Q & A with FTR Moto director Steve Bones
Moto2 chassis supplier FTR [ridden by Pol Espargaro and Esteve Rabat, among others] have published and interesting Q&A with FTR Moto director Steve Bones.
Q. With the second Moto2 World Championship campaign now well under way and considering you’ve gone from four riders in 2010 to 12 riders for 2011, how is the current series looking for FTR Moto?
A. “At present all of the signs are there to suggest we will achieve our 2011 ambition of developing the younger riders and new riders to the World Championship with the M211. This year is in contrast to a debut year where we had a number of established, proven riders who contributed to six pole positions, four race wins and a dozen podium finishes. For 2011 we have some really exciting talent on the M211s and we’re enjoying working with them and the six teams of which four are new to FTR for 2011.”
Q. What are your ambitions for the remainder of the 2011 Moto2 World Championship?
A. “We’d really like to see more of the same from youngsters like Esteve Rabat and Pol Espargaro and obviously for Simone Corsi to continue to challenge for the title. Overall, we want to continue the development of the M211 Moto2 machine and to repeat last year’s successful programme with Karel Abraham where we began work with a new team and young rider and went on to win the final race of the year. We’re also hopeful of introducing more new and young riders and one of our partners, GP Tech, has applied for a wild card at Indianapolis in August with 17-year-old Jake Gagne.”
Q. You recently launched the first of your retro replica machines with the Elf Honda, are you happy with the response and reaction?
A. “Yes, very happy with the response. Our first customer for the Elf Honda was Keith Flint, the front man for The Prodigy so having Keith as a customer has really helped to profile this new initiative. We’ve had plenty of enquiries since for the Elf Hondas and also for specific replicas of MotoGP and World Championship machinery.”
Q. You have recently announced a partnership with Norton to contest the 2012 Isle of Man Senior TT race, how did that project come about?
A. “We’ve been speaking with Norton for quite a while and this offers a great opportunity to work with an iconic brand and contest an iconic race. We were the first Moto2 manufacturer to contest the Isle of Man TT Races when we went there last year with Olie Linsdell for the Senior TT so going back with Norton offers FTR the opportunity of another landmark. The V4 1000cc prototype Norton motor also sounds really exciting.”
Q. Do you think there is any possibility of a Norton-FTR entry into the MotoGP World Championship in the future?
A. “I suppose the World Championship would complete the circle in terms of returning the Norton name to the scene of many former glories and we would love to be a part of that. I think Stuart Garner at Norton is pretty pragmatic and will follow the progress of the new V4 motor, the TT return next year and perhaps begin to make a longer term plan.”
Q. Do you have any other plans to contest the MotoGP World Championship?
A. Yes, we’re working with the BQR Team in Catalunya, Spain who have been announced by the FIM and Dorna as one of the new CRT entries from 2012. We will design and build the machine with BQR and following evaluation it was a Kawasaki motor that has been chosen for the project. This presents a great opportunity for FTR to become involved with this new initiative and a new era in MotoGP.”
Q. How about the new Moto3 World Championship, do you have any plans to participate in that series?
A. “Yes, we are working with an engine partner on a Moto3 project at present and speaking to Honda about its Moto3 motor. I would hope to be able to announce something in the near future about the FTR Moto3 World Championship plans.”
Source: FTR Moto