Michele Pirro finished his 2011 Moto2 season on a high note, winning the final round at Valencia for the Gresini Racing team. Coming on the heels of MotoGP’s final tribute to Marco Simoncelli, the victory was an especially emotional one for the young Italian rider and his team. Finishing seventh in the Moto2 Championship standings, Pirro’s hard work has earned him a promotion into MotoGP, where the rookie rider will campaign a CRT bike with the San Carlo Honda Gresini team.

Gresini has confirmed that the team will use an FTR chassis, which will be custom-built to use a Honda CBR1000RR motor. This brings the total number of confirmed CRT entries up to five, with several more CRT entries still expected to commit to the 2012 MotoGP Championship. This news means we should see at least 20 bikes on the grid for the MotoGP opener at Qatar, though the question remains: how competitive will they be?

“We have decided that it feels right for a new project such as CRT to give Michele Pirro the opportunity to show his talent,” said Gresini Boss Fausto Gresini. “He demonstrated in the closing stages of the 2011 Moto2 World Championship that he has the technical ability to improve further as a rider and we believe that he can be one of the leading CRT riders. His fantastic and truly unforgettable win at Valencia was emotional for all of us and it convinced us that he is worthy of this chance. We are also obviously an Italian team so it is also important to us to carry this new project forward with an Italian rider in Michele.”

“I am happy to have made this choice and proud to be competing with Team San Carlo Honda Gresini in this new adventure,” add Italian rider Michele Pirro. “It wasn’t an easy decision to make because my initial priority was to build on my results from 2011 in Moto2 but the faith shown in me by Fausto Gresini at the end of the season left me in little doubt which route I should take. I am honoured to remain part of this fantastic group of people and to be joining them as part of an ambitious project that represents the future of MotoGP. Hopefully I can pay back the faith they have shown in me with some good results and technical development.”

Source: MotoMatters; Photo: Gresini Racing

  • shawndoh

    They will not compete for podiums and no one expects them to under normal race conditions. I think the question that is more important is the CRT coverage on tv. It makes little difference if great racing is going on mid pack and back if no one gets to see it. But it could make a huge difference if the broadcast teams “sale” the CRT as better racing and just check back with the spaced apart, factory leaders. Know what I mean?

  • Westward

    So let me get this straight, there are now five bikes that won’t make the rostrum. I just want to be clear as to how many pilots I won’t be paying any attention to…

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  • Damo

    I just hope racing CRT spec machines doesn’t ruin the reputation or marketability of these young talented riders.

    I am excited to see what happens next year, even though it will probably be the Casey and Dani show all season.