Westie Back in MotoGP

Henny Ray Abrams | November 16, 2011

Australian Anthony West is back in MotoGP after landing a ride on a CRT bike with the Italian Speed Master team.West, who was last in MotoGP in 2008 with Kawasaki, has spent the past two frustrating seasons aboard an MZ in the Moto2 class.

 West finished 23rd overall in 2010 and 22nd this year. The 2011 campaign included four DNFs and only five points-paying finishes. His best finishes were fourths in the Netherlands and Valencia. His best qualifying mark was a tenth at Mugello.The MZ team suffered from dissension with the ranks, a lack of racing experience, and a base machine which began life well over the class minimum. The team got a boost during the 2011 season when veteran crew chief Warren Willing joined the project.

The chassis for the team’s machine wasn’t announced, but the engine was; Speed Master will use the Aprilia RSV4 engine. West’s crew chief will be Tommaso Raponi, who joined the team this year.The team will continue to field Andrea Iannone in the Moto2 class, but now aboard an FTR chassis rather than the Suter that he raced to third in this year’s Moto2 World Championship. Iannone won three times in 2011-Portugal, the Czech Republic, Japan-and beat Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2, Motobi) by three points, 177 to 174.

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.