American Blake Young to Ride Attack CRT Bike at US MotoGP Rounds

AMA Superbike runner-up Blake Young will ride the Attack Performance CRT machine at all three US MotoGP rounds this year. The former Yoshimura Suzuki rider has signed with Attack Performance owner Richard Stanboli to race at the Austin, Laguna Seca and Indianapolis rounds of MotoGP, aboard the Kawasaki-powered CRT machine designed and built by Stanboli and his team.

The Attack CRT bike has been undergoing some major changes since making its debut at Laguna Seca in 2012, where it was ridden by US veteran racer Steve Rapp. According to Roadracing World, Attack owner Stanboli has modified the chassis to work better with the Bridgestone tires, and has altered the firing order of Kawasaki ZX-10R engine to more closely resemble a Yamaha R1 engine. Rapp failed to qualify at Laguna Seca, at what was virtually a shakedown test for the Attack machine, and finished 14th at Indianapolis, ahead of James Ellison on the PBM machine, and Aaron Yates on the GPTech CRT machine, scoring two valuable championship points.

Young is currently without a ride for the 2013 season, Yoshimura Suzuki not having extended his contract when it expired at the end of 2012. Young has previously raced at the world championship level, taking the place of the injured Max Neukirchner at Donington in 2009, aboard the Alstare Suzuki. At a track he had never ridden before, he failed to score any points.

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Good news for both Blake and the APR guys! Good luck to them!

I admit that I was really sceptical about their wildcard effort given how openly Richard Stanboli was talking about his project prior to Laguna Seca race to the press. I thought he had no idea what he was getting into and they were going to get embarrassed at world level...and they were at Laguna!

But they totally redeemed themselves at Indy given how close their bike qualified and raced compared to regular CRTs. I also liked their skunk works style approach and how quickly they reacted to contingencies. I believe they had to change their swing arm to AMA spec in a couple of days after they got screwed by one of their suppliers. Also they had to race with an AMA spec Kawasaki motor on race day at Indy after their WSBK spec motor ran into issues and they had to make lot of modifications overnight!

Hopefully with enough time to prepare this year, they really do well and give the regular CRTs a run for their money!

Damn, I didn't realize Blake's contract was up... And why in the world didn't Yosh want him back?! Might as well start engraving Hayes' name on the trophy now.

Anyway, it'd be great to see these guys have some success, but I fear the gap from the Satellites to the CRT's will be bigger this year than last in dry conditions.

Amongst the other CRT's who knows, but it'll be nice to see some wildcards on the grid anyhow. Although if a lapper gets in the way of the factory boys, people will cry bloody murder. To that I'd say, deal with it.

The Attack boys are just that, and it's admirable that they even had the balls to try. The performance edge is sharp in MotoGP. I see now that they've used up their time wisely though. Coming back with a different chassis just for the Bridgestone tires means they understand that in the present state of things you need a chassis that works with the 'Stones to get anywhere. Maybe Bridgestone should just go ahead and supply the chassis also at this point? Ducati now knows it, and so does Attack. The changing of the inline firing order of the Kawasaki is inspired. Wonder if they'll start an engine program and develop this motor into a viable GP power plant. Also it's a sign that given the right budget, Stanboli would know just what to do to make a good Grand Prix machine. I can't wait to see what they come up with this year.

If Blake Young is not coming back, why is Josh Hayes still racing? I love to watch both Blake Young and Josh Hayes race but AMA Superbike without both is depressing.

@zrx1200mn Because racers race. And it is clear that Josh Hayes is a racer through and through. He has taken his fitness, mental preparation and race craft to another level over the last couple of years. Why throw all of that away because one guy isn't going to be there next season? And to say the series is depressing without both of them is selling short a lot of talent. There have been some great battles for the positions at the bottom of the podium or just off of it.

the dude has had 3 years to show growth and get things done, and he's failed miserably. i dont doubt that he's fast, but he's a knucklehead -- pure and simple.

he pisses and moans about this and that, he's a hot-head and loses composure, and he doesnt help himself or the team. with that, his crew loses faith and his sponsors lose faith, and now he's out of a job.

this is a chance for him to learn a little about himself and grow-up alot.

I gotta agree with Wally on this guy! His attitude makes Americans look bad and as an American... blake needs to take a long hard look at himself then realize he's not what he thinks he is! Josh Hayes took Blake's heart out of his chest, laid it on the track, then used it as a brake-marker every lap of the race. Blake was never able to put it back in his chest! Everybody saw it including his team. The Yosh team needs a strong warrior racer that's mentally tough and mature. Cardenas will take the Yosh seat and show the AMA paddock how it's done once he gets his head around riding the superbike! Cardenas will give Hayes the battles he's looking for... eventually.

Danny Eslick is a very interesting character. Uh...polished is not the term that comes to mind. Tons of skill and a total 'don't give **** attitude' towards his competition. For those that believe Nicky Hayden butchers English...hold on to your hats. The Jordan team have a good bike so Danny could challenge Hayes. Roger Hayden has stepped up and become a solid rider. If he can fix a few small flaws in his riding he will be a solid contender. Josh Herring is a good rider. Just a bit too ambitious. He's on the same bike as Hayes. If he can calm down and not race the Superbike pack like 600s he might beat Hayes a few times. Finally, I thought Martin Cardenas was going to race the Yosh bikes. If so, that would be Josh Haye's main threat.

The AMA is on an up swing. There are 10 solid riders that would do well in any series given decent equiptment. There are another handful, like Blake that are without rides. Too bad he and Ben Bostrom won't be there.(Good Blake can showcase his skill in CRT)

Cardenas on a front-line Superbike would be enough of a reason alone to watch AMA Superbike next year. The dude is amazing, especially on the brakes.

Firing order, and piston configuration have an impact on where the engine sees maximum torque vs horsepower and where in the rev range those two things happen... this is important because it can affect how the engine will feel in terms of getting drive out of the corners.

The major effect of standard vs crossplane cranks is to make the combustion torque signal the dominant component of the overall torque signal instead of the inertial torque. A crossplane crank is the equivelant of a very clean recording and a standard crank is the same as a noisy recording. A good stereo (ems) will make any recording sound better than an average stereo (ems) but having a clean recording to start with is the best approach.


Thanks! I hadn't read the Ash piece before. Still a bit lost, but the fog is lifting. So the "cross-plane" crank allows the powerplant/transmission designer to eliminate some of the pieces in the drivetrain and allow for a more direct feel at the throttle by the rider? Or is it that the nature of the vibration generated by the engine is such that the rider feels more of the "torque" being used to drive the rear wheel and less of the "torque" generated and expended within the engine? And is it - this is what I am taking from the Ash piece and Chris' explanation - that the benefit is not at the rear tire, but at the throttle?

And back to the first question, how is it relevant to engines that are managed with traction control?

Thanks again.

Very true for a non TC-managed engine - that I can grasp. But I don't get why that would matter if the electronics are helping manage power delivery - especially at getting the drive out of corners. In other words, I guess I'm asking if electronic engine management systems have made the need for "Big-Bang" firing orders obsolete.

I know the Yamaha M1 has a cross-plane crankshaft. But when you listen to Lorenzo talk about the biggest weakness of the M1, he talks about a lack of acceleration out of corners - which should, if firing order made a difference, be exactly where the M1 should shine.

Color me puzzled.

The engine management system can only affect torque to a point. It can idealize fuel delivery for desired results but the configuration of the pistons will have more to say about torque than fuel delivery ever can. Traction control and other electronic bits tend to manage those inputs by cutting fuel, cutting ignition or both. With that in mind, if you desire a great deal more torque at a lower RPM you won't get there with the engine management system alone. The RC-213, with its V-4 engine will inherently have more torque than the M-1 has with a crossplane crankshaft. Yamaha tends to "compensate" for the torque curve of an inline 4 through the use of the crossplane crankshaft while affording them the advantage of a very compact power unit which can then be manipulated within the frame to achieve desired weight distribution.

Even if that's true, all of the MotoGP bikes can give you more torque than you need at virtually any rpm. When Rossi was coming back from his broken leg and rode the cross-plane YZF-R1 Superbike to gauge his fitness, his feedback was to reduce the torque in the midrange - and Crutchlow went faster on a bike with a weaker midrange. To me, that's evidence that all of the Superbike and MotoGP machines probably have an excess of torque virtually anywhere in the powerband.

At any given point on corner exit, any bike can only feed so much force into the rear wheel so much before the force overcomes available traction and the tire goes sideways. If all the MotoGP bikes live above that point, torque-wise, virtually all of the time, I still don't get why the rear tire cares if the power is coming from a traditional or cross-plane crankshaft. Is the force from a cross-plane crank somehow different in quality, allowing the rear tire to put more power to the ground before breakaway? That would seem to circumvent the laws of physics.

Or is it - as I've heard Superbike racers and engine builders say - that the whole cross-plane crank thing is mostly for marketing purposes?

This has puzzled me ever since the crossplane was introduced. The Ducati L2 is a classic 'high torque' engine yet I never understood how this made it easier to ride in the wet with 'improved' torque. The crossplane Yamaha is a similar effect. The answer seems to be that the rear tyre is not being overwhelmed by the huge torque pulses from the flat plane standard 4 cylinder type engines (which it can cope with in the dry) and is therefore perceived as 'smoother' because the force being put through the tyre when it breaks away is lower and therefore easier to modulate at the throttle. This would be perceived by the rider as 'better driveability' and he would be more confident at the limit of adhesion and, because the force being used to create slip is significantly lower, it will break away more slowly - and can be more easily caught by the rider or the TC as it happens more slowly.
I think.
I don't know what riders do, but I recall that drivers drifting cars way before electronics and sticky tyres were introduced would ‘flutter’ the throttle by rapid foot movement (a bit like ABS pulses in reverse) to create a stable ‘powerslide’. This ‘smoothing’ of the power is what TC and throttle control does and for a driver it is a lot easier than a fixed throttle position.
I don’t know what Blake Young does though!
Thanks for the article, the contributions, and the link!

Traction control is not a panacea for all chassis and power delivery problems, it simply lets you use more of the traction you have rather than creating any more.

Suspension design and set up, weight distribution, crankshaft design, power delivery etc. can alter the amount of traction available. the electronics only help you get the most out of what ever package you come up with.

Great to see Attack Performance progress with this bike, I thought they exceeded expectations last year, with a beautifully turned out bike. I suspect if they put a rider with more experience of the bridgestones and Motogp racing, they would do really rather well, and embaress a lot of the other names out there.