Repsol Honda's reigning World Champion Casey Stoner has been harshly critical of the CRT concept from the start and after four practice, qualifying and race sessions in Qatar he was even more strident in his opposition to the new class.
'I mean, the speed deficit in the straight is just huge,' Casey Stoner said. 'You're coming at 'em and all of a sudden you're just like, Aah... at the last second you have to pull out because you just don't realize they're going nowhere. And half the Moto2 grid's just about as quick as what they are, considering they're a long way down on horsepower. It's pretty much as I thought.'
Casey Stoner wasn't the only MotoGP rider who felt that way.
'Some of them are going quite slow, for sure,' said Yamaha's Ben Spies. 'The scary thing for me is it's not so much on the straightaway, because you can move around that, but I've had some problems in the braking zones almost running in the back of them.' His hope was that, 'when it comes down to it in the race, I don't think they're really going to be battling it out. I think when the blue flags (come out) that it just needs to be pretty clear that they get out of the way.' Ben Spies and Casey Stoner both has sympathy for the CRT riders, the majority of which have almost no MotoGP experience.
'I'm not upset that they're out there. I think it's fine,' Ben Spies said. 'We have to start somewhere with the CRT bikes, so I'm not criticizing them in that matter. In practice sessions sometimes it can get a bit hairy, but that's just they way it is. I'm used to it from AMA, so I have a different opinion on it. But in the races it just needs to be clear to them when the blue flag comes out they need to move, because it could create a problem, but I think by then everything will be fine.'
There was a rash of CRT crashes in qualifying in Qatar – James Ellison, Danillo Petrucci, Randy de Puniet, Mattea Pasini – all evidence of how hard they were trying to make up for what was a big gap to the prototypes
'It's not their fault, really,' Casey Stoner said. 'They don't want to see that deficit either and they're going to push as hard as they can, so it could cause issues.'
Casey Stoner also thought it was an issue that the CRT machines were getting so much attention.
'Obviously, trying to separate the two into two different categories is ridiculous,' Stoner said. 'Even, no offense to Colin Edwards or anything, but putting the first CRT bike up there and getting interviews and all this sort of stuff, it's like, really, you know, this is one championship – this is the MotoGP championship. If they want CRT make it the CRT championship. It's complicated to figure out what they're actually doing, what they're trying to achieve with this class, because if they're making that many steps backwards, it's not really what this championship's about.'[MotoGP,Casey-Stoner,Ben-Spies,Honda,Yamaha,CRT-bikes,CRT-motorcycles,CRT,championship,critics,complains,racing]