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Ellison plays down CRT criticism

Paul Bird Motorsport-ART rider James Ellison believes the difference between the CRT and MotoGP machines will reduce significantly during the first year.

James Ellison says he is unconcerned about the predicted disparity between the MotoGP prototypes and incoming CRT machines, believing the gap won't be as substantial as many expect.

Ellison is one of nine proposed CRT entries to join the MotoGP grid for the first time in 2012, riding the Aprilia-engineered ART chassis for Paul Bird Motorsport.

Marking a return to MotoGP for Ellison, who competed in 2005 and 2006, the Briton is excited about his return to the premier category, even if relatively little is known about the PBM set up.

As it stands, Ellison will ride an ART, which is an Aprilia 1000cc engine mated to an RSV-4-inspired chassis, adapted for MotoGP regulations and Bridgestone tyres. Aspar and Speed Master will compete with a similar arrangement.

However, while MotoGP winter testing gets underway next week, Ellison will not appear on the bike until 20th February. Nonetheless, he is unconcerned about the relative lack of testing and is merely looking forward to getting his first outing.

"I don't think any amount of testing this early on will make a difference anyway," said Ellison, during an interview with MotoGP.com. "The MotoGP factory bikes are pretty much developed, now they're just fine tuning. It's going to take years to get to where they are.

"As for the other [ART] CRTs, I'm assuming we're going to share information if we are using the same bike. I would imagine it would be in Aprilia's best interest to share a bit of information from the first test in Valencia [30-31st January] when everybody else is in Sepang."

Though the decision to allow CRT machines onto the grid has been met with a mixed response from some existing riders, who fear the disparity of performance shown during initial testing will create an unhealthy two-tier championship, Ellison believes the difference between the two will reduce significantly.

"I imagine that the lap times from the factory bikes back in the day, when they first came out on track, weren't that good either. It has taken years of development to get where they are now. I think the Bridgestone tyres making everything equal will help a lot.

"I don't think [CRTs are] going to be as far off as everybody thinks, though I hope I'm not going to eat my words in a few months time. Certainly for the first few races, yes we'll be off the pace but I think we'll soon pick it up.

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