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  • HRC Boss Shuhei Nakamoto Debrief Transcript: On The 1000, Fuel Limits, HRC's Budget, Motegi And Suzuka   2 years 34 weeks ago

    He said the electronics will still be needed for traction control and wheelie control, and that's why the engine would only be worth 0.15 - 0.20s/lap.... and that the drivability would be no worse but not better than the 800, because of the fuel limits.

  • HRC Boss Shuhei Nakamoto Debrief Transcript: On The 1000, Fuel Limits, HRC's Budget, Motegi And Suzuka   2 years 34 weeks ago

    Fuel pressure limitation is not so important to make direct injection for normal injection system.

    Interesting. I was idly reading a Porsche blurb on their DI petrol engines. They mentioned an injection pressure of 120 bar, which is certainly not generated remotely by a pump! They also mentioned the same 10-15% efficiency improvement that was mentioned in the earlier Nakamoto press conference.

    Although if it's already selling in Porsche show rooms, you'd wonder why there would be an issue about making it work on a bike engine... other than cost.

  • HRC Boss Shuhei Nakamoto Debrief Transcript: On The 1000, Fuel Limits, HRC's Budget, Motegi And Suzuka   2 years 34 weeks ago

    What really took my interest was when electric bikes were mentioned... He said they were not ready for racing, but looking at the development pace - they are ready on par with supersport times (which is faster than Moto2, or at least they were last year) so this has lead some involved with EV to say that they will soon be faster than MotoGP.

    Now bow would they take to an EV entry that nearly blitzes the field? I'm sure it's not likely, much politicking would get in the way but it's a really interesting thought all the same.

  • HRC Boss Shuhei Nakamoto Debrief Transcript: On The 1000, Fuel Limits, HRC's Budget, Motegi And Suzuka   2 years 34 weeks ago

    I would have liked someone to have asked Nakamoto whether the change to 1000cc engines has improved the ridability of the bike so that the electronics package doesn't have such a big influence on overall performance.

  • HRC Boss Shuhei Nakamoto Debrief Transcript: On The 1000, Fuel Limits, HRC's Budget, Motegi And Suzuka   2 years 34 weeks ago

    I agree Oscar.

    If Honda were aggressively pursuing heads on chopping blocks over the Motegi saga, I would expect their dialogue to be much more specific and hardened.

    What I instead see is a more diplomatic approach, especially when compared to the sensationalist theories thrown around in journalistic circles over the last few months. Sometimes 'hits' should be weighed up with maintaining credibility.. but I digress..

    There is no doubt than Stoner and Pedrosa are doing very good things at Honda at the moment, and the thought of Honda dismissing them over such a passionate debate (especially when it relates to safety) is laughable in my opinion.

    Sure, they could terminate contracts over it.. but they won't. They'd have to be batshit mad to even consider it as a realistic solution, and to be fair - Japanese 'honour' has had more beat-up about it than substance over the past oh.. five hundred years or so.

    I'd like to see Nakamoto fall on his sword should something happen to one of his riders as a result of going to Motegi. Let's cut straight to the chase - lets see this honour of which you speak. Let's go old school.

    Maybe some journalists could join him? Shit's about to get real.

  • HRC Boss Shuhei Nakamoto Debrief Transcript: On The 1000, Fuel Limits, HRC's Budget, Motegi And Suzuka   2 years 34 weeks ago

    I rather suspect that Nakamoto was setting the stage for some sort of 'settlement with honour' all round if HRC's rider/s refuse to go to Motegi - allowing Honda to appear to be expressing solidarity with the people affected by such a decision by a 'substantial' fine - perhaps to be donated to a humanitarian fund for the good of the area- while retaining the services of its best riders.

    I think Pedrosa and Stoner would agree with such a move, it would allow them to express some sort of 'this is a good outcome all round, we were able to exercise our right of caution and the people of the area will receive the benefit'. Stoner for one expressed an intention on the part of the riders to do something tangible to show their support for the people of Japan.

    The possible six bikes in interesting - de Puniet would, I think, like to have a chance on a Honda again after his miserable year on the Ducati, and of course the possibility of Marquez being offered rapid promotion from moto2 is there as well. Dovi and Marquez at LCR, Simoncelli and Bradl at Gresini - food for thought.

