Karel Abraham's father and MotoGP team manager believes the switch from a satellite Ducati to CRT Aprilia is a step sideways, rather than backwards.
Abraham's Cardion AB team has run Ducati machinery since its 2011 premier-class debut, but split from the factory at the end of last season to join the new privateer class in 2013.
The Czech team will be one of four outfits running the Aprilia ART, which dominated the inaugural year of CRT in the hands of Aspar riders Aleix Espargaro and Randy de Puniet.
“ART is one of the best CRT motorbikes,” declared Abraham Sr. “The transition from prototype is not a step backwards but rather a side-step. I believe CRTs' will be able to match some prototypes. Plus, they will be much more visible thanks to the new qualification system.”
MotoGP is adopting a new knockout style qualifying format in 2013, the first part of which - for those outside the top ten in free practice - should provide extra TV attention for the CRTs.
Abraham Jr - who endured a tough, injury-interrupted second season in MotoGP, finishing 14th overall and the lowest ranked manufacturer rider - is looking forward to the new challenge.
“My goal is to always be one of the best CRT riders. And I believe there will be several opportunities during the season to race against the prototypes, since there are circuits where the differences between CRT bikes and prototypes are eliminated.
“I had a very good feeling about ART at Valencia during first testing, especially its cornering performance. We should have a better engine now and I cannot wait to ride the bike at Sepang.”
MotoGP will feature an equal split of twelve manufacturer and twelve CRT specification machines this year.