Ricardo plc and John Barnard's B3 Technologies Ltd have added their names to a growing list of potential new MotoGP manufacturers.
Ricardo plc is one of the world's leading powertrain, driveline and transmission technology providers - and offers a wide range of motorsport-related services.
Barnard has been a leading motorsport designer for over thirty years and is credited with such innovations as the first full carbon fibre F1 chassis and the semi-automatic paddle shift gearbox. As managing director of his own company, B3 Technologies Ltd, he has continued to produce high technology components to many of the leading Formula One teams.
However, Barnard also has prior MotoGP experience - having worked as technical director for Team Roberts from 2003-2004 (top picture).
"My exposure to MotoGP has left me with a firm conviction that there is much scope for the use of advanced technology to make a significant move forward in the potential performance of the bike," said Barnard. "I also believe that working closely with the designers of the powertrain can reap big benefits, and in this respect I am delighted to be collaborating with a company of Ricardo's calibre."
The two companies are now searching for partners and sponsors to develop a technology-focussed race team, which aims to compete at the very top level of the sport.
"We are enthusiastic about our collaboration with John Barnard and his company B3 Technologies in MotoGP and feel that this could bring together the very best available technologies in motorcycle chassis and powertrain engineering," said Dave Shemmans, Ricardo plc CEO. "We look forward to discussing with potential partners and sponsors the ways in which we might develop class-leading, technology-focused solutions for MotoGP."
Japanese giants Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki - plus Italian manufacturer Ducati and the independent Team Roberts outfit - all currently manufacturer their own MotoGP machines, but the switch from 990cc to 800cc for 2007 has triggered additional interest from the likes of Ilmor and BMW as well as the newly revealed Barnard/Ricardo partnership.