Norton Reportedly Planning MotoGP Effort

British manufacturer reserving two spots on 2012 grid

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Aug. 18, 2010
Norton Motorcycles is preparing a MotoGP team for 2012, reports European publication Speedweek.

Gunther Wiesinger of Speedweek reports Norton Chief Executive Officer Stuart Garner has an agreement with MotoGP promoter Dorna to race in 2012 when the series switches to a 1000cc displacement. Norton has reportedly requested two spots on the 2012 grid.

A MotoGP team would be an ambitious step forward for Norton which began producing motorcycles again after Garner acquired the rights to the brand in 2008.

Norton currently produces three models, each using 961cc parallel Twin engines. Norton is also developing a racebike, the NRV700 which uses a Wankel type rotary engine. The NRV700 will be an evolution on the Norton NRV588 which claims a power output of 170 hp. Norton Motorcycles is currently operating at England’s Donington Park race circuit and races an NRV588 in a classic motorcycle racing series.

The Norton Motorcycles crew and the NRV588.

Dorna has been looking for ways to add more entrants to the MotoGP grid which currently has 18 riders, and having a British manufacturer racing would draw interest in a vital market.

As’s David Emmett points out, the Norton marquee has a long tradition in racing, going back to Geoff Duke’s 1951 World Championships in the 500cc and 350cc classes. Norton also holds five manufacturer’s titles, though they all came in the early ’50s.

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