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Mar 22, 2013

MotoGP: Barnes Tabbed To Ride GPtech CRT-Class Wild Card Entry At The Red Bull MotoGP Of The Americas

AMA Pro XR1200/Harley-Davidson Champion Michael "Barney" Barnes (1) will race GPtech's CRT-class wild card entry in the Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas. Photo by Brian J. Nelson/AMA Pro Racing.
Veteran journeyman racer Michael “Barney” Barnes has been selected to race the GPtech CRT-class MotoGP wild card entry in the Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas April 19-21, at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), in Austin, Texas.

“I’d like to announce that Barney will ride for me in the GP in Texas,” GPtech owner Geoff Maloney told Friday. “The big reasons why I’m picking Barney is because we’ve been friends forever, he’s a great rider, a good guy to hang out with and I think he’ll do the job well.

“Barney’s always been in the running. He’s always been on the test list, but now his schedule has opened up and will allow him to race. Barney and I go back to racing 250s [AMA Pro 250cc Grand Prix] together, and he rode for me back then, too. He’s a good decision, and it’ll be nice to see him have a go at it, really.”

Barnes has been an AMA Pro-licensed rider since 1989, when he won the 600cc Supersport race at Daytona, and he won the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Championship last season. In between he has raced a wide variety of machines, including 500cc Grand Prix bikes, at venues across the world, including the Macau GP.

“I’m tremendously excited about it,” Barnes told Friday. “I’m just hoping to qualify and hoping to make the show. It’s a tall order, but I’ll have a really good crew there. I’ve had a mix of [crew] people over these two tests. So I’m looking forward to having one solid crew for the race and being able to give it 100%.

“Ever since I got to do the Bridgestone test [at COTA in February] I’ve been tremendously excited about it. Then I got to do the Honda test, and that was even more of an eye-opener. I probably got to drop 5.5 seconds from the Bridgestone test to the Honda test. But we still haven’t circulated with a fast motor. We had some issues with the motor that we had this last test, so I was on the same Superstock motor that I was on at the Bridgestone test. I’m looking forward to getting some horsepower, because even when we do get horsepower we’re still going to be out-horsepowered.

“But overall, I’m excited about it, especially at my age. That’s the reason I chose the number 44, because I’m 44, plus they retired the 34 [Kevin Schwantz’s number], so I couldn’t run that.”

GPtech has wild card entries approved for the other two American MotoGP rounds, in July at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and in August at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but Maloney said he has not yet decided who will ride his CRT machine at those events.