2014 MotoGP Sepang 1 Day 2 Round Up: Fuel And Tires Favoring Honda, Ducati Improves, Hayden Suffers

Motorcycle racing championships are like a pendulum, flowing back and forth between one rider and another, between one manufacturer and another. One year, Yamaha is on top, the next, it's Honda. One year, Yamaha manages to exploit the rules best, the next year it's Honda.

On the evidence of the first two days of testing – scant evidence indeed, but all we have to go on at the moment – conditions appear to favor Honda. With a liter less fuel to play with, and the new tires being introduced by Bridgestone, it looks like the tide is flowing Honda's way, while Yamaha is set to suffer. For the Factory Option entries at least; in the Open category, the tide is flowing very firmly in the other direction, with Aleix Espargaro and the NGM Forward Yamaha blowing Honda's production racer out of the water.

That the fuel reduction would favor the Honda was expected, but the advantage might be bigger than Yamaha would like to admit. After a tough first day of testing, Jorge Lorenzo spent all of Wednesday trying to recover his confidence in the bike, as his crew searched for a set up that would smooth power delivery and give him the precise throttle control his high-lean-angle – and high risk – strategy demands. They were successful, at least in renewing Lorenzo's confidence in the bike, he told the press.

A change to the electronics gave him the feeling he had with last year's machine, and he was able to ride more freely. With that change made, he went in search of a fast lap, setting it at around 3:30pm, in the hottest part of the day. Given the disastrous effects on grip with the heat has at Sepang, setting a fast time at that point in the day means there is more to come. Fuel, however, remains a problem which Yamaha's engineers will likely face all year.

A more pressing problem could turn out to be the new spec of rear tire Bridgestone has brought to the test. The Honda riders were impressed, praising the way the tire worked in the conditions, and commenting that it was definitely an option they could use in a racing situation. It was a better replacement for the hard tire which had hardly been used in 2012 and 2013, Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez said. At Yamaha, the feedback was diametrically opposite. Jorge Lorenzo dismissed the tire completely, saying that all it did was spin, providing neither grip nor drive. Valentino Rossi said it produced vibration, concurring with his teammate that it provided little grip.

The biggest downside to a spec tire is that changes to the tire require a redesign of the bike (usually minor, but a significant investment nonetheless). Honda suffered with the new front Bridgestone introduced early in 2012, taking most of that season to get the bike sorted. If the new rear Bridgestone is accepted, Yamaha face a similar situation this year. The combination of less fuel and a tire which doesn't suit them could mean the Japanese factory is in for a tough year.

Honda, meanwhile, have no problem at all with fuel. Neither Marc Marquez nor Dani Pedrosa were working on fuel consumption, something which every Yamaha rider was doing, telling reporters that the hot weather at Sepang meant that the bikes used less fuel anyway. An ominous portent for the Yamaha team.

What Honda had been working on was a new chassis. Both Pedrosa and Marquez had tested it, Pedrosa generally positive, while Marquez was ambivalent. It was better in braking, but it made the bike more nervous in the fast corners – 'the place where you can take advantage', Marquez explained. They were due to make another evaluation tomorrow, along with a long run to test tire life and race set up, something all the teams were looking at.

Fuel isn't a problem for the NGM Forward machines of Aleix Espargaro and Colin Edwards either. With 24 liters instead of 20, the Open class bikes are incredibly quick, at least in the hands of Aleix. The elder of the Espargaro brothers has been impressive on both days of testing, and posted a time of 2:00.547 early in the session. He was elated, but also realistic, saying that fast laps were possible in the early part of the race, while he expected to suffer in the last seven laps of the race, as tire wear took its toll. He had impressed his veteran teammate Colin Edwards with his pace, prompting the Texan to quip, 'It would be nice to be 25 again. Fresh balls and full of p*ss and vinegar.'

So on the face of it, it's advantage Honda, with three Hondas on top and four Yamahas behind. But a closer look makes it clear it isn't that simple. Marc Marquez was fastest, with a lap of 1:59.926, just three tenths off the outright fastest lap around Sepang set by Casey Stoner. But behind him, Marquez had a gap of four tenths of a second to Dani Pedrosa, while the difference between Pedrosa in second and Bradley Smith in seventh was just just over a quarter of a second. While Marquez is in a world of his own, the gap between the rest of the Hondas and Yamahas is negligible. Yamaha may be struggling with fuel and the new tires, but they are not as far behind as you might expect.

