Editor's Note: This continues a series counting down the top 15 stories in MotoGP in 2012, as determined by the Soup staff.
Dorna's Carmelo Ezpeleta could have been excused for resembling Kevin Bacon in the famous riot scene in "Animal House" : "REMAIN CALM - ALL IS WELL!" - after preseason testing proved the folly of his pet Claiming Rules Team concept to boost MotoGP grids at a lower entry cost.
When the production-based concept was unveiled in 2011, Ezpeleta claimed CRT bikes could threaten some satellite prototype machinery and even challenge for top-six finishes if circumstances and conditions were prime.
That prediction proved about as accurate as an insistence of oceanfront property in Saskatchewan.
The best CRT bike lapped around two seconds off the pace of its top prototype cousin during the final preseason test at Jerez in early March 2012. That gap never closed during the season, as Aleix Esparagaro was the quickest CRT qualifier at the season finale at Valencia, 1.9 seconds behind pole sitter Dani Pedrosa.
The best finish by a CRT was fifth, by Michele Pirro at Valencia in a topsy-turvy race that featured eight bikes in the gravel or garage before the finish. The nine full-time CRT bikes on the grid managed just 11 finishes of ninth or better all season in 142 combined starts.
That's a top-nine strike rate of 7.7 percent for CRT machinery. Not exactly what Carmelo predicted or expected.
CRT embarrassed the elite, thoroughbred ethos of MotoGP in many ways.
The bikes became rolling chicanes, as race leaders lapped CRT machines at most events. The sight of a talented rider such as Colin Edwards slowing and looking over his shoulder to give wide berth to lapping leaders was an ugly vision unworthy of the premier class.
Esparagaro and ART teammate Randy de Puniet were the only CRT riders who threatened the slowest satellite bikes regularly. The ART engine and electronics were based on the proven, winning RSV4 that Aprilia races in World Superbike.
Many of the other bikes were a mess. Edwards' hairline receded like a rip tide this season after fighting with the balky and sometimes dangerous electronics on his Suter-BMW package.
And CRT teams attracted two kinds of riders: Those on the right, downward side of their career parabola or those with little to no MotoGP experience, carrying big checks to buy a seat. Espargaro probably is the only young rider on CRT machinery in 2012 who appeared worthy of a satellite ride, and he already was a proven commodity in MotoGP due to a full season on a satellite Ducati with Pramac in 2010.
There is hope on the horizon. Honda and Yamaha revealed in 2012 that they will take different approaches to boost the number of prototypes on the MotoGP grid at less-expensive prices starting in 2014.
Honda will sell a customer version of its RC213V, while Yamaha will lease the engine and electronics from its M1 to be used by teams in any chassis. That should render CRT machinery obsolete except for the most threadbare teams, a merciful vanishing act.
Plenty of reasons and stats can be cited for the failure of CRT. But a recent quote from Michele Pirro, who raced a Gresini Honda CRT in 2012, says it all: "The CRT I raced with was disastrous."
Can the same can be said for the entire concept?