Claiming Rule Teams riders using the Magneti Marelli spec electronic control units are encountering many teething problems with the new black boxes during testing this week at Sepang.
ART riders are sticking with Aprilia electronics this season, and they predictably led the CRT parade on the time sheets Tuesday at Sepang. Aleix Espargaro was the quickest CRT rider at 2:03.782 on his Aspar ART.
The gap was 2.6 seconds between Espargaro's leading CRT machine and the Repsol Honda prototype of test leader Dani Pedrosa. That's right around the same distance between the two castes of machinery last season in MotoGP.
So it's going to take more work by CRT teams - especially those with Magneti Marelli electronics - to narrow the chasm between them and prototype teams as promised this season by Dorna officials. CRT teams also will slice time as they learn to set up their bikes to work with softer, CRT-only tires provided this season by Bridgestone.
The CRT breed may be refining and progressing. But prototype teams don't sit still, either, all winter and have far more money for development.