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Are CRTs really that slow?
Are CRTs really that slow?

On the occasion of the past Portuguese Grand Prix of the MotoGP World Championship in the Circuit of Estoril, came to light in the chronicle on the first day of training an interesting debate on the possible slowness of the CRT compared to Moto2 since the times set that day by Scott Redding put him in the middle of the MotoGP grid and those of James Ellison in the back half of the Moto2 grid.

But we cannot just stay with the cold data of the times that, although they serve as a reference, nor take into account a multitude of factors. For example, and as was well said, CRTs are in their first year of evolution both at the chassis and engine level and at the tire level, something very important. However, the Moto2 no longer and it is that after two years of evolution, they have lowered their times of the order of two seconds, surpassing the 250cc records in some circuits. With this I do not mean that the CRT will surpass the MotoGP, far from it, but in the third race, they are still in diapers.

But it is that the memory of some is very fragile and they do not remember when the 250cc marked times that also allowed them to get onto the MotoGP grid. Let's look at the times of these three races and remember what the 250cc did.

Qatar Grand Prix 2012:

Dani pedrosa

In the past Qatar Grand Prix, the best lap made on the circuit was achieved Thomas luthi with a time of 2'00.187 that helped him to take pole position. This time would also have allowed him to start 20th in the MotoGP category, ahead of Iván Silva (2'00.493) and James Ellison (2'00.757). For their part, the Spanish and the English, with those times would have been fourth and seventh respectively on the Moto2 starting grid.

However, the best lap on the weekend both by Ivan Silva (2'00.757) and James Ellison (2'00.246) was done during the race. Logically they improve the more laps they make on their motorcycles. Of course, the average speed with which they completed the race distance was 159.2 km / h, slightly higher (159.1 km / h) than what Marc Márquez needed as the winner of the Moto2 race.

For the following comparative table and in order to avoid differences in the condition of the track, we have taken the times of the classification:

Jerez Grand Prix 2012:

The Jerez Grand Prix It was crazy for the times in terms of the condition of the track. Session in the wet, dry and some with humidity, so it is very difficult to compare times between the two categories. Still, the best lap of a Moto2 it was for Marc Márquez with a time of 1'43.005, time that would have placed him fourteenth on the MotoGP grid.

Worst time of the CRT During qualifying it was Colin Edwards with a record of 1'46,200, an outrage since he would have started thirtieth on the Moto2 grid. However, the worst lap in the race was for Mattia Pasini with a time of 1'43.419, something more real than expected. The average speed on this circuit was already higher than that of Moto2: 151.7 km / h for Colin Edwards' CRT compared to 149.3 km / h for Pol Espargaró's Moto2.

Again in the following table we see the compared times of the qualifying sessions:

Portuguese Grand Prix 2012:

Julito Simon

Finally, in the Portuguese Grand Prix of this weekend the best return of Moto2 was given in the race by Pol Espargaro (1'40.921), a slightly lower time than Marc Márquez's pole. Even taking Repsol's time, it would have put him in eighteenth place on the MotoGP grid.

Regarding the CRTThe red lantern was Iván Silva with 1'41.490, time to start eighth in Moto2. In the race and taking the times of the riders who finished (Iván Silva left very early), Danilo Petrucci set a time of 1'41.072, a time lower than the one he had registered in the classification, demonstrating the tendency of CRTs to lower their records during races. The Italian's average speed (he was doubled and made a lap in 1'46.749 due to some piloting error) was 147.2 km / h while Marc Márquez with the Moto2 was faster, at 148 km / h.

Something similar happened in previous years in Moto2:

Well almost, last year for example, in the German Grand Prix, Marc Márquez set a time of 1'24.733, pole in Moto2 and enough to almost overtaking Sylvain Guintoli in MotoGP qualifying, which marked a record of 1'24,707. But as it happens this year with the CRTs, the further back we go in time, the worse the Moto2 records are, so it was impossible for similar situations to arise.

The old 250cc class:

Fonsi Nieto and Toni Elias

Similar cases did occur in the previous 250cc category and in a much larger GP. Look but at the next time he made Marco Simoncelli at the 2009 German GP: 1'32,962. Do you know how much the MotoGP pole was? 1'32,520. Of course, both with the track wet and logically, the degree of water on the track cannot be measured in each of the training sessions. The time set by Marco Simoncelli would have placed him second on the MotoGP grid, right between Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. Sachsenring has always been a very conducive circuit for 250, and too twisty for MotoGP so the differences on this circuit have always been minimal between the two categories.

But let's go back in time, to the 2007, first year of the 800 era since we seek to put the MotoGP at a disadvantage just as the CRT are now, that is, in their first year. Jorge Lorenzo makes 1'59.432 in Taste and places him 20th on the MotoGP grid, ahead of the Ilmor GP (1'59.725).

On CataloniaOnce again, Jorge Lorenzo got pole (1'45.098), a significantly better time than Kurtis Roberts on the KR212V (1'45.223). Let's jump now to Phillip Island, pole for Lorenzo again (1'32.884), improving Kurtis Roberts' time again (1'32.948) and very close to that of Toni Elías (1'32.442).

And now we take another leap back, to 2002, first year of MotoGP. Grand Prize of Africa in which Franco Battaini takes pole with 1'37,604. Pere Riba, last in MotoGP, sets 1'37.623. The next race is Sherry, again pole for Battaini with 1'44.803, a time higher than Pere Riba (1'45.575) and close to Regis Laconi's (1'44.597).

Italian Grand Prix, pole for the Italian again (1'54.344), Pere Riba scores 1'54.882 in MotoGP. On Catalonia something similar happens with the same protagonists. On Donington park it is Fonsi Nieto who takes the pole (1'33.558), a time that improves the 1'33.903 of Alex Hofmann and of Tohru Ukawa and Pere Riba, who do not qualify.

Valentino rossi

On BrnoAlthough the circuit is very long, Fonsi Nieto sets 2'03.037 and his time is better than that of Sylvain Gintoli (2'03.054) and Pere Riba (2'04.329). On PortugalOnce again, the 250 entered the MotoGP grid with a time of 1'41.708 set by Sebastián Porto, the same time as Shinya Nakano's and better than Pere Riba's (1'43.894).

In Australia the two times shagged them beautifully: Fonsi Nieto scores 1'33.904, penultimate in MotoGP but they are all stuck on this grid because Kenny Roberts, twelfth scored 1'33.116, only eight tenths better.


As we have seen, we cannot compare different categories in different stages of evolution because even the MotoGP, both in configuration of 1,000 in 2002 and 800 in 2007, reached times very close to 250cc. And the latter did not continue to improve their times because Aprilia did not see the need to continue investing in research, otherwise the times would have continued to decrease.

I am absolutely sure that as has happened in these two years in Moto2, as manufacturers begin to evolve the chassis and Bridgeston, as a tire manufacturer, make tires that work looking for a compromise between the MotoGP category and the CRT, the times of the latter will improve. But like everything, it takes weather.

Finally, and as Hervé reminded us in the comments, andIn 2007 the 250cc were able to run faster than the 500cc on some circuits. In the following table you can see the circuits that remained unchanged from 2001 to 2007 and how in Catalunya and Donington Park they became faster:

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