And so it’s a bit of a problem.”