MCN and GPone are both reporting that the Mapfire Aspar team has decided to drop Ducati for 2012 season, after being incable of coming to terms with the Italian motorcycle manufacturer. Unable to negotiate an amicable lease price on the Ducati Desmosedici GP12, the Aspar MotoGP team has instead opted to cut its costs dramatically, and run a CRT machine for the 2012 season.
With close ties to Suter, which helps power the Aspar Moto2 effort, a BMW/Suter machine is at the top of the speculation list, though MCN says Aspar has also expressed interest with Aprilia (another company Aspar has close ties to) regarding using a RSV4 motor.
FTR has been working on an RSV4 CRT race bike, though there is also talk that the engineering firm has shelved that project. Idle-speculation could see the two parties linking up and reevaluating the concept, especially since many in the MotoGP paddock view the Aprilia RSV4 as a MotoGP bike built to meet World Superbike specifications.
In coming to its decision, GPone has reported that Aspar explored every avenue with Ducati Corse, even offering to use Valentino Rossi’s discarded parts from the GP12 tests earlier this year. The cost of leasing a Ducati GP bike is a closely guarded secret in the MotoGP paddock, though one would assume from the number Desmosedicis on the starting grid on any given Sunday, it is the cheapest option of the three main factories.
This news comes as a boon to the CRT movement, which could see a team with significant resources enter the fray with a production-motor bike. No one is quite certain how the CRT bikes will perform come race day, though if there is a team with the money to make the best possible stab at the challenge, Team Aspar would be that team.
Costing just a fraction of what the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 surely would have amounted to, there is a significant bang-for-the-buck factor with CRTs, especially considering the minimal horsepower difference between WSBK and MotoGP engines.