Karel Abraham and the Cardion AB team will switch to Aprilia CRT machinery for the 2013 MotoGP
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.
“Our team entered MotoGP
in 2011 with the Ducati Desmosedici GP11 and a rider who at that time was the youngest in the starting field, and the second youngest ever in the history of the MotoGP
class,” began Abraham Sr.
“During the season we gained a number of remarkable successes – Karel twice finished a race in seventh, and several times achieved the quickest qualifying time on a Ducati. He was quick, he got used to the bike really fast, collaboration with Ducati was outstanding, and the work of the engineers and the development of the bike were completely professional.
“At the end of the season Ducati had developed a bike for 2012 based around a different concept. Unfortunately, our first impressions of the bike were not too positive, however. The bike was very hard to find good set up, and it was clear that the engine needed a lot more intensive development.
“Our idea of just how much more development work the bike needed unfortunately differed from that of Ducati, and it didn't look like they were about to change their minds. So, in spite of the fact that we had the option to continue with Ducati in 2013, we decided not to use it, and to give an opportunity to a new partner.
“This new partnership with Aprilia [follows] our earlier close collaboration with the Aspar team. We shared engineers and helped one another out in the lower classes. Both teams in 2011 moved into MotoGP
with Ducati. Aspar pulled out of the deal after one year, however, and moved to ART–Aprilia [Aspar joined MotoGP
in 2010 - Crash.net]. So it's natural that the first discussions we entered into were with Aprilia.
“Those who've ridden the bike regard it as being a high quality, reliable motorcycle, and even more importantly, the support from the Aprilia factory allows riders and mechanics from our team to participate in the development and setting up of the machine.