CRT – The season so far

Friday, 25 May 2012

New to the 2012 MotoGP™ World Championship, the "Claiming Rule Teams" have now had their first four rounds of race experience. motogp.com takes a look at how they have fared so far.

Avintia Blusens
Riders: Iván Silva, Yonny Hernandez
Bike: BQR-FTR / BQR-Inmotec
The first race at Qatar has so far yielded the best joint result for the Avintia Blusens team as Hernandez came in 14th and Silva 16th. At Jerez, Silva, who was testing a new part-carbon Inmotec chassis, was able to better his score by one, whilst Hernandez was unable to start due to a technical fault. Estoril was the toughest round for the team yet, as Hernandez crashed, while Silva had to retire from the race early due to injuries sustained in a qualifying crash the day before. Le Mans saw a slight reversal in fortunes again, as Hernandez finished 15th, while Silva finished in 18th, having remounted after a crash in the wet conditions.

Came IodaRacing Project
Rider: Danilo Petrucci
Bike: Ioda
Danilo Petrucci did not get off to a great start as he had to retire from the Qatar race with an electrical fault early on. He made amends however at the next round, as he finished second highest CRT in tricky conditions at Jerez. At Estoril the Italian put in another solid performance as he brought the bike home in 15th. Le Mans looked to be his best position yet as was running in top CRT spot for most of the race in 11th, yet two laps before the end the conditions got the better of him and he crashed out.

NGM Mobile Forward Racing
Rider: Colin Edwards
Bike: Suter-BMW
Colin Edwards made the first CRT headlines as he not only qualified as top CRT, but also finished as top CRT in 12th at the Losail circuit. This was however not a sign of things to come as the Texan struggled at the Jerez circuit and finished in 16th. At the following round, Edwards was taken out by Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet in a qualifying crash, and subsequently broke his left collarbone. This saw Australian rider Chris Vermeulen substitute for Edwards at Le Mans, during which he finished in 17th, after having to pit half way through the race with a helmet problem.

Paul Bird Motorsport
Rider: James Ellison
Bike: ART
Ellison, who undertook the least pre-season testing of all CRTs, started the season with an 18th place at Qatar. The team could not build on this at Jerez as Ellison had to retire with a mechanical failure two laps before the end, while Estoril also threw up some technical issues. The Brit, however, put in an excellent ride in the wet at Le Mans to come home in 11th place as top CRT and collect his and the team’s first points this season.

Power Electronics Aspar
Riders: Aleix Espargaró, Randy de Puniet
Bike: ART
The Power Electronics Team recorded the best CRT team-result at the first round in Losail, as De Puniet and Espargaró finished 12th and 14th respectively. In Jerez, the team was almost on course for a top CRT one-two, however De Puniet retired with a mechanical fault towards the end leaving his teammate to take 12th spot. Despite getting off to a ropey start in Estoril, where De Puniet injured himself in the collision with Edwards in qualifying, the pair came in as top CRT pair, with Espargaró taking top honours for the second time in a row in 12th. Le Mans was a tricky affair, with the Frenchman suffering a crash on the start line and then once again in the race, while Espargaró brought his bike home in 13th.

San Carlo Honda Gresini
Rider: Michele Pirro
Bike: FTR-Honda
Michele Pirro had a difficult start to the year, as he had to retire in both the Qatar and the Jerez race with technical problems, as all his other CRT rivals completed at least one race. At Estoril however he suffered no such fortunes and was able to bring his bike home in 14th. He swiftly followed this up with the same place in treacherous conditions at Le Mans.

Speed Master
Rider: Mattia Pasini
Bike: ART
Mattia Pasini has been a consistent performer so far, starting off the season with a 17th and a 14th in the first two rounds. In Estoril, in mixed conditions, the Italian crashed out of the race as he lost the front going into a turn. He recovered well however at Le Mans, where he held his nerve to come in as second highest CRT in 12th place.

2012 CRT Rider Classification:

1. Aleix Espargaró – 12
2. Mattia Pasini - 6
3. Randy de Puniet - 6
4. James Ellison - 5
5. Colin Edwards - 4
6. Danilo Petrucci - 4
7. Michele Pirro - 4
8. Yonny Hernandez - 3
9. Iván Silva - 1

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