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GP Week : Issue 148
Michele Pirro tests the Aprilia CRT at Jerez It is no surprise, but the numbers still impress: the new 1000cc MotoGP bikes were faster than their 800cc predecessors by more than 10 km/h at the end of Qatar’s kilometre-long straight, with the fastest (Hector Barbera’s Ducati) clocking 343.2 km/h. To underline the point, all 12 prototypes were easily faster than the fastest bike last year, the best of them (last year also Barbera) by just short of four percent. At more than 200 mph, it is a significant gain. Paradoxically, the numbers on the stop watches were also bigger, in spite of the faster speeds. Lorenzo’s pole time of 1’54.632 was half a second slower than Stoner’s pole of last year. Track conditions were similar, borne out by the Moto2 pole time being almost identical. It’s down to the new safer tyres, explained Stoner. “The level of feeling and grip has dropped. But if we’re all on the same tyre, it doesn’t matter if we’re slower than last year.” But the speed differential with the CRT bikes was worryingly large, with Stoner particularly critical of the danger involved, with closing speeds at the extremes of more than 40 km/h. “You’re coming at ‘em and all of a sudden at the last second you have to pull out because you just don’t realize they’re going nowhere.” The fastest CRT was Edwards’s Suter BMW at 319.5, with de Puniet’s ART two km/h slower. The slowest, however, was Danilo Petrucci’s Ioda Aprilia, with a street Aprilia engine in their own chassis, at a crawling 301.1 km/h. BIGGER BIKES GET BIGGER NUMBERS Top speeds up with litre bikes 10 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> NEWS