Inmotec To Test MotoGP Bike At Valencia, On Grid For 2011?

The perilous state of the MotoGP grid has long been a topic of conversation among MotoGP fans. The grid threatened to drop to just 15 bikes earlier this year, but intervention from Dorna allowed Pramac to keep running two machines instead of dropping to one, and a sponsorship boost from Repsol helped Honda field three riders in its factory team, freeing up space at Gresini for Hiroshi Aoyama.

That still leaves the grid at just 17 bikes, however: six Hondas (three Repsols, two Gresinis and one LCR), six Ducatis (two Marlboro factory bikes, two Pramac bikes, one Aspar bike and one Cardion bike for Karel Abraham), four Yamahas (the factory squad and Tech 3) and a solitary Suzuki, Rizla having pulled out and the factory unwilling to run two machines. This is a long way from Dorna's ideal grid size of 24 bikes, but as long as the manufacturers control the technical rules, there is little hope that this might change any time soon.

Some relief could be on its way in the shape of the Inmotec MotoGP project, however. Testing has been underway on the Spanish-based V4 MotoGP machine for some time now, but the company has struggled for funding of the project. The Inmotec MotoGP bike was initially scheduled to be presented at the Barcelona MotoGP round, but had to wait for two and a half months for the Inaugural Aragon MotoGP race to make its debut in front of the MotoGP paddock, though only as a stationary model. The bike did not venture out onto the track.

That looks set to change at Valencia. Inmotec now looks set to take part in the post-race test after the final MotoGP round at Valencia, in the hands of Inmotec's test rider, Ivan Silva. A lot will be riding on the times the Spaniard sets: According to both Motoworld and Dennis Noyes, Inmotec has a Spanish sponsor lined up willing to invest in the project if the times are promising enough. The Inmotec bike would then be entered into the 2011 MotoGP championship with Silva at the helm, the team being run by BQR, who are currently fielding Yonny Hernandez and Mashel Al Naimi in the Moto2 category. The participation of Inmotec would bring the grid back up to 18 bikes for 2011.

A more surprising option comes from the UK. Rumors from UK's F1 corridor - where much of England's racing engineering firms are based - suggest that Norton could be preparing to collaborate with Inmotec for the legendary British marque's return to MotoGP. Unconfirmed rumors have it that Stuart Garner, the man who bought the legendary British brand and has reintroduced a range of naked retro sports twins, is unsatisfied with the pace of production for the new range of four cylinder engines he was hoping to use in Norton's new range of ultra-modern sports machines, which were to form the basis of the brand's MotoGP entry from 2012, and is looking to Inmotec for help in building engines for the Norton MotoGP effort. So far, Garner has failed to respond to's requests for information, so for the moment, these suggestions are still no more than industry gossip.

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Seems like this kind of news/rumors, and this kind of teams/manufacturers keep popping up all the time and I have yet to see one of them on the starting line so far.

Illmor, FBCorse, BMW, Motoczysz, Suter, WCM, Inmotec....

I will believe it when I see it...

Ilmor DID make it to the starting line so they don't really belong on that list...

The rest I'm 100% with you on though!

Ilmor and WCM made it to the grid, of course they were underfunded and uncompetitive but still managed to score some points. McCoy remains the first rider in MotoGP history to score points on a 800.

Anyway these guys live for motorcycle racing, it's not about reason, no way you can truly compete with Honda, Yamaha and Ducati when you are a small engineering company (especially when you see how Kawasaki and Suzuki struggle despite huge R&D and investments), but this about true passion for the sport.

I don't buy the Suzuki excuses...they are spending zillions of dollars on TV advertisements and promotion all over the globe, and do have the means and knowledge to build competitive bikes for racing, but just don't wish to spend much time and enough ressources on the tracks in fact.

Or what could then be said about Ducati, being by far the smallest company on the grid (but getting huge feedback sales from racing presence, sure) ?

Oh, I don't question their intentions or technical knowledge.

Quite the opposite. I admire all these new teams and manufacturers that put in a lot of hard work and money to fulfill a dream of entering the worlds hardest motorcycle competition.

But I have read so many news and rumors about all these new teams, and so rarely see anything materialize into a full season in MotoGP, that I always meet this kind of news with a huge potion of scepticism.

But it would be really cool if they end up in the 2011 entry lists....