Ducati, also, were not as far behind as they might have feared. Andrea Iannone is having a very impressive test, free as a satellite rider is to concentrate on bike set up and setting a fast lap. His 2:00.855 was impressive indeed, the fastest Ducati round Sepang since 2012, when Valentino Rossi was just a few hundredths quicker. He posted another sub-2:01 lap, and a whole host of other 2:01s.

The factory riders, too, were faster than the Ducatis of the past couple of years. Andrea Dovizioso's low 2:01 was better than any Ducati lap at Sepang last year, as was Cal Crutchlow's mid-2:01. Both Ducati riders spent all day on the GP14, working on find the best setting for the new chassis. The new bike offers a clear improvement on corner entry, but the two men remained both realistic and diplomatic. They can brake later, and enter the corner better, but the understeer and the lack of grip on corner exit remain. Ducati still faces a mountain of work.

As does Honda, ironically. Or at least, should they choose to do it. Nicky Hayden had spent all day watching other riders fire past on the gas, losing out on the underpowered Honda RCV1000R. He had spent the day working on electronics and most importantly, on adapting his riding style once again, learning to brake much deeper than the Ducati he had spent the last five years on allowed. Much faster on corner entry, and still with more to make up, Hayden cut the gap by over a second. That still left him 2.3 seconds behind Marc Marquez, though the gap to Dani Pedrosa in 2nd place was slashed to under 2 seconds. He had been expecting so much more, however. 'If I'm honest, it's a bit demoralizing seeing the gap so big,' Hayden told reporters. The Aspar team would soon run out of options with the bike set up, leaving them needing more power, something only Honda can provide. Given how asthmatic the bike sounds down the front straight, there is clearly room for improvement. Whether Honda is prepared to provide it is another question altogether. Perhaps if Aleix Espargaro keeps dominating the Open class, they could be persuaded to supply a few upgrades. For the moment, Hayden is left riding what feels more like a Honda Cub than a Honda RC213V. A frustrating experience at Sepang, but perhaps he will stand more chance once MotoGP hits Jerez.

Motorcycle racing championships are like a pendulum, flowing back and forth between one rider and another, between one manufacturer and another. One year, Yamaha is on top, the next, it's Honda. One year, Yamaha manages to exploit the rules best, the next year it's Honda.On the evidence of the first two days of testing – scant evidence indeed, but all we have to go on at the moment – conditions appear to favor Honda. With a liter less fuel to play with, and the new tires being introduced by Bridgestone, it looks like the tide is flowing Honda's way, while Yamaha is set to suffer. For the Factory Option entries at least; in the Open category, the tide is flowing very firmly in the other direction, with Aleix Espargaro and the NGM Forward Yamaha blowing Honda's production racer out of the water.That the fuel reduction would favor the Honda was expected, but the advantage might be bigger than Yamaha would like to admit. After a tough first day of testing, Jorge Lorenzo spent all of Wednesday trying to recover his confidence in the bike, as his crew searched for a set up that would smooth power delivery and give him the precise throttle control his high-lean-angle – and high risk – strategy demands. They were successful, at least in renewing Lorenzo's confidence in the bike, he told the press.

Comments

Honda

Honda knows it isn't good for their image if Hayden can't beat the FTR Yamaha.

However, in my opinion Espargaro is making that bike look a lot better than it is, and Hayden isn't exactly on the same level.

Total votes: 59

It would be typical Honda to

It would be typical Honda to hang NH out to dry, as long as MM & DP are at the front. I don't expect anything from Honda for their production racer this year (maybe next year?) but I guess since 2007 us Nicky fans are used to this kind of thing.

Total votes: 51

Great insight

Great insight, thanks David!

Total votes: 38

Well this isn't...

... looking so good at all for the championship. If Honda DOES ends up with a distinct fuel advantage through 2014 (and with the tiniest riders no less!), we're in for a frustrating time as 2-3 Hondas walk away at most rounds. I don't care what kind of fan you are, that's just piss poor racing.

And all because of some monumentally selfish behavior from Honda (all the other Japanese fall in step behind the Big H as far as I know). This is a Motorcycle World Championship let me remind you, not an exclusive R&D test bed and nothing else.

Total votes: 51

I don't agree that it

I don't agree that it requires multiple brands to see good racing but I do agree that it's not good for the championship, with one qualification: with two factories (let's assume Ducati goes open) competing in the factory option, and everyone else competing in the open class, having Yamaha have a crap time with factory bikes and dominating (yeah, I know, more assumptions) in the open class, the potential downside is that Yamaha leave altogether, but if 20 liters for fuel accelerate their move to the open class (as Dorna wants) then that may not be a bad thing for the championship in the medium to long term.

I've always found people's arguments about the racing being poor when one brand dominates with more than one rider to be a little superficial. You can have great races with people on the same machinery as long as there's some competition between riders on those machines. Requiring there to be multiple brands competing feels just as arbitrary to me. I loved watching Spies/Mladin racing in the US, same any time there are highly competitive team mates on the same bikes, the racing is very enjoyable. Would it be better if there were different brands? Sure but given the different technical approaches by different brands, you have to expect some advantages one way or the other, levelling that is what WSBK is for.

Having said all that, I think the championship does suffer when something that feels so disconnected from racing - fuel limits - is where the factories compete but I guess without some limitations, they're always competing on dollar terms, just where that investment goes. Honda is pretty much always going to win with the deepest pockets, especially when the competition is restricted in terms of what can be developed.

Total votes: 40

Darling Nicky

Man, you just have to feel for this guy. He just can't seem to catch a break.

Honda MUST have known their proddie bike was going to be very underpowered compared to the Yamaha. Yamaha made it very clear at what level their 'customer' engines would be at. Therefore No excuses from Honda about 'spirit of the rules'. Honda look very bad...This coming from a guy who works for Honda (Acura actually)

Nicky deserves better than this...

Aleix the Alien looked phenomenal today.. Surely he must get a few podiums this year. I'm even dreaming of the top step

David, do you think this fuel conservation formula may be exposing the weakness of the inline 4 design with it's power robbing balance shaft?

Total votes: 48

Engine design - My thoughts exactly

I think that's exactly what we'll be witnessing in 2014. In fact, we've already seen it in 2013.
There's only so much you can do to reduce fuel consumption. Reduce friction and tempreature mostly. The lean mapping the Yams are obviously forced to use, results in a very peaky power delivery.

By the end of it, an inline four, especially one with a big bang firing order is much more prone to vibrations compared to a perfectly balanced V-engine. You just can't omit the balance shaft completely, so you'll always have one more moving part, robbing the inline-engine of precious fuel more than Honda's V.

Dunno if a switch back to conventional screamer firing order could help? But then again, that wouldn't really help smoothing out the engine characteristics either, would it?

Combine that with a rear tire that's not working properly for the M1 and you have a factory team with major problems in sight.
I'm not usually that pessimistic. But we might be in for a really boring season, at least when it comes to the race for the championship.
The Open Class might actually be way more interesting in 2014. If Ducati actually join, that is.

Total votes: 37

??

The extra shaft in the Yam is to accommodate the reverse spinning crankshaft. Since the crank spins backwards there needs to be another gear mesh to have the output sprocket spinning in the proper direction.

The big bang firing order is a side affect, the primary reason for the crossplane crank design is to reduce the fluctuation in reflected crank inertia making the signal to noise (combustion torque to inertia torque) ratio increase.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 32

two different things

You'll have to explain that to me.

I'm under the impression that we're talking about two different things here. You're talking about the primary drive from crankshaft to gearbox. Correct me if I'm wrong but that doesn't have anything to do with a balance shaft. Isn't a balance shaft merely a rotating mass, necessary to reduce vibration, caused by the crankshaft? As far as I know, the crossplane design, by nature, causes more vibrations on a lower frequency.

And about the big bang firing order: I think that's a bit of a hen-egg-situation, isn't it? I see what you mean but I always thought the crankshaft design was implemented because of the firing order in the first place? I mean it's obvious that the thing is just horribly balanced compared to a conventional 4 cylinder crankshaft with 180° degrees offset, right? But because of the ignition timing, we get a lower frequency of higher torque pulses, which is easier on the tire and more controllable in theory.

But I also understand that the behavior in engine braking is harder to tweak because of higher resonance vibrations at inlet and outlet and because of higher "braking" forces during load change. And that, again, is a result of the firing order.

Am I wrong?

Total votes: 39

Different but related

Like most things in motorcycle design!

The first thing is that the Yamaha M1 crank rotates backwards compared to the rear wheel. Because of this the crank gyro force acts counter to the front wheel gyro force resulting in a very maneuverable motorcycle. In order to have a backwards crank they need another shaft in the drivetrain to have the output sprocket spin in the correct direction. This shaft also acts as the counterbalancer. The counterbalance aspect is not absolutely necessary but since you need the shaft (bearings and gears) for proper sprocket rotation then adding the imbalance is a very minimal additional power loss for a decent reduction in vibration levels. Smart design.

>>I think that's a bit of a hen-egg-situation, isn't it?

No. The design goal was a reduction in the crankshaft inertia, the big bang firing order was something that had to be done to get the design goal accomplished. I think that the concept of 'big bang' (not in a cosmological sense) in itself is flawed. Engines that traditionally are referred to as big bang also have a minimal reflected inertia. Coincidence? I don't think so. It is only recently that the understanding of motorcycle dynamics has progressed far enough to realize that. Thanks GP racing! An engine with a 180 crank can be configured to run with 2 cylinders firing at the same time so you can have big bang without low inertia but don't think it gives any advantages besides overloading your trans gears.

>>I mean it's obvious that the thing is just horribly balanced compared to a conventional 4 cylinder crankshaft with 180° degrees offset, right?

The crossplane setup actually has less overall vibration than a 180 crank but it does have a larger rocking couple (vibration wanting to shake the engine, rocking couple wanting to spin the engine) instead. The crank counterweights may look weird compared to a nice symmetrical 180 crank but it is better overall. Actually a flat crank needs a counterbalancer running at twice crank speed (it is cancelling secondary vibration as a flat crank has no primary vibrations) which would mean a 30k+rpm shaft inside the engine. A crossplane crank only needs to cancel the rocking couple which happens at crank speed so the jackshaft/balance shaft can run at crank speed.

>>But because of the ignition timing, we get a lower frequency of higher torque pulses, which is easier on the tire and more controllable in theory.

That's the big bang theory but I don't think it matters. This video starting at about 2:20 is exactly what the benefit is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEXUrO5wYcE The graph at 3:30 is for a normal flat crank and at 4:00 is the crossplane crank. The change in the shape of the torque curve from even firing to 'big bang' does not make much of a difference but the reduction in the inertia torque does. That is what Furusawa-san realized. He looked at it as a signal to noise ratio problem. What the rider wants is the combustion torque but with a flat crank the rider has to deal with a lot of 'noise' that is inertia torque, especially at high engine speeds. With a crossplane crank the 'noise' signal is greatly reduced, making the combustion signal much clearer to the rider. Its like having a conversation in a noisy room then going into a quiet room while speaking at the same volume: you can hear the discussion much easier. The difference between a 4 hump torque pulse or a 3 1/2 hump torque pulse is negligible.

>>But I also understand that the behavior in engine braking is harder to tweak because of higher resonance vibrations at inlet and outlet and because of higher "braking" forces during load change.

Not sure what you mean here. The mass of the gas flows at the inlet and exhaust are negligible compared to the engine's moving parts so are not a factor. And not sure what load change you are referring to.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 38

Big bang

>>  It is only recently that the understanding of motorcycle dynamics has progressed far enough to realize that. Thanks GP racing!

... and no electronics required to learn this. Also interesting to note that no road bikes other than the R1 use this design. Though it is clearly very interesting, it appears not to have that much use in bikes designed for day-to-day use.

Total votes: 34

Your hole is getting bigger

Better to stop digging.

I know lots of people who use their R1s daily. Its about the ability to innovate that allowed this feature to be developed. The same ability to innovate that is being strangled by Dorna's current philosophy. As somebody mentioned its the mindset of racing forcing you to do things better that is transferred to the design of more mundane machines. They are all better because engineers that can design a great racebike think more about details that count to the rider than engineers that don't.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 35

Using R1s daily

I know lots of people who use their R1s daily too. I'm not sure how much benefit they get from the improved inertia torque at 55 mph, though.

