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Feb 1, 2013

Attack Performance Racing Tests With Blake Young And New MotoGP CRT Engine At Chuckwalla Valley Raceway

Richard Stanboli (kneeling, second from right) working on his APR MotoGP CRT racebike at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August of 2012. David Swarts, copyright Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
Attack Performance Racing tested its MotoGP CRT racebike with its new rider Blake Young and its new uneven-firing-order engine January 31 at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, in Desert Center, California.

After rider Steve Rapp finished 14th on the APR (as the bike is designated) in the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix last August, Team Owner/Crew Chief Richard Stanboli immediately started thinking of ways to improve the machine, which he designed and built in less than four months.

He felt he could improve the handling of the bike by modifying its billet aluminum chassis to better suit the unique Bridgestone MotoGP tires. And he thought he could improve its drive traction, especially off of slow corners, by changing the firing order of his Kawasaki ZX-10R World Superbike engine.

Stanboli reported to that the test at the 2.6-mile Chuckwalla Valley Raceway was a success on most levels.

"Blake had a lot of smiles on his face," Stanboli said in an interview February 1. "I don't think at the end we did lap times and things we wanted to do, but we weren't really concentrating on that and we were on stale tires and it was getting pretty windy and all that stuff. The whole focus was to make sure he was comfortable on the bike so when we go to Austin there are no red flags."

The trip to Austin, Texas, Stanboli mentioned is a one-day test at Circuit of The Americas in February. Attack Performance Racing has been invited to participate in the test to help Bridgestone gauge the abrasiveness of the track's surface and select the correct range of tires for the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas in April.

"We don't want to show up in Texas with a bunch of red flags we're dealing with instead of running tires and learning the track," said Stanboli. "And we wanted to put some time on the new engine so we could come back and take the [oil] pan off it and make sure nothing is chewing itself up in there."

Stanboli said Young was happy with the ergonomics of the APR, which was an important test because the motorcycle was originally made with a custom fuel tank to suit its previous rider, Rapp.

"All we did was adjust the windshield and move the pegs like one position and turn the bars," said Stanboli. "He said it was quick and light and turned really good and all those good things. He felt real comfortable on it, which was real important."

As for his new, uneven-firing-order engine, Stanboli said it performed better than expected.

"It's within a horsepower or two of the [220-plus-horsepower] screamer engine," said Stanboli, "but it made more upper-mid [-range power] and carried it further [more over-rev], which surprised me. I don't know what you would call mid, but it's the middle of the range we plan on running. And we had it neutered at the track, too. We were only revving it to 14,500 rpm, because we want to just walk into it. We don't have our backs against the wall, so we don't have to put a lot of effort into spinning the thing."

The test at Circuit of The Americas will be Young's first taste of Bridgestone MotoGP tires and carbon brakes. And it could be Young's only experience with them before the Grand Prix in April, that is unless Stanboli can get invited to the Honda-led MotoGP team test scheduled to be held at COTA in March, which is his hope.

"The biggest deficit to this [private] testing is the Bridgestone tires. If you don't have those it doesn't make much sense," said Stanboli, who found out last year how expensive it is to arrange a test on Bridgestone tires with Bridgestone engineers, which are mandatory. "The Pirellis are so different. The Dunlops, I assume, are going to be so different as well. What I'm interested to do is after we go to this test with Blake [is] get a set of Dunlops and a set of Pirellis and see which one is closest to the Bridgestones and how it reacts with the chassis. That way we can at least get something done in between races [without Bridgestones]."

Attack Performance Racing is planning to field Young as a wild card in all three American MotoGP rounds. The three American MotoGP rounds are scheduled for April 19-21 at Circuit of The Americas; July 19-21 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey, California; and August 16-18 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Indianapolis, Indiana.