Abraham reveals Cardion Ducati plan
|By Simon Strang and David Emmett||Saturday, August 14th 2010, 19:17 GMT|
Moto2 rider Karel Abraham and his family-run Cardion AB team will step up to the premier class with a satellite Ducati GP11 in 2011, it was finally confirmed at the squad's home grand prix in Brno - on Saturday afternoon.
The announcement means that Ducati will have six machines on the 18-bike grid next season, with Pramac, Aspar and Cardion AB joining the two factory GP11s.
The 20-year-old Abraham, whose father Karel's Cardion KB concern is an eminent partner in the Brno circuit, has finished fourth and fifth in the last two Moto2 races but crashed twice during qualifying in the Czech Republic on Saturday.
Abraham Sr told a press conference that it was 'dream' come true to enter MotoGP and that the decision was taken to step up with Ducati after his son completed a 'successful' test at Aragon recently.
"We made a two day test which was held at the same time as the Moto2 test at Aragon," he said. "We left it to Ducati to judge if the rider was strong enough to enter the MotoGP category. After this test I experienced that he is strong enough.
"Also it was a decision of the rider because he doubted himself a bit. After very positive feedback from Ducati we have been able to decide our entry."
Abraham insisted that his team had the resources to make a successful progression to MotoGP and that he was confident it could hold its own against the competition.
"Some people may think that Cardion AB is a small team with one company behind it, but it's a chain of companies that are supporting motor racing and motorbike racing throughout the Czech Republic and at an international level," he explained. "The entry into MotoGP will make this idea stronger and if the rider can compete at the front and be seen, all that we are trying to do will become more powerful and stronger.
"We have reached an agreement with the Ducati factory and we feel powerful enough and we are looking forward to next season."
Ducati's MotoGP project manager Alessandro Cicognani said that Cardion AB would receive parity of service with all of the Italian manufacturers' other customer teams.
"We like to support our satellite teams through 360 degrees, so not just with parts but also input," he said. "In fact we will supply a chief engineer, a mechanic and a spare part manager. This is the usual that we do with all our satellite teams.
"It will be very tough next year with six bikes on the grid but I think it is important to have so many, not only for Ducati but also for the championship," he added. "But we are happy about this new deal.
"I think it is quite important for us especially because Karel is a Ducati fan and motorcycle entrants are so few, and I think it will be good for us to have an ambassador here in the Czech Republic."