Aspar "Doing Everything Within The CRT Rules" With Aprilia MotoGP Machine

There has been much speculation on the legality or otherwise of the Aprilia RSV4-based bike to be used by a number of teams operating under the CRT rules in MotoGP in 2012. With the presence of so many members of the Aprilia test team at the recent Valencia and Jerez tests, and first Alex Hofmann and then Randy de Puniet riding a World Superbike spec RSV4R, there were claims that the Aprilia CRT machine was a clear violation of the principle behind the Claiming Rule Team concept.

The Aspar team have taken the criticism to heart, and in an interview with the Spanish magazine Motociclismo, team director Gino Borsoi was at pains to state the team's intention of staying within the CRT rules. Borsoi described at some length the status of the Aprilia project, the direction they are taking and the plans for the future. The project had started a couple of months ago, Borsoi told Motociclismo, after Aspar had decided to run two CRT machines instead of the single Ducati that the squad had run in 2010 and 2011.

After reaching agreement with Aprilia, the Aspar team headed to Valencia, where Alex Hofmann was scheduled to test Aprilia's RSV4R Superbike. The German ex-MotoGP rider first rode the bike on WSBK-spec Pirellis, before switching to the standard Bridgestone tires, to see what problems arose with the standard chassis once spec MotoGP rubber was fitted. Wet weather at Valencia put a halt to their plans, and the next chance that they got to test was at Jerez, where Randy de Puniet rode the bike - largely unchanged, except for "a few modifications to the chassis" - on Bridgestone tires and with carbon brakes for the first time.

The goal of the test was to gather data to use to design a chassis specifically for the MotoGP version of the bike. Who will build that chassis is unclear, Borsoi told Motociclismo, but it will either be the team themselves or Aprilia. With Aprilia already supplying the engine and the electronics, having the Noale factory also build a chassis appears to some observers to be pushing the limits of the Claiming Rule Teams regulations, with some feeling that such a bike should be entered as a factory prototype, rather than as a CRT entry. But Borsoi was quick to point out that whoever builds the chassis, the entire project will be under the direction of Aspar staff, consisting of Andrea Orlandi, the team's MotoGP engineer, and Borsoi himself.

But Borsoi was absolutely clear on one point, however: Whoever Aspar turned to to produce the chassis, the bike would be purchased and owned by the team, and not leased from Aprilia. "The machines will be owned by the team, and I can do what I want with them," Borsoi told Motociclismo, "Because this is the concept of CRT, it's very clear and if anyone thinks they will be leasing bikes, they are wrong." The decision as to whether the bikes will qualify as CRT entries or as factory prototypes would be down to the Grand Prix Commission, and nobody else, he added.

There is still a long way to go, however. The team hope to have the chassis ready by the end of January, and will take it there for an initial test, and hope to be ready for the second official MotoGP test at Sepang on 22nd-24th February. Before that, they hoped to take the Aprilia WSBK machine to Valencia on December 19th and 20th, to test alongside the Kalex-KTM Moto3 machines. With both CRT machines and Moto3 bikes not yet being legal for Grand Prix racing, the teams are free to test as and when they want, and are not restrained by the winter break imposed on the teams running factory prototypes. 

You can read the full interview with Gino Borsoi in Spanish on the Motociclismo website.

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And since 1000cc motorcycles of any origin are not yet legal for GP racing why does Honda, Yamaha, and Ducati have to observe the Dec/Jan testing ban? Could Tech 3 be out there?

At this point to eliminate any possible extreme stretching of the rules (and if there are factory Aprilia techs in the Aspar garage the rules are being extremely stretched) my preference would be to entirely abolish the CRT regulations and make any new bikes/teams have 9 engines per season and 21l of fuel (or more for everyone) until they win 2 dry races. No GPC 'factory prototype classification' trump card, no restrictions on who and how can the fastest bike be design/fabricated. Run whatcha brung, so to speak.


Can the Gear Driven Cam option that they used briefly in WSBK be used in the new CRT rules package?

This needs to stop . as long as aprillia is ok with everyone ripping there engine apart and the teams own the bikes they are going to let them do whatever they want. end of story. those are the new rules they are very simple but they will be very affective IMHO

Sorry to go so wildly off topic, but couldn't think how else to reach the opinion of those who might really know the answers to which I'm seeking. Saw the Moto GP history App advertised on the Moto gp website and had a few questions. Is it any good? Is it worth downloading? and can you watch whole historic races or just the clips that Moto GP app decides you might be interested in?

I paid the $5 and downloaded it for my iphone. It's... pretty fisher-price (crap). It's extremely simplistic, you can't do anything with the pictures (like make them your desktop, which was what I was hoping to be able to do) and they're just typical press 2-paragraph blurbs about each rider. You get what you'd expect from a dorna picture app. The cool thing is probably the bikes section, where they have some old bikes on there, but again, no desktop-background'ing that I could figure out.

When you go to the Events thing, it shows pictures of who finished where, and the videos are basically internal links to Youtube for the MotoGP channel's "Highlights" reels.

I'd return it, if I could.

If anyone can advise me of a better way of getting the answers to the questions I seek, without planting it in the middle of an inappropriate forum location, please let me know.

Gino Borsoi does not specifies some very important things:

- Whether the engine being used for this CRT will be a full factory SBK engine including the advanced electronic on it, the chassis will be a derived one from the WSBK clearly modified but at the end made by Aprilia. The most important thing: will be the Aprilia engineers supporting the whole project sitting next to Gino at the races?

The way I see it, there is a big chance that MSMA considers this Aprilia as a full factory prototype, if I were Aspar I would start worrying about this and how to clearly define this project as a CRT project bike and stick to the legal regulations...

But I see this Aprilia project as a good thing. Wasnt one of the biggest complaints about the MotoGP 990 and on era the fact that factories were leasing vs selling? Here you have a factory returning to the 500cc days when a privateer could purchase the bike and do with it what he wants. I think that if this Aprilia project holds water, it will force the other factories to return to the old formula (own vs lease) that everyone says was better. Hopefully it will also allow smaller factories, ie MV Agusta, KTM to get some skin in the game and grow the grid as well as reducing costs.

1.Electronics are not sanctioned by CRT rules for 2012.

2. Chassis has to be modified to be allowed to race, I guess they figured that out by now.

3. Presence of Aprilia people is also something they must have figured out unless they are complete idiots. Since Borsoi is stressing the fact that they are buying bikes (as oppose to leasing) it seams that he understood the rules.

I hope Aspar are deemed to be keeping within the CRT rules. The combination of Aprilia`s technical knowledge, De Puniet , Espagaro and the Aspar team will in my eyes make them the most competitive of CRT teams. In fact with De -Puniet on board i think he could cause a few surprises next year.

Isn't the whole point that they're CLAIMING Rules? IE: If anyone (Aprilia) puts too much into the engine then one of the factories will simply claim the engine and pay the $20G. Surely that rule will self-police things a fair bit?

20K is ridiculously cheap even for a WSBK spec engine. Hell it would be cheap for an Aussie superbike engine and they're virtually stock. David has said before that the factories will not want to lose face by actually claiming engines.. I wouldn't put it past the factories to randomly claim the odd engine just on principle, but you can rest assured the CRT engines will cost much, much more than 20K to build. Hopefully a team like Aspar would be able to write off the loss and still be happy that they're spending far less than they would be if they were trying to lease a factory prototype.