MotoGP: CRTs 14 MPH Slower Than Prototypes at Losail

04/06/2012 @ 9:40 am, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

MotoGP: CRTs 14 MPH Slower Than Prototypes at Losail qatar gp 2012 scott jones ApriliaDash1

Free Practice 2 for the Qatar GP has just finished at the Losail International Circuit, and the speed gap between the prototypes and the CRTs is abundantly clear. One of the faster tracks on the MotoGP calendar, everyone in the paddock knew going into the Qatar GP that the power advantage held by the Ducati, Honda, & Yamaha prototypes would be apparent down Losail’s .664 mile front straightaway. But now after getting to see how the two bike classifications stack up on the same course and on the same day, the results from FP1 & FP2 show a 13.6 mph gap between the tops CRTs to the top prototype GP bikes.

Hitting 210.6 mph at the speed trap, Hector Barbera, MotoGP’s king of drafting, has so far been the outright fastest man at Losail on the straightaway. While conversely, Colin Edwards has been the fastest CRT rider, clocking 197 mph through the speed trap.

But the Texas Tornado’s top speed tells only part of the story. Riding on the NGM Forward’s Suter/BMW, Edwards and Randy de Puniet (who rides an Aprilia ART) have been making the CRT effort look at least respectable, though under-gunned at Losail.

A tough order, the first track of the season is perhaps one of the least favorable places to get a reading on the new CRT experiment, as it highlights the power deficit held by the modified production motors (thought to be in the 20-30hp range).

While Edwards is only down 6.8 mph from the factory Yamaha YZR-M1 of Ben Spies (the slowest GP prototype on Losail’s straightaway), the story is a much more different one for Danilo Petrucci of the Came IodaRacing Project team. Though also using an Aprilia RSV4 motor, Ioda is not using ARTs “prototype” chassis, and has instead built its own bike with a steel trellis frame. Trapping 181.6 mph on his Ioda Aprilia, Petrucci is almost 30 mph slower at Losail than Barbera’s top speed, and still has nearly a 22 mph gap to Ben Spies on the other end of the prototype bracket…and it is a bracket.

While Petrucci is a bit of an outlier in the recorded top speeds, it is clear at Losail that there will be definitely two classes racing from the same starting line on Sunday. Over a second slower in lap times to the nearest prototype (Alvaro Bautista), Colin Edwards again leads the CRTs on the FP2 lap time time sheet, but still remains 2.841 seconds behind the leading time of Casey Stoner.

To put that a different way, Edwards is holding almost the same gap to the front as Toni Elias did at Losail in 2011, with the rest of the CRT contingency falls in between that point and Petrucci’s 6.8 second gap to Stoner (the second slowest CRT rider, Ivan Silva, was only 4.8 seconds back from Stoner).

With the majority of the CRT bikes 4+ seconds off the pace, there does not seem to be an issue of lapped-riders brewing, though surely fans would like to see all 21 entries on Sunday’s race to have a theoretical shot at the top step. On the bright sider however, with the majority of the CRTs relatively close to each other with lap times, there should be some good racing at the back of the pack. It will be interesting to see which battles Dorna’s television feed chooses to highlight.

FP2 Results from the Qatar GP at Doha, Qatar:

Pos.No.RiderNationTeamBikeMPHTimes
11Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda206.71’55.960
299Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha204.3+0.214
34Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha206.4+0.688
411Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha203.9+0.711
58Hector BARBERASPAPramac Racing TeamDucati210.6+0.718
626Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda206.0+0.737
769Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati209.3+0.822
835Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha205.4+0.854
96Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda206.5+1.237
1046Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati209.4+1.314
1117Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati207.5+1.563
1219Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda207.6+1.708
135Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter197.0+2.841
1414Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART193.2+2.985
1568Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR-FTR191.1+3.738
1641Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART195.0+4.037
1751Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR192.6+4.271
1854Mattia PASINIITASpeed MasterART195.4+4.413
199Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda181.7+4.444
2022Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR-FTR190.1+4.827
2177James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART188.3+6.152

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved:

Comment:

  1. Pat Walker says:

    Nice going ezpaleta. Hope you don’t get someone killed.

  2. TonyS says:

    Maybe another way to look at the data is Colin Edwards is only 1.5 seconds off of Rossi’s pace. Just sayin.

  3. jimmy smith JR says:

    And no one is really surprised…I still like my idea….have the CRTS do a shorter distance race. When Casey crosses the line after 30 or so laps have the CRT race end at 26 or whatever.

  4. sunstroke says:

    If they get rid of the 12 engine rule, which is only making life more difficult for technical direction, the gap will be closed significantly.

  5. 2ndclass says:

    People sure do have short memories. Watch an old 500GP race, even from the 90s, tons of guys out there getting lapped by the front-running factory riders with significant speed differentials and it wasn’t dangerous.

  6. dc4go says:

    Wow the GP12 has some grunt!! Just finished watching Barbera gap Spies down the straight with Spies in the draft!! Only wish the chasis was as good as the motor for race one!!

  7. Yeah, what 2ndclass said. Lapped riders and gross differences between the sharp end of the pack and the rest of the field is NOTHING NEW. This is just a return to the way things were a few years back, with the key difference being that the CRT bikes are a helluva lot cheaper to buy and operate. The better CRT teams will be scrapping with the slower satellite bikes, I’d bet, and we’re likely to see some surprises on the podium when the weather turns inclement.

    Personally, I applaud the CRT route and look forward to a very exciting season. It’s great to see so many bikes on the grid.

  8. Westward says:

    @2ndclass

    Yeah, but the those guys running the 500GP would not have cried the way Pedrosa did, when passed him Simoncelli at Le Mans.

    Even Stoner needed a hug after Laguna in 2008, and Rossi didn’t even touch him on the corkscrew …

    CRT’s are just moving obstacles for the real competition… Too bad we can’t have 24 bikes and pilots with an actual shot at winning… It’s a two to four man race at best…

  9. MikeD says:

    Well………now we now for sure were Team Rosso is not lacking….lol.