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Buckler 0,0 Forum looks ahead to 2012

The eighth Buckler 0,0 Forum for Responsible Riding in MotoGP analyzed new developments for 2012, including the new CRT and Moto3 categories, tires and general track safety.

Buckler 0,0 closed the 2011 season with the fourth forum of the year on responsible riding, the eighth since the inception of the initiative. The event was held on Friday, November 18 at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia. Topics of discussion included the new categories for the 2012 season and the evolution of race bikes and their technology.

Among the participants was Jorge "Aspar" Martínez, who will run teams in all three categories in 2012; representative from the single ECU supplier for the Moto3 class the Dell’Orto company, Matteo Mangiacavalli; Head of Security and Operations at Dorna and member of the MotoGP Safety Commission, Javier Alonso, and representing the riders was Buckler 0,0 Ambassador for Responsible Riding, Alex Crivillé.

A round of questions was initiated by forum moderator, Cesc Vila, who began with a special mention of the tragic accident Simoncelli suffered: “We are all shocked over the demise of Marco Simoncelli at the Malaysian Grand Prix, and, in our desire to further improve safety from the circuit to the road, we continue to work for safety in motorcycling and so contribute our part to try to prevent tragedies like this from occurring, both on and off the race track”.

Javier Alonso provided information on the evolution of the World Championship, establishing that CRT bikes (those with prototype chassis and standard engines) will almost certainly be the only bikes on MotoGP grids in the not too distant future. “Our obligation is to have rules that allow for costs teams are able to assume, that is our obligation. If we have a rule and Honda, Ducati, Yamaha and Suzuki agree to bring standard engines to the market, we will be happy. The problem is that we don’t believe that will be the path they take, and so we return to costs that are too high,” he explained.

Alonso continued, stating: “To continue racing, if Honda and Yamaha don’t like the idea, they need to lease bikes at a more reasonable price.” On the evident inequality that the CRT teams face, Alonso concluded: “We want to help teams and will talk to them to decide which is the best package we can offer them to present to their sponsors. And if teams are requesting a certain classification, we make a classification, without doubt.”

Performance differences, which seem rather obvious this upcoming 2012 season, could be helped with an adaptation of the rules. “The rule is designed so that in the event competitiveness and performance of the CRT teams is too far off the prototype teams, we can increase the amount of fuel. This could improve the CRT times.”

In a season in which many MotoGP riders suffered multiple falls throughout the year, Alonso stated that with the new 1000cc bikes: “Cornering will be slower, so more crashes might saved and it may prove to be a safer category, however the track record certainly shows that riders will continue to fall.”

In this sense, the evolution of the tires will help to a great extent. Alonso confirmed that Bridgestone: “Has been evolving a new tire since the beginning of the year for the 1000 machines. According to the information we get from the riders, the problem is the carcass and Bridgestone has been asked to switch to a softer carcass to allow for a higher temperature. The tire issue is extremely complicated.”

When asked about switching to the CRT Ducati, Jorge "Aspar" Martínez was clear: “In the current economic situation, it makes sense to own the motorcycles, not lease them. The idea is to have controlled technology and try to find a balance to contain costs. In recent years, technology has taken off in MotoGP, but those who really suffer are the satellite teams and riders.” According to Aspar, the price difference between a factory bike and a CRT from a competitive team “May be around 30 or 40%. But most important is that the project and the bike are yours.”

Matteo Mangiacavalli, Project Manager of the sole supplier of ECUs for the Moto3 category, Dell'Orto, addressed his company’s role: “The single control unit is something never seen in the World Championship so far and it’s a big change. A team can manage 186 parameters such as traction control, ignition mapping, timing, etc.. However, the ECU will limit the engine speed only, the rest of these functions are controlled through the software.”

500cc World Champion Alex Crivillé stated that with the arrival of Moto3: “More factories are going to enter to develop engines and the category will generally be more level, as the rider sets the standard. Not to mention that the bikes will be technologically better and safer.”

The former rider also expressed his opinion regarding the CRT rules: “Although at first they may not be able to fight with factories, the CRT bikes clearly represent the future.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2011

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