FTR to delay Aprilia-powered 1000cc project

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British chassis specialists FTR will shelve plans to run an Aprilia RSV4-powered bike in MotoGP next season.

The Buckingham-based company had designed a frame around the RSV4 motor and it looked like Fausto Gresini would use the project in 2012 alongside a deal to run a factory-backed Honda RC213V for Marco Simoncelli.

But Honda blocked his move and FTR Steve Bones told MCN: "We had approaches for various engines but we put together a proposal to take the Aprilia superbike engine and electronics. Clearly it is a strong package in WSB and we felt it is already developed to a high level. It all hinged on the Aprilia engine but the costs were very high for the engine, so we’ve kind of put that to bed now."

Bones said given the time frame to get the project ready for testing in early February, the project was unlikely to be resurrected until 2013.

He added: "People don’t really know where to put their money and place their confidence at the moment and while that is happening the time scale is getting shorter. There’s a few people still interested but in terms of the time scale it is too late to pick that up and start running again."

FTR meanwhile have also been collaborating with Ducati on a new aluminium chassis concept being used by Valentino Rossi.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt