Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta feels that the first season of the inaugural CRT MotoGP
class was 'a big success'.
The privateer 'Claiming Rule Team' regulations were brought in to boost flagging grid numbers and reduce MotoGP's reliance on official manufacturer entries, in decline due to soaring costs.
Without CRT there would have been just twelve entries in last year's world championship, but the cut-price Superbike-powered machines have faced criticism from both inside and outside of the MotoGP
paddock due to a lack of competitiveness.
CRT machines are allowed more fuel and engine changes to help them compete with the official bikes from Honda, Yamaha and Ducati.
The best of the CRT entries - usually the Aspar-run Aprilias of Aleix Espargaro and Randy de Puniet
- regularly threatened the slowest of the manufacturer bikes, but the main manufacturer pack remained well out of reach in normal conditions.
However a drying track at the Valencia finale saw CRT history made when Espargaro led the first two laps of the race, which also ended with Gresini's Michele Pirro claiming the CRT's top result so far of fifth place.
"In our opinion CRT has been a big success for 2012," Ezpeleta told the official MotoGP
website. "I know [it was] in wet conditions... but in any case, a CRT was leading the Valencia Grand Prix.”
Ezpeleta, like HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto, believes that the true difference between CRT and a full manufacturer MotoGP
prototype would only be known if a top MotoGP
rider gave it a try.
The likes of Colin Edwards
and Randy de Puniet
have previously claimed podiums in MotoGP, but a race winner is yet to sign up for CRT (Chris Vermeulen made a one-off appearance).
"Theoretically the riders that are using the CRT are not the top riders, and I want to see... though this is impossible... if any of the top riders would use a CRT, I don't know how big the difference would be,” said Ezpeleta.