The new Avintia Racing MotoGP team launched its 2012 MotoGP campaign by unveiling its new FTR-Kawasaki, alongside its Moto2 and Moto3 bikes, at Jerez on Wednesday.
The BQR-run outfit had one bike from each category present for the launch, held in the 'UFO' spanning the start-finish straight.
All of the Avintia bikes will be backed by Blusens this season - the MotoGP and Moto2 machines will look almost identical, with Moto3 ace Maverick Vinales (orange wheels) enjoying additional support from Repsol.
Spaniard Ivan Silva and Colombian Yonny Hernandez will compete under the new CRT rules for Avintia in MotoGP this year. Both are premier-class rookies.
“For me taking part into the MotoGP world championship is like a dream,” said Hernandez. “I am coming from Moto2 and I'll have to learn but I know the team very well and that will be of great help. Logically the bike is quite different from the ones I have ridden so far especially in terms of traction control and electronics but so far I have been happy with our progress throughout the pre-season.”
Silva was cautious about how competitive the team will intially be - both riders having finished the second Sepang test six-seconds behind Casey Stoner's Honda and three-seconds from the Suter-BMW CRT bike of Colin Edwards.
“I still don't know which 'category' I'll be in,” said Silva. “I am going to start in MotoGP but I'll have to wait for the first race to see what that is really. I am excited and I hope I can benefit from my experience with high-capacity bikes. We are going to battle with the world motorbike elite and this is it. It won't be easy but this project is very much 'ours' and I am very motivated.”
Avintia will be the only team running a Kawasaki engine in MotoGP this year, but one of two teams using the FTR chassis (Gresini being the other).
"Our technicians and mechanics have developed a bike with which we hope to be very competitive among the CRT and with which we will be working to show that Avintia Racing has come to MotoGP to stay," said Avintia co-owner and MotoGP team manager Raúl Romero.