  • Ducati Building Aluminium Chassis As Parallel Project   2 years 34 weeks ago

    It would sure be great to know what Ducati is talking about behind closed doors at this time in Motogp history. To know where their money limits are, and to know what the available Ducati finances for Rossi and the development (or shelving) of the current set-up are. To know what the Duc Higher Ups are thinking and conjecturing about World Super Bike involvement, etc. It reminds me of a line in the movie 'Brother Where Art Thou' - "Damn, we're in a tight spot!". We'll just have to watch it play out. As one earlier poster said, in essence, "If it's red, loud, and says Ducati on the side, it really doesn't matter what type frame it has." I wish them the best.

  • HRC Boss Shuhei Nakamoto Debrief Transcript: On The 1000, Fuel Limits, HRC's Budget, Motegi And Suzuka   2 years 34 weeks ago

    ...the most interesting part to me was the "termination of the contract" for defecting riders and how unspecific he was about if the penalties were going to apply or not...he was sort of flashing the katana to me...

  • HRC Boss Shuhei Nakamoto Debrief Transcript: On The 1000, Fuel Limits, HRC's Budget, Motegi And Suzuka   2 years 34 weeks ago

    Hi David,

    Good article as usual, thanks.

    Just a slight correction however. You wrote "...possibility of a switch from Suzuka to Motegi". Shouldn't that be "... possibility of a switch from Motegi to Suzuka"?

    Graham

  • HRC Boss Shuhei Nakamoto Debrief Transcript: On The 1000, Fuel Limits, HRC's Budget, Motegi And Suzuka   2 years 34 weeks ago

    Thanks David

    Great interview, entertaining and insightful.

  • HRC Boss Shuhei Nakamoto Debrief Transcript: On The 1000, Fuel Limits, HRC's Budget, Motegi And Suzuka   2 years 34 weeks ago

    Interesting Nakamato San mentions run-off area at the hairpin at Suzuka. From my observations, there is plenty of room, and, I never saw any accidents there in all the years I went to Suzuka.

    There are more dangerous places at Suzuka which are high speed, and, I could see from the telecast of the Suzuka 8 Hour Race, that there are now plenty of run-off areas, compared to the old Suzuka. Dunlop Curve, which was dangerous, now has a big run-off area. That is a high speed corner.

    If the race was at Suzuka, I would be booking a ticket. Never to Motegi, though. Not because if any radiation fear, just that its a lousy track.

  • Ducati Building Aluminium Chassis As Parallel Project   2 years 34 weeks ago

    What does rider availability have to do with engineering?

    Preziosi designed a new bike after the 2007 season. Ducati Corse built it. Stoner rode it. Marlboro Ducati won races. As an engineering exercise, the monocoque design works. The bike has good geometry. It turns. It goes straight. The engine can handle the strain. It wins races in the hands of the right people. When did observational data become controversial? When the GOAT said that the bike was no good? Too bad, the data has already been logged.

    I'm not ranting in defense of any person or any design philosophy. I'm ranting b/c one of the simplest issues in GP (the engineering integrity of the monocoque chassis) has been mottled beyond recognition by people who incorporate chassis-engineering into matters of human perception like corporate ethics or the political power of certain riders or matters of collective opinion.

    Last year, Ducati dropped out of championship contention b/c they did a poor job mating the headstock to the new 2010 Ohlins forks. This year, the monocoque is fundamentally flawed, and the design never worked.

    It is getting a bit out of hand.

  • Ducati Building Aluminium Chassis As Parallel Project   2 years 34 weeks ago

    ...eventually.

    you don't feel the ground

  • Ducati Building Aluminium Chassis As Parallel Project   2 years 34 weeks ago

    I saw VR quoted as "I could ride it that way, but it's not ideal" (or close to those words). Some time ago (pre Duc) VR said (quoted) the one thing he fears is the high side, and tries not to get into that situation. I've wondered if VR considers CS's Duc style too high side risky. Equally he has indicated the feelless front end needs fixed.

    Capirossi was qouted on MCN

    “You feel nothing. You don’t feel the tyres and you don't feel the ground. I don’t know what is happening, I don’t have any feeling and I don’t know where the limit is. You try and think the feeling is not too bad but then you try a little bit more you lose the front. This is the biggest problem.

    When you have a problem with the rear then you can control and slide but with the front you can’t do anything. And when you try harder the bike turns even less", added Capirossi.

