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"Fast Bikes", January 1, 2013

Looking up...

Don’t you think it’s a crying shame that the best result Jorge Lorenzo’s team-mate has managed in 2012, wasn’t achieved by Ben Spies? On the flip side, what an amazing ride from Nakasuga that was. I honestly flip side, what an amazing ride from Nakasuga couldn’t have been happier for the guy, though it’s just typical that it’s the wildcard that gets the podium, while luckless Spies goes under the knife before riding his new Ducati. Double ouch! Good luck, Ben... In other news, I’m pleased Shane Byrne has decided to stay in BSB for 2013. Paul Bird offered him the seat on his CRT MotoGP machine, but Shakey declined, instead opting to try and retain the British title. I think he’s had a close shave there. With the best will in the world he’d never have been able to make the difference with a CRT ride. Right now, you sign up to that and you know what you’re letting yourself in for. It could be why Hiroshi Aoyama has joined the Avintia Blusens bunch – he’s been finishing in the late teens all of 2012, so he’s already used to it! But I worry for teams like Paul Bird’s because of the new regulations that have been mooted. I say ‘mooted’ because although things such as the spec’ ECU are now sorted, we need to wait until it’s all confirmed in black and white. And here’s my worry; Honda is building its own CRT-type bike, that will actually be a proddy racer, based on the incoming RCV-1 WSB homologation special. Then there’s Yamaha, who is prepared to lease out four sets of M1 engines and accompanying systems. There’s no way the Honda racer will cost any less than half a million Euros. The Yamaha engines aren’t going to be cheap either, are they? There’s also talk that the Suzuki we’ve been shown snaps of in testing could also be another CRT option, at least in some form. Now, that Honda will be too expensive, as will the Yamaha engines. Plus there’s that word ‘lease’ again, the same one that’s caused teams to crumble over the past decade. While I’m happy to have bigger grids, and give private teams the chance to run competitive engines, it still doesn’t seem cheap enough. Just to buy the bikes and spares under those terms would cost around 3-5 million under those terms would cost around 3-5 million squids. That’s a factory WSB effort, with change... Dorna has hinted that CRT could be a thing of the past, but what if you can’t bag yourself a decent manufacturer motor? There will be a few CRT teams who will discover their (relatively) big investments over the last couple of seasons will have just been a complete waste of time. At least Dorna pay them to be there! Interestingly, there’s still no word on new WSB rules yet. Could it be that Dorna has finally twigged, that if it dumbs down WSB too much Rossi won’t want to go there, and it’ll lose the golden goose? Dorna, guys, please think about this and don’t be short-sighted in slashing performance and specification. THINK about the next three or four years – If Rossi does a ‘Biaggi’, he could be racing bikes for six seasons. On your head be it, if he moves to cars!

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