The main point remains. Of course racing can offer a factory an excellent platform to innovate. But that is not professional racing's reason to exist. Racing exists without any innovation at all, just go watch a flat track race, or a speedway race.

The point here is should Grand Prix racing being about technical innovation, or about entertainment? The paying customers say entertainment. And the paying customers put twice as much money in as the factories do. He who pays the piper...

Total votes: 29

There's no definite answer

>> The point here is should Grand Prix racing being about technical innovation, or about entertainment?

Obviously there's no simple answer to this, as this is a matter of taste. To answer this question, we would have to define "racing" first. Or better: We would have to define exactly who it is, we're here to watch compete.

Is it the best riders in the world on, let's say contemporary racing machinery (or even the exact same bike for everybody - as in Red Bull Rookies Cup for example)? Or is it the best riders on the best machinery, humans are able to come up with (under a given set of rules, that is)?

If it is the latter, and I think we all agree that it is, then a championship will always consist of both parts - the rider and the manufacturer. And there will always be discussions about how much of a championship is down to whom of the two.

I can only speak for me: But as much as I enjoy the racing. And that's the main reason why I'm watching. I do also enjoy the race of technologies and I like watching a manufacturer using every last window of opportunity that the rules are offering. Honda freezing the fuel to get more in the tank is a good example. I see how people think it's ridiculous, that this is even "necessary". But if it wasn't the fuel, it would be something else, really. I'm not a defender of the fuel limit by any means. But there will always be rules that spectators just like competitors will fight over. And there will always be the ones who are better at stretching them to their advantage. This story is as old as premier class racing. Before the fuel it was the tires (overnight specials).
In F1 or other car racing classes, it's weight limits.

When Audi started winning WRC-championships and IMSA cup-races in the US because of their 4WD there were people who were calling it a good idea (usually the fans), and there were people who were calling it an unfair advantage (usually competitors). Fact of the matter is, it wasn't against the rules.

All I'm saying is: I think the current rules are utter nonsense. Partially, at least. But changing them won't bring an end to endless discussions about the rules.

Total votes: 28

Thanks for explaining

Very enlightening, indeed! Thanks for explaining! That's what I love about this website --> Its readers.

>>An engine with a 180 crank can be configured to run with 2 cylinders firing at the same time so you can have big bang without low inertia but don't think it gives any advantages besides overloading your trans gears.

Isn't that exactly what happened at Ducati, when they tried to run their V-engine with two cylinders per bank firing simultaneously?

>> The mass of the gas flows at the inlet and exhaust are negligible compared to the engine's moving parts so are not a factor. And not sure what load change you are referring to.

Not sure if I translated that correctly. I'm referring to "load change" as the transition from closed throttle to open throttle and the engine starting to drive the rear wheel. I remember that it was stated in an article in a german motorcycle magazine, that because of cylinders 1,2 and 4 firing in a rather short interval, tweaking the behaviour of gas flows at inlet and exhaust is more significant to get the engine to perform a smooth transition from running idle into acceleration.

But as you say, compared to the different crankshaft designs, that seems rather unimportant.

Total votes: 30

no problem

This is something I likely spent way too much time thinking about!

>>Isn't that exactly what happened at Ducati, when they tried
>>to run their V-engine with two cylinders per bank firing simultaneously?

Yes, they likely saw much higher max gear loading but no other benefits.

>>Not sure if I translated that correctly. I'm referring to "load change" as the transition from closed throttle to open throttle and the engine starting to drive the rear wheel.

Could be another gear mesh and the increased inertia complicating things. Cracking the throttle open is a very delicate transition so maybe changes not noticeable in other areas will be noticed here.

>>I remember that it was stated in an article in a german motorcycle magazine

Like myself they are likely speculating!

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 29

Awesome post

Once again, Motomatters readers/posters are the bestest! what a great discussion. Thank you for the enlightening replies/discussions

Total votes: 36

an inline 4 will have 5 main

an inline 4 will have 5 main crank bearings. a v-4 can get away with sharing crank pins and will end up with 3 main bearings.

Total votes: 28

HONDA 'Open Class' Magic...

Another Moto-3 fix is on the horizon for Hayden's RCVr in the months to come. Although the world will be watching the battle between the factory bikes like last year, the real racing will be had starting with P-4 through P-10. The war between the satellite machines and Open bikes will be the most intriguing scenarios to witness by Dorna and the fans.

Total votes: 32

well hang on a minute...

no one forced Yamaha or Suzki to run in line 4s
no one is forcing Yamaha to run the engine freeze, 20L and their own software
all manufacturers could hire teeny tiny riders

I find it interesting the Honda always seems to cop the blame for being the best at exploiting the rules. If history tells us anything it would be that this is THE year for a manufacturer to exploit the rules and actually beat Honda. Run 12 engines and 24L and quit whining.

I will admit Honda do not have a good record with their treatment of Nicky and there is no excuse for that but I don't think they deliberately made a slow bike just to show him up. They made a slow bike because the couldn't be arsed putting any real effort in and did it just to comply with requests/demands to make bikes available cheaper.

If the Yam cannot race competitively with 20L they need to accept that and move on, and so do we. Yes 20L may well give us the worst championship year in recent racing history but the blame for that doesn't lie with one manufacturer. Hell, if they can beat all other manufacturers with 5 engines and 20L per race while everyone else has to use 12 engines and 24L what does it say about the engineering of Honda. Yam accepted (or appeared to) the challenge at the end of last year, if they fail trying that is NOT Hondas fault.

Personally I'm hoping that we will see some "creative" alternatives come out of the options available - perhaps Ducati will lead this.

Total votes: 53

Clever Yamaha

I think the FTR Yamaha is a test bed for an open class "factory" M1 due in 2015 or 2016.
They have everything to gain on doing that.
Spec ECU is coming whether they and Honda want it or not.
Honda have taken a wrong step with the RCV1000R, its too slow. It will not work as a replacement for the RC213V. They need to have the RC213V technology with its pneumatic valves etc, but with the spec ECU, as an open class entry instead.
Ducati shouldn't even think about entering as a factory, they should just go straight for the open class.
It is the future, and what matters is winning, and those who have got the best package with the spec ECU will be the winners. Probably not this year, but most likely the coming year.

Total votes: 35

Agreed. I think it'll be

Agreed. I think it'll be interesting to see what changes are made to the open class rules in 2015 if they are competitive with the factory option bikes. If Honda plans to continue with the factory option, they may want further restrictions on the open class into 2015 - that may be an interesting thing to watch.

Total votes: 33

Open bikes competitive?

A more appropriate statement would be 'if the Open class tires give the bikes more performance than they lose with the spec electronics.

That's what is being left unsaid. Its not that the additional 4l of fuel compensates for the crude electronics, its that the softer tire allows more performance, at least for a lap. The big question is will a soft rear tire last 20-something laps when used with a true 260+Hp GP engine, 24l of fuel and relatively primitive electronics. I have not seen any lap by lap analysis so don't know how consistent AE was but his comments on suffering the last 7 laps in a race lead me to believe that tire life will be an issue for the FTR Yamahas. Not so much with the proddie Hondas.......

If we really wanted to see the difference in performance between a 20l Tech3 bike and a 24l MGM bike they would need to use the same tires. I think that would push AE a bit further back.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 39

Egg Zachery

The tires.

Nobody mentions the softer tires.

It's like 24L + 12Engines + BetterTires is STILL not enough to make up for custom code on a uniform ECU.

Therefore, and without further ado, custom code is the single biggest performance differentiator in the paddock.

Just some lines of code that control acceleration account for and better:

20% more fuel, 2.4x the number of engines, the freedom to develop those engines, and better tires.

So why not allow, encourage and incentivise the focus on this amazing code?

Code is the cheapest component of a racing motorbike, and can instantly be shared amongst many as there's no manufacturing and production time, only design and parameter settings.

We live in the digital age, Facebook is a thing, and yet we're wanting to plump the depths of history and the failed efforts to make F1 exciting by dumbing down the single greatest differentiator in terms of bike performance?

Genius.

/s

Total votes: 34

I blame Miss Information

She keeps saying spec electronics will lower costs without saying how.

>>Code is the cheapest component of a racing motorbike, and can instantly be shared amongst many as there's no manufacturing and production time, only design and parameter settings.

