FTR, the Moto2 chassis manufacturer, has released a Q&A with its Moto Director Steve Bones. In the exchange, Bones talks about FTR’s involvement in making a claim-rule team chassis for the Spanish BQR team, who will use the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R motor as the basis for its CRT entry.
FTR’s racing ambitions don’t end there though, as FTR plans to mimic its success in Moto2 by building a Moto3 offering that will likely use the Honda NSF250R four-stroke 250cc motor. Lastly, FTR has been linked to Norton’s MotoGP V4 race bike, with the engineering firm developing the chassis, while Pr1mo handles building the engine for that machine. But some doubt is starting to be generated around that project.
Norton has previously mentioned its intention to field two bikes in MotoGP for 2012, and has also promised a return to the Isle of Man TT which its MotoGP-spec bike. FTR is involved with that project and already has experience racing at the Isle of Man TT, having campaigned a Moto2 spec machine during the 2010 Senior TT race.
“We’ve been speaking with Norton for quite a while and this offers a great opportunity to work with an iconic brand and contest an iconic race,” said Bones. “We were the first Moto2 manufacturer to contest the Isle of Man TT Races when we went there last year with Olie Linsdell for the Senior TT so going back with Norton offers FTR the opportunity of another landmark. The V4 1000cc prototype Norton motor also sounds really exciting.”
While Norton Boss Stuart Garner has gone on the record saying that the British firm will race in the 2012 MotoGP season. We’ve heard some talk that Norton’s long-term strategy seems to change on a daily basis. It’s on this vein that Bones’ statement that “Stuart Garner at Norton is pretty pragmatic and will follow the progress of the new V4 motor, the TT return next year and perhaps begin to make a longer term plan” seems especially interesting, as it casts some doubt as to whether Norton will actually followthrough with its MotoGP racing plans.
The announcement that Norton, a company that is still in a great deal of flux, would enter MotoGP seemed ostentatious when it was first announced. This is the first we’ve heard of someone publicly stating that Norton’s involvement in MotoGP for 2012 was anything less than 100%, which may be a sign that internally the company is realizing that goal was farther-fetched than was possible for the British brand (they’ve already missed a Isle of Man TT debut of their new rotary, and seemingly scrapped plans for the updated 700cc version of the bike).