Cycle News

Cycle News 2011 Issue 23 Jul 19

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 92 of 95

CN III IN THE PADDOCK P92 BY MICHAEL SCOTT BACKWARD STEP FOR GREAT LEAP FORWARD A ll eyes were on Mika Kallio and his CRT hybrid at the post-Mugello tests. It was the first time that a prototype of next year's second-string MotoGP class came up against the real thing - in public. The so far sole harbinger of the very near future: a 1000cc prototype chassis with a production-based engine, ready to race against the real racing bikes in a few months time, at the start of the 2012 season. The first chariot, no less, of MotoGP's own Great Leap Forward. The curious had plenty of chances to see the bike, as it sauntered round the track, so slowly that it looked as though somebody was playing a joke. A joke that will send a chill through the heart of the Peoples' Republic of IRTA. And all fellowtravelers who are looking at the new CRT bikes as not only the short-term savior of the shrinking grid, but something more important still – a route to a future of racing that shrugs off the iron grip of the factories, to emerge in the sunny uplands of low-cost high-anxiety racing, as demonstrated by Moto2. The Great Leap Forward. There appears to be nothing much wrong with the bike. It has a Suter chassis, quite successful in Moto2, and certainly the most numerous on the grid (am I the 92-93 Backpage.indd 92 only one to think those pencilsharp pointed tails look highly dangerous – I wouldn't like to run into one). It has a BMW engine that gives good account of itself in World Superbikes, and is in at least that state of tune. And while Kallio's bright spark of his 125, 250 and early MotoGP days is clearly nowadays dimmed, he's a proper rider in every respect. The problem was simply the stopwatch. Kallio thumped round and round for 63 laps, and the best lap he did was 6.3 seconds slower than leader Casey Stoner's 800cc Honda. The difference will grow bigger when the factory 1000s come out next year. Maybe it's not fair to compare Kallio with Stoner. Not like for like. So let's compare Kallio with Kallio. His lap time on the CRT pro- totype was 1:53.668. The day before, racing a Moto2 Suter, his best lap of the weekend had been 1:54.326. With 1000 tuned cc against the low-level 600cc of Moto2, he saved only seven tenths. Whereas (while we're on the numbers) the year before, prior to this year's complete re-surface, the same rider had lapped at 1:50.970, on an 800cc MotoGP Ducati. On the same fateful day, Moto2 star Andrea Iannone got his first go on a MotoGP bike, another Pramac Ducati. In half as many laps he was already half a second faster than Kallio's best. The bike of the future? Suddenly, the future looked rather bleak. And both the Marc VdS team, joint progenitors of the Suter-BMW, and Iannone's squad, were left seriously wondering whether they wouldn't be much, much better off trying to get hold 7/18/11 11:29 AM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cycle News - Cycle News 2011 Issue 23 Jul 19