Marc VDS nearing 2012 decision

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Scott Redding’s Marc VDS Racing squad will decide next week whether to ditch plans to race a highly tuned production BMW S1000RR motor in MotoGP next season.

MCN has learned the Belgium squad has held tentative talks with HRC about leasing a bike for 2012 as team boss Michael Bartholemy has grave concerns that its privately developed project simply won’t be competitive enough.

The Marc VDS Racing squad tested its new bike, which has a Swiss-built Suter chassis, at Mugello recently at the same time Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden were evaluating Ducati’s new prototype GP12. Although no lap times were released, the gap was reportedly huge, and Bartholemy is now worried that the multi-million pound investment needed to make a new bike competitive will be for nothing.

Bartholemy said: “If I have to fill up the grid or be last every weekend then this has no meaning for me. We have now seen how the new Ducati works and I think they have built an impressive machine. The gap was quite a gap. We have been on track since the middle of November and test two times a month, spending a lot of money, but still there is quite a big gap.”

The performance of the GP12 hadn’t forced Bartholemy into a major re-think about entering his own bike and he said: “For us it was clear that the rules would dramatically change and something similar would be done like in Moto2. Not as basic as Moto2 like a one engine rule, but it was designed to reduce the costs. But there is no reduction in costs and it costs more money than it has in the past. The factories just go with 200cc more but with the same electronics. If you can’t afford electronics that at least the satellite riders have then there is no meaning to go on track to fight with them when your bike is six seconds slower.”

A final decision will be taken immediately after this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Mugello and Bartholemy said he had spoken to HRC.

“We have had some discussions and it is a good option for next year. It is completely fair that we look at all the options,” said Bartholemy.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt