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Norton Going MotoGP Racing In 2012, According To Report

We’ve already told you about Norton’s apparent success with its retro models, but we never quite imagined Norton would be on the MotoGP start line in 2012. It will be, according to a report published by Spanish language Solo Moto.

Solo Moto goes so far as to say that Dorna, the governing body of MotoGP, has already provisionally approved Norton’s application to field a MotoGP team in 2012, the first year that 1000cc bikes will appear on the grid.

This can only mean that Norton is planning modern motorcycles, in terms of both looks and performance, to go along with its racing ambitions.

25 Comments

  1. El Gringo says:

    Hey, with enough money you could have fun and not embarrass yourself—get Kenny Roberts outfit to design the package and Norton to supply the engines—supply two decent (by MOTOGP standards) riders—go racing!! Could happen! We need more diversity on the grid.

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  2. Smac says:

    Traction control brought to you by Lucas!

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  3. Nobby says:

    Come on let’s get real here, they’ll not even be in business in 2012.

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  4. Secret Agent Man says:

    Perhaps in the near future, we could also see the return of MV Agusta and Benelli to MotoGP , now that’ll be mind blowing.

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  5. Patrick D says:

    I’d love to see the Aprilia Cube back on the scene – the most interesting MotoGP bike IMO, and an example of what the class was supposed to be about at inception. It had plaenty of legs and maybe the traction control technology has caught up with its legendary power!

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  6. Rick Hermanns says:

    Did you hear the one anout Kymco going GP racing???? Michael Jordan will be their rider!

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  7. Wendy says:

    NFW. Norton hasn’t the resources to field a MotoGP team. Suzuki, an actual company, not a hobby, can’t build a competitive MotoGP bike. Then you add in the engine format. Two cylinders, in what parallel universe? Nothing but a MCN joke.

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  8. Gasrider17 says:

    If Kenny Roberts can field a team on his own (with help from sponsors) I’m sure Norton can pull it off. I’m sure it’s an awesome development tool for a company that builds engines.

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  9. Chris says:

    I hadn’t heard about their collaboration with Maxsym Engines, but they talk about the 961 Comando engine being designed by Menard Competition Technologies who build F1 engines, so it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch I guess.

    I’d be much more interested in them developing a street going version of that 600cc Wankel. I sure don’t need 170hp, but a 290 pound sport bike would be a dream come true (plus not having any valves to adjust).

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  10. Vrooom says:

    Hard to believe Norton has the resources to pull this off. Anyone with money to burn could develop and field a GP bike if they hired the right people, but capital is limited, especially now. I’d have developed the chassis and general engine specs and created some buzz about the bike before applying to race GP. GP is insanely expensive advertising, and only those who do well get good press, let’s hope Norton’s got something amazing up their sleeve, or they may be seeking another new owner.

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  11. Norm G. says:

    maybe it’ll just be “label” marketing akin to F1…? norton branding, but chassis and power by other…? maximum exposure, minimum cost. bmw uses grandprix to promote their cars and bikes without actually participating. not exactly sporting for norton, but i wouldn’t fault them.

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  12. Secret Agent Man says:

    It would be quite impossible for Norton to field their rotary bikes in MotoGP, as the regulation clearly stipulated it must be piston-engined with 81mm max bore. So this means we could see a piston-engined Norton GP bike – must be the fruit of the collaboration with Maxsym Engines, of which Norton acquired a few years back. A new Norton Superbike could also be revealed soon.

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  13. kpaul says:

    Read up on the Stuart Garner , the 39 years old who now owns Norton. Made his money by making things that blow up (pyrotechnics). Don’t think anybody makes money racing in MotoGP and don’t think it makes sense, nor will it is really cost effective in terms of advertising i.e. Norton bikes now on sale aren’t the “Race on Sunday Sell on Monday” type. Unlike Kawasaki and Aprilia who do but got out of MotoGP. Thinks its another publicity stunt. If not, “good luck with that” Mr. Garner

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    • Matt says:

      There are reports in the news of Norton selling superbikes in the future. The article that’s in (among other places) Sport Rider says as much. Whether they go racing in WSBK and/or MGP, and what they’ll race there isn’t clear.

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  14. GaryF says:

    I hate to be a cynic … especially I was among those who said Rossi would never ride the Duc. BUT … no way Norton can make this happen. Unless they’ve got someone on staff with the last name of “Britten.”

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  15. Old town hick says:

    Will this be The Mouse that Roared? I think not. Sounds more like a wacky publicity stunt in the making.

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  16. Jack says:

    Who cares what it is or who it is. MotoGP needs more bikes and more manufacturers playing. I would have expected a bigger name to get involved with MotoGP before Norton though. Where is BMW, Aprilia, KTM?

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  17. jerrylee says:

    so will we see the return of the Wankel rotary? Must be so however I ccan’t imagine the funding or even the direction of Motogp for such a small company. It doesn’t seem to fit their business strategy of small, exclusive retros but I’m all for something different. May a 500cc rotary will be joining the field.

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  18. zipidachimp says:

    It’s not 1951 anymore, toto !
    this makes as much sense as Jaguars’ F1 effort. we know how that turned out.
    stick to your knitting!

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