The Czech Republic’s favorite rider, Karel Abraham, is ready for the 2013 MotoGP Championship, as his Cardion AB team has debuted its Aprilia ART entry. Making the jump from the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 prototype, Abraham will contest his third season in MotoGP on a CRT entry.
With not all CRTs proving to be equal, Cardion AB’s choice of the Aprilia ART seems to be the sensible approach from all the entries available. Built off the Aprilia RSV4 superbike, which itself was built off Aprilia’s failed MotoGP program, Aprilia Racing has developed the entire bike in house, including the ARTs robust electronics package.
Competitive out of the box, it should be with little surprise that leas year saw two ART machines battling closely for the top honors in the makeshift sub-class (Team Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro and Randy de Puniet).
Choosing the Aprilia ART doesn’t guarantee success for young Abraham however, as we saw the ARTs of Speed Master and Paul Bird Motorsports struggle for good results against the other CRT entries.
With the likely factor being money paid to Aprilia Racing (PBM didn’t even bother testing the Aprilia ART once during the 2012 season, instead choosing to develop the bike on race weekends), Cardion AB seems at least well-situated in that regard, having already weather the prices of Ducati Corse’s lease costs on the Desmosedici.
As for Abraham, MotoGP has been a rough learning curve to navigate. A quick stint in the Moto2 Championship with very positive, although perhaps not astounding results, Abraham was bumped into the premier class with the murmurings of nepotism in the paddock (Karel Abraham Sr. owns the Cardion AB race team, as well as the Brno Circuit which hosts the Czech GP).
Explaining to us in 2011 his desire to be challenged and pushed, the young Czech rider not only had to contend with one of the most difficult motorcycles in the paddock to ride, but also struggled with being on the bottom of Ducati Corse’ food chain.
As Ducati played musical chairs with its chassis and engine designs, Cardion AB was left with having to figure out how to mate the two central pieces, even when the motor and chassis mounts differed greatly not only in design, but philosophy.
A recent recipient of law degree in the Czech Republic, Karel Abraham is one of the more interesting and down-to-earth riders to talk to in the MotoGP Championship. Despite earning the ire of riders like Casey Stoner, Abraham has also earned his stripes on the Ducati Desmosedici, at times giving the factory riders a run for their money on the ill-tempered machine.
Now for 2013, we will see how he goes on a more sorted motorcycle. Could Abraham be a challenger for the top CRT position? Only time will tell.
Source: Cardion AB