FTR and KRP take first steps in new KTM powered Moto3 adventure
Chassis manufacturer and Moto3 squad bosses target worldwide sales for new hybrid
MotoGP chassis manufacturer FTR and Moto3 squad KRP have given their all-new KTM-powered FTR venture a tentative thumbs-up following the prototype’s debut in the CEV Repsol Championship at Valencia at the weekend.
Despite mechanical gremlins which dogged the roll out, the pair says the initial results were impressive and that development is continuing apace.
The joint venture partners aim to sell the machine to teams and riders competing in Moto3 championships in Europe and beyond.
The prototype – which was fast-tracked to the Ricardo Tormo circuit for the penultimate CEV Repsol round – made it into the points in the first race of the double header.
KRP’s Racing Steps Foundation-backed Moto3 rookie Kyle Ryde took the final points-paying place before three engine failures cut short the outing.
“The appearance, brief though it was, impressed several onlookers in the CEV paddock,” said Mark Keen of KRP. “And overall the performance was not far short of what we expected it to be.
“But unfortunately we ran out of time to get the bikes as race-ready as they should have been.
“Essentially we produced them in less than two weeks which left us with less than two hours to complete the shakedown and work out suitable race set ups, which was nowhere near enough.
“But what really hampered us was the late arrival of the service kits we’d ordered which meant the engines had to go out un-serviced – and clearly we paid the price.
“Even so, the lap times produced by the KRP lads in the short time they had on track were a match for those of the front-runners.”
The prototype – conceived by Taylor and Keen to overcome the lack of top-end power hobbling Honda-engined Moto3 teams and riders – returns to the CEV championship for the final round at Jerez next weekend.
“Inevitably we experienced teething problems at Valencia,” FTR’s Mark Taylor added. “But work’s continuing round the clock to try and resolve them in time for Jerez where hopefully KRP and the lads can continue to demonstrate the bike’s potential.
“You could say KRP and ourselves have redefined rapid prototyping in terms of getting it on the grid before the end of the season. But there’s a lot to do yet to get to where we want to be.
“Simply bolting what is currently the best engine in the class into what we’re bound to say is the strongest chassis out there is no guarantee of success.
“The layout of the KTM and Honda engines is quite different and that changes the weight bias significantly. So we’ll need a lot more track time yet to find the optimum balance and set ups.
“Hopefully the work KRP’s putting in between now and final CEV round at Jerez will pay further dividends after which the hard work will continue to ensure we hit the ground running in time for next year’s pre-season testing.”
Source: Racing Steps Foundation
Photo: Agusti Nubiola