2012 CRT Entry List Announced: Cream Of Moto2 Field To Step Up

After 10 days of delay, the list of 2012 MotoGP entries has finally been announced. Or rather, the list of entries under the CRT rules, as the new manufacturers (such as Norton) talking about entering the class on the same footing as the factory teams have yet to be announced, with talks ongoing between the FIM, Dorna, IRTA and the new manufacturers about who will be admitted and on what grounds.

The lack of manufacturers underlines the problems the 2012 entry process has created. The entry list was initially expected to be issued during the Barcelona Grand Prix weekend, but arguments over the claiming rule prevented the list from being finalized. With a number of potential entrants talking to Aprilia about leasing WSBK-spec RSV4 engines, the right of the manufacturers to claim an engine was hotly disputed, with an escape route being asked in such cases for the CRT teams to switch to factory status and lose the 3 extra liters of fuel and 3 extra engines they would be allowed under the CRT rules. 

The list announced include six Moto2 teams - BQR (Blusens), Forward, Viessmann Kiefer, Marc VDS, Paddock GP (Interwetten) and Speed Master - generally regarded as being among the best (and best-funded) in the paddock. Each team will be given a slot for one rider next year, though riders have not yet had to be entered. However, given the teams entered, we can take a guess at who will be riding a CRT bike in 2012. Here's the current best-effort guess at the CRT teams for 2012:

Team Rider Engine Chassis
By Querosono Racing (BQR) Tito Rabat?  Kawasaki ZX-10R FTR?
Forward Racing   BMW S1000RR? Suter?
Kiefer Racing Stefan Bradl? ? Kalex
Marc VDS Racing   BMW S1000RR? Suter
Paddock GP Racing Thomas Luthi ? ?
Speed Master Andrea Iannone Aprilia RSV4? FTR?

Of the riders, only Thomas Luthi and Andrea Iannone are certain - or as certain as we can be at this stage in the game - and of the engines, the BMW and Aprilia are sure to feature, while sources close to BQR say that they will be building a bike around the Kawasaki ZX-10R engine, currently the class leader in horsepower, and with a longer stroke making for a more usable engine. Of the chassis manufacturers, FTR, Kalex and Suter are all known to be building chassis for the CRT teams, with Suter's effort the most public, while FTR is also working on Norton's MotoGP project. The Norton project is rumored to be stalled over internal company issues, which may explain why the new manufacturer entries have yet to be announced.

Questions remain over whether the CRT teams will be competitive. Though the teams will have access to nearly identical electronics systems to the factories - Magneti Marelli is perfectly happy to sell them their latest systems - the problem is the petabytes of data and years of experience the teams have in putting the electronics to use. As we saw recently, when Andrea Zugna and Cristian Battaglia defected from Yamaha to Honda, engineers who can get the best out of the electronics are both in very short supply and their market it price is rising rapidly. There are only a handful of people who understand both motorcycle racing and programming sufficiently enough to get the best out of the electronics systems currently in use in the paddock, and it will be hard for the CRT teams to compete against the factory set up. Opportunities to learn to use the electronics are similarly limited, given that the factories place their own engineers with the satellite teams, rather than allowing the satellite teams a chance to develop their own software and electronics packages. Even in the age of the CRT, electronics will continue to dominate.

Besides the CRT entries, all current MotoGP teams will be offered a slot on the 2012 grid as well, though rumors that the LCR Honda team could switch to become a CRT entry persist. Aspar is close to securing a deal to run two Ducati Desmosedicis for 2012 instead of just one, and strong and credible rumors continue that this will be the last year that Suzuki continues as a MotoGP manufacturer.

Below is the official press release announcing the teams:

MotoGP Class entries in 2012

As previously notified, the existing teams in the MotoGP class will all be offered a contract of participation with IRTA for the 2012 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix season.

Applications from new teams for this class exceeded the likely number of places available. Following the selection procedure it has been decided to offer additional contracts of participation with IRTA to each of the following teams all of whom currently participate in other classes of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix:


In each case the offer is with respect to one rider only and is subject to the submission of their final plans.

Applications from new manufacturers wishing to participate in MotoGP continue to be evaluated. Further information will be provided when a decision has been taken on such applications.

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"Questions remain over whether the CRT teams will be competitive."
I don't know, but we saw both Stoner and Dovi lap riders at Silverstone. I know the weather had something to do with it, but, so far, this season, it's embarrassing how far back the backmarkers are finishing from the winners. Three riders finished more than two minutes behind Stoner during the last race? Could CRT teams be that much worse?

If you compare quali times between the slowest riders in MotoGP and the quickest guys in Moto2, at some rounds this year the difference has only been around a second, so using that tenuous reasoning it would seem that the CRT bikes will definitely be in with a shot of troubling the backmarkers.

Having some of the stronger Moto2 teams stepping up makes perfect sense as logistically, they are pretty much already sorted though I have to say I would be very very surprised if any new manufacturers (e.g. Norton) put their hand up for 2012.

Despite us heading to a two-tiered championship, at least with 23 riders on the grid it provides some sense of achievement to those who finish in the points.

David, will the CRT teams get the same Bridgestone tires? Because if yes, then they will have an uphill struggle not only with the electronics but also on learning how to build a chassis around the tires and how to set it up.

And do the CRT teams have unlimited testing time and a free hand for choosing circuits in 2011? And will they be supplied by Bridgestone for the tests?

They should not limit testing at all of these bikes. Or set up a half dozen special tests just for these teams on top of the regularly scheduled tests.

The current satellite teams have the most to loose in this venture. I wouldn't be surprised a bit if LCR did jump to CRT.

Speed Master/RSV4 and Iannone. Question mark behind Bradl,but I reckon he will be in an all German effort using BMW power. Silly season on the CRT side of things. Finalization a long way off,but they are getting there.
Many ''thumb their noses' at upstarts from Moto2 and their potential to shake up the grid next year.
I think Karel Abraham,6 races in has by and large put the negativity to rest.
I decried CRT in the past,but look most forward to its finalised format 2012.
Sure,the electronic warfare is an issue,but there is always a young electronic guru out there waiting for an opportunity to take delight in upstaging the established Magneti Marelli package within a 'quasi' factory team.
The game needs new blood and more numbers desperately. The sooner the better.
Another 3 years of Rossi one track arguments and historic stats are issues the sport needs to have carved wide open,sooner rather than later.
Welcome the new era.

Shocker, Norton is delayed due to "internal issues" Norton is not entering Motogp and I would venture a guess that the "new Norton" will be like every past incarnation of Norton/Indian/Eelsssior be bankrupt by the time this post is read by anyone.

To all the motor cycle guys lots of cash, how about starting a new company with new products and technology instead of trying to revive some legacy brand so some baby-boomers can re-live their teens.......

So, 6 new teams who can pay-to-play... and the cream of the crop of Moto2.

So what is really going to be, Six new MotoGP teams to join in the procession parade that is now MotoGP. All this does is add a little excitement to the first turn of the first lap... and then will get in line for the next 20 laps. SNOOOZE!

I was really excited when the new rules started coming out, and the possibilities of some new life being breathed in to the MotoGP class. But each time more is refined.. I am disappointed more so then the last time.

Will these teams keep me awake during the broadcast? Doubt it. How sad has it become when we are excited about the action for 9th place.....

I was excited about the new rules, new teams and the new track in Austin, TX... I am now only excited about on of those three.

Does anyone has thought
about a CRT team with a MV engine? wuold it be good?

Try telling this to John Bloor. The guy was lambasted for buying the old Triumph factory and building homes on the site. No one imagined that he would go on to established the fastest growing motorcycle company of modern times, and one of the rare British manufacturing success stories (they exported 50,000 bikes last year).

The legacy brand name and image played a big part in getting the 'new triumphs' noticed and purchased by riders.

Sadly, it is true that he's spent almost no money at all on a racing programme....

As you have so eloquently stated David will most certainly be electronics. Goodness me if factories have to poach technicians from one another to compete, it really doesn't bode well for CRT's starting from ground zero in terms of both data and expertise. Just look at BMW's factory WSBK effort to appreciate the magnitude of the task ahead for these fledgling MotoGP teams. Good luck to them all. Oh how we wish they could surprise and put the cat amongst the pigeons.

2012 is going to be an exciting season. There will inevitably be two races: 1. Factory teams 2. Satellite teams versus CRT teams (going to be some great battles in this one for sure). Although I don’t think we’ll ever see the CRT bikes up with the factory bikes, it’ll be exciting to watch them battling it out with the satellite teams. This is going to make the silly season interesting as well. I’m sure the factory and satellite teams will be looking at the CRT riders as possible replacements…CRT could be the new way to develop a MotoGP rider.
Sad to think that Suzuki could be leaving. After Kenny Jr took the title on a 500cc machine it seems like Suziki lost the desire to be competitive. Here’s to the hope they stay in and regain the will to race.

In a previous article David, you mentioned that one of the hurdles in addition to the lease(ownership of the engine) rights issue was claiming cost. Any news on that front?

Even if the new rule package seems somewhat chaotic at this stage, I think it's a good thing. I don't see the problem with the CRT's being not competitive with the best factory bikes and riders. I've been watching GP's since the mid 80's, and back then you also had "2-teir" racing, with privateers on bikes which were at-best a couple of seconds down on the best factory 500's, at times the backmarkers were hokey national riders on old heaps of rubbish that were lucky to last the race let alone go fast. The CRT's will still be light years ahead of that situation in terms of pace and professionalism.

Why is it such a horror to have lapped riders in a GP? It used to be commonplace, and in fact it adds another slight randomising factor to battles for the lead. In Australia our national SBK bikes are little more than superstock spec and yet lap Phillip Island within a 2 seconds of MotoGP times (in fairness the gap will most likely be bigger at many other tracks). Why would a WSBK-or-better spec engine in a slightly lighter bike with slightly better suspension, more fuel and a good rider/team not be able to mix it with the sat bikes and occasionally beat a good factory bike having a bad day?

The electronics situation in MotoGP is currently a closed shop. The satelite bikes (closest we have to "privateers" at present) come with a factory technician who determines how fast their bikes can go. Look at Spies bike gaining pace mid-to-late 2010, asked about whether it was a new engine spec the reply was "some electronics stuff". CRT's will at least have the freedom to delve into the electronics and perhaps find a mind or group of minds who can elevate their package by a second a lap, not currently possible for a sat team.

Yep, whether it's a 2-tier system or not in it's initial form, I'm looking forward to it. The current MotoGP formula is broken.

I talked with LCR's business manager, Fabio Alberti, in Jerez and asked about CRT. He said that they would not go that route. He said once a team goes CRT they would never be able to come back to Honda. Pretty sure Yamaha and Ducati would feel the same way.

I'll be dissapointed if Norton effort stumbled. Will be even more dissapointed if Suzuki pulled out. It means MotoGP will just be a 3 manufacturer series, as CRT for me is a joke.

But this could be a good news to WSBK. Suzuki could concentrate more on WSBK, with a new more competitive bike and more resources. Norton, possibly could come out with a new superbike soon, although previously they are more interested in GP , which is more about the brand, without the obligation to produce the road bike version, but who knows they might reconsider..

Alex Hoffman said it better while testing at Mugello: "Conclusion of the day ! Claiming rule teams = bad idea ! My RSV 4 felt fast till I met the GP 12 on the straight ! It's faaaaaast ........."

Even if they are technically capable of running in the front. CRT will never be a succes, because the factories will not let them. If a team does a good job for too long, it will be promoted to 'factory status' and once you are there, you never going to win against the resources of the big boys. Even Honda had a hard time the last few years. Go figure.

