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by David Swarts
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The two American MotoGP CRT wild card teams Attack Performance Racing (APR) and BCL Motorsports/GPtech tested tires for Bridgestone at the Circuit of The Americas on February 12.
The purpose of the test was to help Bridgestone gauge the abrasiveness of the new track's surface so the appropriate range of control tires can be brought for the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas April 19-21, 2013, according to APR Team Owner/Crew Chief Richard Stanboli.
APR's Blake Young started out testing with Stanboli's new "uneven-firing-order" Kawasaki ZX-10R engine, but a technical problem led the team to spend 45 minutes swapping to its "screamer" World Superbike-spec engine for the final portion of the test. The technical problem was later diagnosed as a failing fuel pump.
Young will race for APR in all three American MotoGP rounds in 2013, including the race at COTA; the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix July 19-21 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey, California, and the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix August 16-18 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
BCL Motorsports/GPtech tested with Michael Barnes (the 2012 AMA Pro XR1200 Champion) and Ty Howard, a veteran Pro racer and test rider who lives in Texas, at COTA. Barnes and Howard shared a lighter and more evolved version of the team's Suzuki-powered machine. At the end of the test BCL Motorsports/GPtech's GSX-R1000 Superbike engine broke its cam chain, ending their test prematurely, according to BCL Motorsports/GPtech Team Owner Geoff Maloney.
Maloney told Roadracingworld.com that he has not yet decided who will race his motorcycle in the three American MotoGP rounds.
Overnight rains caused the COTA track to be wet until the afternoon, when it dried out and allowed riders to begin testing Bridgestone's MotoGP slicks. The three riders used Bridgestone rain tires until the track dried. The test was due to end at 5:00 p.m. local time, but it was extended until dusk to make up for the time lost to the wet conditions.
According to unofficial lap times supplied by the teams, Howard was the quickest rider with a lap of 2:18.7 around the 3.4-mile course, and Barnes and Young both recorded a best time of 2:19.2.
Bridgestone will have another opportunity to gather data from the COTA circuit prior to the Grand Prix. Several MotoGP teams are scheduled to test at COTA March 12-14.