>>we're wanting to plump the depths of history and the failed efforts to make F1 exciting by dumbing down the single greatest differentiator in terms of bike performance?

Stop talking sense, this is entertainment, dammit!

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 28

"Code" is not cheap

Just look at some of the largest companies in the world.
Microsoft, Oracle etc. What do they sell? software.
And fact is that software is much of what differentiates a top team from a bottom team nowadays.
So if everyone is forced to use the same software, that will make that part of the motorcycle cheaper.
On the other hand, the money the bigger teams put in will be placed somewhere else instead.
In F1 that money was put into aerodynamics. In MotoGP we don't know yet, but I'm sure they'll find something.

Total votes: 26

Yeah, the money will always

Yeah, the money will always flow somewhere else!

Here's what I think is interesting about the "code cost" issue:

Code is relatively cheap for the manufacturers building the machine as part of the R&D. I mean, it's expensive, but as part of the overall package, not overwhelming, and you can call it research for other applications (street bikes). And it's dirt-cheap to replicate.

Code is relatively expensive for the teams, who cannot bring a factory worth of people to the issue (Did anyone else note that Honda has 2,000 employees working in the company's motorcycle R&D division?)

So going to a spec box/spec software solution that can be tweaked by the factories actually will wind up creating an even bigger gap between the Factory and Open teams. Imagine if HRC or Yamaha actually spend a few years focused exclusively on tweaking the spec box, extensively testing the results, and then used it exclusively on their factory stuff.

Actually, you don't need to imagine. See BSB.

Total votes: 30

Cheep.

"Code is the cheapest component of a racing motorbike"

This despite all the factories and riders saying that the cost of electronics is the largest single cost in their budget...

Casting an engine block is a relatively fixed cost. Getting 1km/h more out of a race bike through creative engine tuning using electronics could be an open-ended overtime bill for tens of development engineers.

If you are saying the cost of an actual bit is cheap, then yeah - infinitesimally small, but the cost of putting the right bit in the right place at the right time is incredibly expensive.

Total votes: 9

The 'proddy' Honda

The Honda engine spec given to Nicky and the rest so far is clearly not the engine spec that Casey tested, going .3 sec/lap slower than the full factory bike. That narrow gap, if true, surely made Honda rethink their approach to the class, after all, with electronics out of their hands and more fuel and engines available, they would be selling a package potentially capable of running with their full pull bike for a fraction of the cost. Can't have that, so they cut the power accordingly.

Total votes: 44

Yami still has time

If they can't sort out the fuel thing they can go the Open route too. Then Honda could face the fuel "challenge" it surely bullied for.

If they want to go green they could award points for fuel left after a race, perhaps.

Total votes: 34

Speed trap numbers

David, I know that the teams are recording top speeds, is there any of that information around for you to see? If so what is the speed difference between the RCV1000R and other machines. Is it obvious to a bystander that the RCV1000R is down on power?

Thanks,
CPW

Total votes: 34

Difference in Honda/Yamaha philosophy to Open class

Honda have been dead against the Open class and were either surprised by how close Casey was to the factory bike with it and decided to knock back the engine spec a little, or were lying about the performance to start with to try and scare Yamaha off the category. Admittedly early days, but so far it looks just like their Moto3 effort being rudely caught out by KTM.

I know the open Yamaha is quite a lot of (2013 factory?) Yamaha with an FTR fairing, so you could argue it is pretty much already the factory test bed open M1 in a small disguise.

Mind you, if Yamaha were to now go Open with everything - not inconceivable - it would end the Factory class immediately and force Honda to switch. Iannone is clearly giving it his all - he has the right attitude for that bike - but Ducati might as well go Open now, nothing to lose.

Total votes: 38

Tires

Honda has put themselves in the same position as 2012 regarding tires. They loved the tires that Bridgestone introduced for 2012, only to have the other teams choose something different that took half a season for them to figure out. I said then, and say now, these Honda boys need to learn the art of sandbagging. If something really really works, dont go telling everyone how much you like it.Lose at testing, bitch about the tires, and your fellow competitors will stab you in the back and select the tires you "hate".

Total votes: 31

Cub to MotoGP bike

Cub to MotoGP bike comparison means it SUCKS!!!

Total votes: 27

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