MotoGP grid grows to 21 bikes with new CRT machines
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Jan. 13, 2012 – Four American riders will compete full time in the MotoGP World Championship in 2012, including at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 17-19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team), 2010 Rookie of the Year Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) and veteran Colin Edwards (Forward Racing) will represent America in MotoGP, the premier class of the world’s most prestigious motorcycle racing series.
American Kenny Noyes (Arguinano Racing Team) returns to the Moto2 class – the final stepping-stone before MotoGP – for the third consecutive year.
All four winners of the Red Bull Indianapolis GP will be on the MotoGP grid this season – reigning World Champion Casey Stoner (2011) and Dani Pedrosa (2010) with Honda, 2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (2009) with Yamaha and seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi (2008) with Ducati.
There will be 21 bikes in the MotoGP class, up from 17 last year, with the debut of the Claiming Rule Teams concept. CRT bikes will use production-based engines and prototype frames either bought from chassis manufacturers or developed and produced in-house.
Edwards is the leading rider to move to a CRT bike in 2012, as he will compete on a Suter-BMW chassis-engine package for Forward. Other manufacturers providing engines for CRT teams include Aprilia, Honda and Kawasaki. Nine riders will race on CRT machines in 2012.
Ducati, Honda and Yamaha will continue to field exotic prototype machines for two factory riders each and also lease prototypes to “satellite” teams.
The biggest change this season in the premier class besides the CRT concept is a move to 1000cc engines from the 800cc engines used from 2007-11.
Increasing grid sizes and the larger engines should create even more exciting racing, lengthening braking zones and increasing passing.
2011 Moto2 champion Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) is likely to be the top MotoGP rookie in 2012, moving to the premier class with satellite team LCR Honda. Other rookies are Michele Pirro (Gresini Honda), Danilo Petrucci (Ioda Racing Project), Ivan Silva (BQR) and Yonny Hernandez (BQR), all riding CRT machines.
Thirty-three riders will race in Moto2, which uses 600cc Honda engines on a variety of customer chassis. The exciting intermediate class features hectic, all-action racing throughout the field.
The new Moto3 class replaces the 125cc category starting in 2012. Moto3 features 250cc bikes from nine manufacturers, including Honda, Kalex, KTM and more. Thirty-two riders plan to compete in Moto3.
The 2012 MotoGP World Championship starts with the Grand Prix of Qatar on Sunday, April 8.
2012 tickets: Tickets for the 2012 Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP event, scheduled for Aug. 17-19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are on sale now at www.imstix.com, by calling (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700 or by visiting the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.