Race-winning Moto2 chassis manufacturer FTR has confirmed that it is designing a motorcycle for next year's MotoGP World Championship - and also plans to enter the new Moto3 class.
The British-based company - whose top Moto2 rider, Simone Corsi, is currently second in the Moto2 standings - has joined forces with BQR for the MotoGP entry.
BQR was one of six Moto2 teams to be accepted as a new 'Claiming Rule Team' (CRT) in next year's MotoGP championship. CRTs will be non-factory entries, and are expected to use motorcycles with a prototype chassis and production-based engine.
FTR will supply BQR with its prototype chassis, which will be powered by a Kawasaki engine.
"We're working with the BQR Team in Catalunya, Spain who have been announced by the FIM and Dorna as one of the new CRT entries from 2012," said FTR director Steve Bones.
"We will design and build the machine with BQR and following evaluation it was a Kawasaki motor that has been chosen for the project. This presents a great opportunity for FTR to become involved with this new initiative and a new era in MotoGP.”
FTR recently announced a partnership with Norton to contest the 2012 Isle of Man Senior TT. Norton has also shown interest in MotoGP, but Bones said it was too early to speculate on a Norton-FTR grand prix bike.
“I suppose the World Championship would complete the circle in terms of returning the Norton name to the scene of many former glories and we would love to be a part of that," he said.
"I think Stuart Garner at Norton is pretty pragmatic and will follow the progress of the new V4 motor, the TT return next year and perhaps begin to make a longer term plan.”
Meanwhile, an FTR entry in the new Moto3 World Championship - which will consist of 250cc four-stroke motorcycles and replace the present 125cc (two-stroke) championship - is already underway.
“We are working with an engine partner on a Moto3 project at present and speaking to Honda about its Moto3 motor," said Bones. "I would hope to be able to announce something in the near future about the FTR Moto3 World Championship plans.”
Unlike Moto2, which uses only Honda engines, there will be open engine competition in Moto3.
The five other Moto2 teams stepping up to MotoGP next season are Forward Racing, Kiefer Racing, Marc VDS Racing, Paddock GP Racing (Interwetten) and Speed Master.
Existing MotoGP teams do not need to apply for a 2012 entry, which will be the first year of the new 1000cc era.