Team Gresini have announced that in addition to running their Honda 213CV for Alvaro Bautista (in place of the late Marco) they will run an additional bike. However this will not be a more standard Honda like it was this year for Aoyama, it will be a CRT bike from British manufacturer FTR, using a Honda engine.
It is an interesting move as the lower Customer teams are really looking hard at whether to run with the expensive customer bikes or the cheaper CRT bikes which they will be able to develop. Being a Customer team relegates you to buying a lesser machine from the Factory teams, so it looks as though Gresini will evaluate running a CRT bike. I suppose the hope is that someone comes along and designs a prototype engine that can just be bought for racing and these teams will have Moto GP experience and the numbers will swell. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mapfire Aspar running a CRT bike next season.
It will however surely increse the costs for the factory teams if they are unable to sell their bikes to the smaller teams. I’d expect to see Tech III remain as they’ve been promised I believe near factory spec machinery for the next two years (IE all the developments but they will go onto the Factory bikes first if there is a shortage).
Rumblings are that Suzuki will not run next year which would explain why Bautista has high tailed it to Gresini in a shock move (literally hours before the first 1000CC test of the close season).
In other news the Young Drivers Test in Abu Dhabi is going on at the moment for F1, nothing of note really. I will post up a summary at some point for all you guys!