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Ductalk Ducati News
Ducati News Daily
Curated by Vicki Smith for Ducati.net
Karel Abraham and the Cardion AB team will switch to Aprilia CRT machinery for the 2013 MotoGP World Championship.
Abraham and the team owned by his father moved up to MotoGP with satellite Ducati machinery for the start of 2011.
However the recent announcement that Pramac Ducati would field both of the satellite Desmosedicis next year confirmed that Cardion would need new equipment.
A deal between Cardion and Aprilia was signed at Misano on Friday, which will see the Czech team remain in the premier-class, albeit within the privateer CRT category for non-manufacturer prototypes.
Upon announcing the Aprilia agreement, team manager Karel Abraham Sr reflected on a much harder second season for his son - and insisted they had turned down the chance to continue with Ducati.
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MotoGP News. “My future will be in MotoGP. I am talking to several teams to ride a CRT and am evaluating all offers” – Hector Barbera.
Hector Barbera, confirmed on Wednesday as having lost his Pramac Ducati ride to a new 2013 line-up of Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone, intends to continue in MotoGP on a CRT bike.
Barbera, a ten-time grand prix winner in the 125 and 250cc classes, has been a satellite Ducati rider since joining MotoGP in 2010.
The Spaniard spent his first two seasons with Aspar, before switching to Pramac this year.
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The final day of testing at Jerez for the CRT machines saw them claim their place as fully-fledged MotoGP machines. Randy de Puniet ended the day as the fastest of the Aprilia ART machines, finishing with a best time of 1:40.3, just three tenths behind Hector Barbera on the satellite Ducati - still basically the GP Zero which was tested at Valencia, and developed over the winter - and perhaps more significantly, right around the pace the satellite bikes were setting at Jerez in 2011, at just the bike's third test. Jerez confirmed that the CRT concept can work - at least, for bikes with an Aprilia engine and electronics.
De Puniet was impressed after the three-day test, at the progress made on the bike and at the potential the bike has. The Frenchman had not expected to be running low 1:40 laps, but the improvements the Aspar team had found in the electronics and suspension settings had helped a lot. Some of the issues with rear grip had been solved, but the chatter the bike suffered with the 2012 Bridgestone tires remained. De Puniet was also pleased to be able to tag onto the back of Hector Barbera on the satellite Ducati, and get a feel for where the CRT bikes stand with respect to the factory prototypes. The Aprilia was plenty fast in the corners, De Puniet opined to MotoGP.com, but they were down on power, meaning that though it was possible to post fast lap times, overtaking any satellite bikes they encountered would be difficult. With more work on the electronics, he hoped they would be able to find more power. That, he said, was the major weakness of the bike, being down on power on the prototypes. Work to improve that would continue at Aragon in just over a week time, and with a new seat unit coming to give him a better position on the bike, De Puniet was confident of taking a few more tenths off the lap times of the bikes.
"Part of the delay was caused by Aspar's last minute decision to part ways with Ducati: "We intended to continue working with Ducati. We proposed a plan to lease a single bike, but we couldn't reach an agreement. After Motegi we needed to rush and find a solution to remain in the premier class, but Team Aspar continues to have a good relationship with Ducati. We were both unhappy to see the project end, because we had some long term plans, but the current economic situation prevented us from making a deal."
The FIM issued a provisional entry list Jan. 13 for MotoGP, Moto2 and the new Moto3 class, with few surprises in the premier class.
There will be 21 full-time bikes in MotoGP in 2012, up four from last year. Nine will be CRT machines, with six factory prototypes and six satellite bikes.
One interesting wrinkle was the name applied to the Aprilia CRT bikes, ART. It's presumed to stand for Aprilia Racing Team, which is the same name the Italian manufacturer uses for its factory team in World Superbike, minus the Alitalia sponsor....More