    Wasn't the Duc team manager qouted re VR " rather than risk his life, Valentino tries to get the bike fixed." ('get the bike fixed' isn't word for word: too long to find the quote.)

  • Ducati Building Aluminium Chassis As Parallel Project   2 years 34 weeks ago

    Keep in mind that when Rossi says the solution for Ducati is a deltabox frame, he's merely thinking as a racer who can only win on what they are familiar with or with what they see their competitors winning on. He did much the same a few years ago when the M1 was getting smoked by the other 800s and he wanted Yamaha to develop a V4 to compete with Honda and Ducati. Yamaha stuck with the IL4 and have done rather well with it.

  • Ducati Building Aluminium Chassis As Parallel Project   2 years 34 weeks ago

    While I agree that Rossi's opinion should not override the cold hard facts, you've made a bold claim here yourself - that the Ducati is not inherently flawed. Stoner is a phenomenal rider, but he spent a significant amount of time NOT winning with the Ducati during his 4 years on it. In fact, he spent a lot of time either failing to challenge for the lead altogether or picking gravel out of his teeth.

    The Ducati DOES need re-engineering, because they can't find a rider who is okay with no-apparent-reason lowsides. Stoner got tired of that duty and left. Rossi got a taste of serious injury and would rather perfect the package then play the "win it or bin it" game Stoner was stuck in.

    What good is having a bike that only one very talented guy (with a specific riding style and something to prove) can win on if he crashes out or is mysteriously noncompetitive on a regular basis. I say, good for Ducati for recognizing the need for radical change.

  • 2011 Brno MotoGP Test Round Up: All Hail The Thousands!   2 years 34 weeks ago

    re: "What if they changed it, and didn't tell anyone? They could stagger the crank a bit to mess up working off the sound... and the average Ducati buyer really wouldn't care about 18°, I don't think..."

    problem is there's no such thing as an "average" ducati buyer. these changes will be sniffed out in short order. LOL layout of the cylinders would be obvious naturally, but in regards to firing order, that's something they've already done. some D16 iterations had/have the throws spaced at 70.

  • Ducati Building Aluminium Chassis As Parallel Project   2 years 34 weeks ago

    I found the photo I was thinking of, in John Bradley's The Racing Motorcycle: A technical guide for constructors-Volume 2 (fig 5.30, p 343).

    Unfortunately the photo is B&W so it's a bit difficult to be sure, but it looks to be a fully carbon version.

    BTW, anyone interested in frame design etc etc really, really should get a copy of this book.

  • Ducati Building Aluminium Chassis As Parallel Project   2 years 34 weeks ago

    Spent some time yesterday on the couch sheltering from the heat and looking at old photos of GP bike frames. Was reminded that the KR3 had the whole engine mounted on silentblocs... !

    So here's an idea. The rider needs to be able to feels vibrations from the road-tyre interface. To get to him, they need to get through the tyre and the wheel, up the forks and into the clip-ons, so you want good transmission through those components (hence the trick of suspension tuning: filter some frequencies, pass the ones needed for feel).

    Suppose for a thought experiment that the rider had really massive, 10kg bar-end weights. Probably that would kill the feel, since the vibrations transmitted up the forks would not have enough power to vibrate the bars with big weights attached.

    Now back to reality. The steering head is attached to 60-70kg of engine. If it was attached with total rigidity, there could be a similar problem of loss of feel, since the vibrational energy wouldn't be enough to move the motor... that would leave only the movements around the steering head (ie turning steering mode). The rest would bounce off the sudden change in stiffness/mass ratio and be reflected back down the fork ... to cause chatter? So, the more you decouple the engine from the steering head, the more vibration you allow to reach the rider and the less you reflect to cause chatter. On a 250 or even moreso a 125 it doesn't matter so much, since the engine is much lighter anyway. On a 500 it starts to be an issue, and on a SBK or MotoGP or Moto2 it gets serious.

    However, I remember Burgess describing when he started working with Doohan: first objective was to stop the bike wobbling. To do that, they had the front engine mounts made part of the frame, rather than a bolt-on plate: with too much flexibility, a bump could set up a low-frequency oscillation between the frame and engine, that could then turn into a tank-slapper (a feature also for the 916 Ducati, especially over the bump near the finish line at Phillip Island).