I find it unfathomable as to why they would do this when the 800's will be (thankfully) killed off at the end of '11. The only possible reason is to gain some experience/stature to launch into '12 with a CRT bike, but using their budget to build and test a bike around a BMW or Aprilia engine would surely be a far better use of funds??
More power to them though, hope they do well, but the odds do not seem to be in their favour.

Last set of proposed rules I saw allows 800s as well as 1,000s. The MSMA asked for this so that they could continue to run the 800s if they couldn't afford to develop new bikes. So potentially Inmotec could run their 800 for a few years.

OK, it can run, but I'd imagine it would face the same problems as the 500 twins or the Aprilia 400 had back in the day - bigger bikes getting in the way on the corners and jumping out of the turns with the extra torque.
I feel for them, they've been caught out by the dumb management of GP racing in the last decade, but I would have thought it's better to cut the losses and move toward the new bike rather than continuing to throw effort and money down a blind alley. I guess maybe Dorna is giving them some financial incentive to turn up in '11, given how desperate to have more bikes on the grid.
Also a consideration is perhaps that the rules for '12 have not really been set in stone yet have they? After seeing some people caught out by the late announcement of the spec engine for Moto2, a bit of 'wait and see' is possibly quite prudent.

Designing and building a MotoGP prototype from scratch (not mentionning gathering the necessary funds) takes a long long time. The Inmotec project started in 2007 (the first year the 800cc engines have been introduced!) and the first prototype was assembled and presented in november 2009.
They were aiming for a few wild cards this year, which did not happen, probably because of a too optimistic development schedule.
Indeed, this sheds some light on the issue of the ever-changing MotoGP regulations. Most racing fans may be relieved to see the 800 go away, but the problem is that professional actors, such as engineering firms, need rules stability before they can even initiate a project.
Because of this sudden change of rules (back to 1000cc decided for 2012 in 2010), Inmotec faced a choice of giving up entirely the project the've been developing these past 3 years or trying to gather some benefit out of it by racing the bike they've worked on for so long.
Obviously because of the new regulation most of their efforts are gonna be wasted, and there is nothing they can do about it. If only they knew only 1 year ago that the motors would be back to 1000cc, for sure they would have adopted a different strategy.

Their drama's are yet to begin, under race conditions is when the real problems arise. The longer you delay racing the longer the delay to fix the as yet to be discovered problems will be.

I agree, Racing requires stability, and regularity to tweak and improve machines. 3 yrs is limited time to develop solid machinery without a backing such as HRC then to find it all for naught. The best thing that could occur is Dorna to lay down a 5-8 Yr plan locking in Basic frame, wheel, brake and Engine classification for several years. Eliminate Pneumatic valves GPS TC, wheelie control. Allow ABS and slide controls (safety) carbon brakes, limit new materials to frames and such and let the manufactures go crazy trying to improve what they have. Maybe a spec TC ecu with each team able to modifiy it and let them have there own Engine management (that is a must for longevity and personal development). Spec TC boxes would eliminate the prgrammers job and eliminate a lot of the time in setup programming and changing TC.

My .02.

OK, I'm an old codger, and a grumpy one at that. However, do we have to put up with yet another attempt to revive the old Norton brand? I'm long past the point where I just wish Norton (and Indian, for that matter) was just allowed to die. If you want to bring out a new bike, have the guts to put a new brand name on it.

On the street bikes, it's not the use of the name, it's the "styling" cues. Do all Nortons have to have a faux "magneto drive cover"...

Just maybe,Inmotec will be on the grid...Spanish.With the success achieved on two wheels this year by their riders,the passion to eventually achieve the same with a home grown bike may attract some big corporate financing.
I don't believe entering with an 800 V4 in 2011 is a bad idea.Invaluable experience gained in order to have an idea as to what suits their future strategy regarding 1000cc options.Apart from financing,they will need a top notch rider to develope the project.More investment.
As for Norton,its as bad as MV.Always threatening and folding.They were great in the 50's and 60's and that's about it.

+10000000000 to sykerocker. Sick to death of hearing about Norton. Jeeeeez, let it go already.

Sure hope that an indie company like Ducati comes along and starts a new chapter in the glorious history of motorcycle name, new design, new way of looking at things.

Inmotec are still talking about wildcarding at Jerez. But they just can't find the money to fund the project.