Is prototype machinery heading for the clubs?

In News, No Limits, Tech, Tech Talk Tuesday

NEW machinery could be headed for the clubs spurred by the British Superbike Championship’s announcement of a grand prix-inspired Moto2 class this season.

The sub-category, called GP2, will run alongside the British Supersport series and score points independently in its own championship battle.

While no British motorcycle racing club currently has a dedicated class for 600cc prototypes, they’ve appeared sporadically throughout the ranks in recent years in a number of different forms.

Used Moto2 bikes can be no more expensive than a run-of-the-mill supersport bike, but if spares are slim, the owner takes on a duty of fabrication…

Bespoke chassis were spotted in the Supermono GB championship and NG Supermono Cup this past season, but Anthony Van Looy has been throwing his weight around in the Thundersport GP1 ranks with a CBR600RR-powered Techstra Moto2.

Although he hasn’t yet been allowed to run among the 600s, the serviceman landed some heavy blows in the Military Inter Services Championship where he finished second overall to fellow RAF racer Stephen Kaplan.

Van Looy admits it isn’t easy to run a one-off chassis without any support, but says it just takes simple ingenuity and some good old fashioned elbow grease to make it all work.

“The thing that puts most people off is if they can’t get a comprehensive spares package or they aren’t willing to make the bits themselves,” he told UK Clubsport. “I work on the bike myself and make my own parts, composite fairings and that, and I’ve managed to shed five kilos from the bike on that alone!

“People have been doing it for years before this with Supermonos and some of the bikes those guys are fabricating are just amazing machines. They are prototype grand prix bikes as far as I’m concerned.

“You just have to have the drive to build and fettle your own bike. I didn’t design the bike and I couldn’t build my own chassis, but I could pretty much build anything for it at this point and I’m willing to learn and give it a go.”

Van Looy came second in this year’s Military Inter Services Championship, but had a tough time tackling the speed of the GP1s in Thundersport’s fastest class…

Van Looy is planning to compete with No Limits Racing next year, where he feels he’ll be able to gauge progress more accurately as he lines up on a 600 grid on his Techstra for the first time.

And he believes he’s made the right decision to start racing a Moto2 when he did – just before the market is flooded with them…

“I think I may have timed buying this bike quite well, because now that MotoGP has announced it’s changing to the Triumph engine, suddenly you have all these Moto2 bikes available for racers like me.

“Some people scoff at it because they think it costs too much, but then you see those same people have two bikes or two vans, and that’s more than I have in the bike all together.

“If I can at least be competitive and climb up a few places, it’ll be a real confidence booster – but we’ll just see how it goes.”

Van Looy’s venture could open the floodgates for Moto2-equipped stalwart club racers, home builders and British Championship competitors looking for a place to test.

But which club will be the first to offer these prototype middleweights a dedicated place to compete amongst their own?

*Main and top images supplied by Anthony Van Looy

*Bottom image: Colin Port

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