The San Carlo Honda Gresini team will join the new generation of MotoGP competitors after confirming they will field a bike under the new claiming rules in 2012. The satellite Honda squad, who have already confirmed Alvaro Bautista on board a factory RC212V, will collaborate with British manufacturer FTR with the team set to set to integrate a CBR1000R engine with the MGP12 chassis.
Under the new 'CRT' rules, teams outside of the MSMA manufacturers can run their own chassis/engine combination, as long as they're approved by the Grand Prix Commission as a 'Claiming Rule Team', and conform to the technical regulations.
Their engine can be claimed by a manufacturer team following an event for â‚¬15,000 (â‚¬20,000 including the gearbox and transmission) but these teams will be allowed a 24 litre fuel limit as opposed to 21 and an engine limit of 12 per rider for the season, compared to 6 for the manufacturer entrants or those who have leased a bike from a manufacturer.
The new concept, aimed to reduce costs for new entries and increase grid numbers, has been welcomed by Fausto Gresini.
“It is a source of great satisfaction that we have reached an agreement with FTR Moto to take part in the new MotoGP series, CRT. The battle between the Claiming Rule Teams will be an exciting one and we are entering it with great enthusiasm. Our willingness to take part was always based on the condition that we had the right technical partner and with FTR Moto and a Honda CBR 1000R engine we believe we can build a competitive bike for this new category. It is a new adventure that appeals to our racing spirit and it could prove to be the future of MotoGP. We will work our hardest and I am sure we will have great results together.”
Steve Bones, CEO of FTR moto, is looking forward to the partnership and is excited at the prospects for the Claiming Rules class.
“We are absolutely delighted to start up a partnership with Team San Carlo Honda Gresini and to join them on a new adventure in MotoGP. Team Gresini have shown over the years that they are technically competent, as their numerous successes prove, and we are sure that will continue alongside FTR on this new adventure. The growing interest in the new MotoGP-CRT category is exciting for all of us and we can’t wait to get on track as soon as possible to start developing the bike and breaking new technical boundaries.”
The list of CRT entrants is growing with Colin Edwards having long since been confirmed at NGM Forward Racing. Anthony West will ride for newcomers Speed Master while Britain's James Ellison looks set for a return to the series with Paul Bird Motorsport, although the team have yet to make an official announcement.