It is becoming increasingly apparent that the wealth of chassis choices in Moto2 is a double-edged sword. With so many frames to choose from, and the field so incredibly tight, teams are looking for the reasons why their riders are not performing as they had hoped and expected, and putting the failure to perform down to their choice of chassis.
The Mapfre Aspar team were the first team to team to make the jump. The Aspar team, fielding 125cc World Champion and former 125cc champ Mike di Meglio, decided to drop the Italian RSV chassis they had been using since the start of the year, and switch to the Swiss Suter chassis, currently favored by the bulk of the Moto2 paddock. The steel trellis RSV chassis - though stunningly beautiful and one of the few departures from the standard aluminium beam chassis being used elsewhere - has had problems with weight, and Aspar had complained that the pace of development was not meeting the team's demands.
Aspar's dropping of the RSV chassis left just one rider using the Italian frame: Karel Abraham of the Czech Cardion AB team. But like the Aspar riders, Abraham had also been struggling with the setup of the chassis, as well as with aerodynamics, and like the Aspar team, Cardion AB have also decided to drop the Italian manufacturer's chassis.
Unlike Aspar, Cardion AB have decided to use the FTR chassis instead of the Suter. The choice was made because of the outstanding results that Alex Debon of the Aeroport de Castello team has already scored using the chassis built by the Buckingham-based engineering firm. Another significant factor is the level of support from FTR: Although the FTR chassis is more expensive than the Suter - though it is still one of the cheaper options in the Moto2 paddock - the FTR chassis comes with a fuller support package, as well as development support and updates throughout the year.
With competition so fierce in the Moto2 class, and so many options for altering a team's chances, this is unlikely to be the last switch we see in the paddock. There are still plenty of talented riders struggling mid-pack.
If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting MotoMatters.com. You can help by either taking out a subscription, supporting us on Patreon, by making a donation, or contributing via our GoFundMe page. You can find out more about subscribing to MotoMatters.com here.