    So I'm wondering if the real issue about chassis flex is not so much to make up for limited suspension performance at full lean, but to allow sufficient "feel-vibrations" to get to the rider's hands without being dulled by the dead-weight of the motor... but not so much that the bike tries to throw the rider off after hitting a bump.

  • Ducati Building Aluminium Chassis As Parallel Project   2 years 34 weeks ago

    Can someone tell me which issue it was in? Went hunting at the supermarket yesterday but it didn't seem to be in either of the issues they had on the shelf...

  • Ducati Building Aluminium Chassis As Parallel Project   2 years 34 weeks ago

    I am begging you not to get into the Stoner vs Rossi thing.

    However, I think the rules have a lot to do with Ducati's problems. Too restrictive.

    the ONE TIRE rule is a key piece of the puzzle, not the only one mind...

    Ducati in 2007 had Bridgestones. And they were made hand in glove with and for Ducati.

    Suited the bike dynamics.

    the moment we saw other teams on Bridgestones, then following the one tire rule was when Ducati lost dominance. I agree only Stoner seemed to be able to get the best, but dominance was ONE year. but the Bridgestones went 'average' after being special.

    the new one tire rules massively disadvantages doing anything DIFFERENT, and with that ENGINE layout they need DIFFERENT tires to go with that....

    maybe all Ducati can do is move in line with what the rules direct, or do as now, fail.
    Some rules are benign(to a degree all rules are restrictive granted, pls dont shoot), fuel, engine capacity, weight, but others are far too restrictive.. eg one tire rule.

    It has been alluded to above and those with more knowledge than I possess may be able to bring some light onto this aspect. Or indeed completely debunk my thinking (that too is ok).

  • Bridgestone Press Release: Tohru Ubukata Evaluates The New Tire Rules And 2012 Tire Testing   2 years 34 weeks ago

    Faster warm-up & improved feel together with their phenomenal grip & durability. It sounds like Bridgestone might be building the ultimate tyres 2012. They have been extremely impressive since entering MotoGP.

    A bit of a damned if you do and damned if you don"t scenario though for Bridgestone. Even though a tyre with less performance would be better for the show, what manufacturer would want riders slagging their product at the sports premier show if they lessened tyre performance?

  • Ducati Building Aluminium Chassis As Parallel Project   2 years 34 weeks ago

    discuss, discuss ... yep, that's what we do!

    ride, ride not ... Casey is the only person to date (most likely ever!) to win a MotoGP on the Ducati 800 cc bike. Was it easy to ride? no. Did it take a very specific technique? yes. Did the front end have "issues" for Casey? yes. Is the Ducati GP10/GP11 competitive? no.

    A competitive bike can *facilitate / enable* a top class rider to achieve the podium and potentially win a race. When the class of riders able to accomplish winning consists of *1* person, the bike is not competitive.

    The Yamaha was the most competitive bike of 2010, very competitive in 2011.
    The Honda seems to be the most competitive bike of 2011, the Yamaha close behind.

    Yes, the Duc was the heat in 2007; it's fundamental flaws were not resolved, other
    bikes improved moreso in the intervening years (Honda & Yamaha); or not enough (Suzuki) or gave up (Kawasaki). Darwinism in action.

    Life's unfair; oh well, "that's racing": The Ducati's problems weren't sufficiently addressed prior to Ro$$i's arrival at the land of the Red ..

  • Ducati Building Aluminium Chassis As Parallel Project   2 years 34 weeks ago

    Just because the stated racers cannot win on the ducati means nothing
    Rossi is the only consistent winner in motogp until now. factory bike= wins
    But they are close to getting it to work I believe

    As I have said before 3 years without fine tuning is not good enough.

    Unlimited testing would help but as a rule there will always be a problem of some kind or another with all the makes it is top flight racing after all.

  • Ducati Building Aluminium Chassis As Parallel Project   2 years 34 weeks ago

    'the only year Stoner could ride it was back in 2007'

    Since Stoner won 10 races in 2007 on the Ducati and 13 since then on the Ducati, how does this equate to not being able to ride it? Ducati went from 3 wins, one 2nd and one DNF in its last five races of 2010 to one 3rd in its first eleven races of 2011.

    Rossi is on record in his assessment that Stoner COULD ride the thing very effectively by adopting a high-risk riding strategy and utilising techniques that Rossi has stated he cannot readily learn. Your conclusion not only defies the facts but also denies the validity of Rossi's evaluation of Stoner's ability.

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