FB Corse targets Jerez for MotoGP entry

Three-cylinder FB01 impresses but is not quite ready to race

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Mar. 18, 2010
Ed: Not long after this story was first published, FB Corse issued a retraction, saying they had not actually been given approval to enter the Jerez round. The new information has been added to the end of the article.

FB Corse will not be on the starting grid for the 2010 MotoGP season opener in Qatar but it may be ready when the series moves to Spain for the third round.

Rider Garry McCoy tested the team’s FB01 prototype in Valencia, Spain, for Franco Uncini and Oscar Gallardo, representatives from MotoGP promoter Dorna Sports, and their reaction was reportedly positive yet tentative.

Uncini said to Italian website GPOne.com the FB Corse project was “interesting” but not quite ready to race in the April 11 opener at the Losail Circuit in Doha, Qatar. Uncini said the FB01 had no problems but needed to further development, saying FB Corse could be ready for the third round, May 2 in Jerez, Spain.

FB Corse appears to be taking Uncini’s words to heart, releasing a statement claiming approval to enter the series in Jerez.

“I am really happy about all the compliments we have received from Dorna and Franco Uncini,” says Sergio Bertocchi, part owner of FB Corse. “I was not really expecting to be at that level. I am very satisfied that they allow us to enter the championship when we want and we will do the necessary development in order to enter with the best conditions.”

FB Corse's three-cylinder FB01prototype by Orel Engineering is not quite ready for prime time.

FB Corse has had little time to test the FB01 so far. As a new team with a new motorcycle, FB Corse needed to put more laps into the FB01 to gain Dorna’s approval, but strict MotoGP rules limit the amount of testing on Grand Prix circuits. No official lap times from the test were released but FB Corse says the test was positive, especially because the FB01 was running without electronics in order to give McCoy a chance to get a feel for the bike.

“What we achieved today for me was remarkable because from where we started from the first day to achieve so many laps today, I really did not expect that at all,” says McCoy. “I was really wanting to go to Qatar and Japan but I think that our decision is very wise as we have to concentrate on the development of the bike in order to improve and be competitive from the first race.”

FB Corse issues retraction

FB Corse has issued a statement retracting the earlier claim of being approved to enter the series in Jerez.

The team has not gained approval and is not on the official MotoGP entry list at this time. FB Corse says it will need to simulate a race with the FB01 for Dorna before Jerez in order to gain approval.

As for the testing rules, FB Corse says the team has received “clearance to test at any time” before the Jerez round.