Regarding Norton. The ITV's The Motorbike Show, was showing a piece on Norton. How they failed to qualify for the Isle of Man TT in 2009 and did not make it for this years. They showed two complete bikes, but apparantly they were not good enough for racing. And where even thinking about entering the rotary engine again.

Norton in MotoGP IMHO is just a PR thing. They indeed had some technical drawings, but that is still a very far step from actual (competitive) racing.

My question is: is there a big difference between CRTs and Satellite teams in terms of investment needed? If yes, why would satellite teams keep wanting to exist? if they had to come second to CRTs? their performance is pretty bad already, except for Tech3 maybe. If they are not going to be behind CRTs, what's the point of CRTs?
If the money investment needed for CRTs is not that far from that needed for Satellites, what's the point of having satellite teams like pramac, Cecchinello's, AB cardion and so on?

I'm confused

This is going to be very embarassing, and DANGEROUS...

A bit like Le Mans car race where you can see well tuned Porsches and Ferraris 435 being swollen up like Matchbox models by factory effort Audis and Peugeot...TV cameras won't look at them unless nothing happens at the front no more. People don't care who finish 13th anyway. And i don't want to think about speed differences during the race or the practice sessions: there are just deadly accidents waiting to happen in this badly hidden financial coup to make more money instead of really THINKING how to save MotoGP.

Another shameful demonstration the FIM and Dorna have totally lost it.

I just read a comment from Mika Kalio who tested a CRT prototype in Mugello along with Rossi and Hayden. He said he was approx. 3 seconds slower than the GP12. That is less then the deficit Rossi had in Silverstone and no one claimed Rossi was a safety problem.
Further, the Marc VDS Racing Team 2012 with Kalio is at the beginning, they have no experience with the bike, the tires and the electronics very much in contrast to Rossi, Hayden and Ducati Corse with the GP12 so I'd expect the gap to shrink considerably til 2012.

There is 1 very promising point about the CRT's that makes me feel very positive about this new bikes: if in 2012 the CRT teams are a success, with (compared to a factory satellite team) small, WSBK private teams like budgets, lots of action in the mid field and hence even more CRT entries for 2013 (who would not dream about racing in the MotoGP class?) we could see something David hinted already in 2010: Dorna would get out of the situation of being dependent on the factories and play hardball with them in terms of rule changes for 2013 that would make factory bikes such a bad prospect that the factories will leave MotoGP. Then all bikes are CRT's and that would make things very interesting.

They should recognize CRT as a sub-class, like EVO in BSB, maybe not give trophies every race, but crown a winner of CRT at end of the year.

Given that they're not competitive, maybe for first two years?

I'm hoping Suzuki doesn't leave. The bike seems alright this year. I'm sure there are times when Rossi wishes he was on it.

I'm going to watch WSBK this weekend and compare the Aprillia times to last years MotoGP times. With a custom frame and suspension job it would make a decent go of it. A lot of talk about software but WSBK has tons of experience with it so I think it's no big deal. Even less of a problem with a bigger engine. I'm also wondering about the tires. If a MotoGP bike has problems getting heat into them CRT's will suffer.

since the track configuration (specifically the last turn) is different beetween BSB and MotoGP.
But if you compare WSBK 2010 and MotoGP2010, Crutchlow's pole would have given him a second row in MotoGP and his fastest lap in race would have been top6 during the MotoGP race.
You can also compare Qatar, Assen, Brno, Misano and Philip Island.

CRTs will be like a stepping stone for other manufacturers before they enter as a full Factory team. They can run their tweaked up production bikes for an year or 2, collect the data and then bring in a full fledged prototype machine. This will help them to analyze the frame they need, bench mark their bikes with other factories before they actually compete with the main factories.
The cost involved as CRT will be less and they don't lose their name by finishing far behind the other factories.