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GP Week : Issue 4
16 M oto GP news >> Is ‘The Screamer’ coming back? Kawasaki testing new engine configuration to bring back old sound WHILE current MotoGP bikes sound fantastic, but a little too similar for some tastes, Kawasaki may solve that problem before the end of the season. It is planning a return to the ‘screamer’ engine configuration they used at the start of the four-stroke MotoGP era. Like Yamaha, Kawasaki uses an in-line four; like Yamaha the crankshaft has been modified and firing intervals changed to emulate the off-beat pulses of a V4, as used by Honda, Suzuki and Ducati. The engines thus sound gruff and growly. The advantage of the unevenly spaced power pulses is better traction and improved tyre life, at the cost of some fuel consumption and top-end power. With conventional crankshaft timing – two-up and two- down, with evenly spaced power pulses – wheelspin is more of a problem, while the exhaust noise turns into a blood-curdling scream. Kawasaki tested a screamer before the season, and is doing so again in the two days after the Spanish GP. “After the January test it went back to the dyno for a month,” said team chief Michael Bartholemy. “The main purpose of testing now is to check the tyre situation. People changed to different firing intervals mainly to improve tyre use. It was always our plan to go ahead with the other motor, and possibly come back to it,” he said. GP MEDIC Dr Claudio Costa came in for some scrutiny at Jerez after rising Swiss 125 rider Randy Krummenacher was rushed to the operating theatre with previously undiagnosed internal injuries. His condition, said Spanish doctors, was so life- threatening that he may have died with the hour. The teenage KTM rider was injured after crashing his mountain bike on a training ride the previous weekend and at first was not too concerned by abdominal pain, thinking it was just bruising. He visited Dr Costa on arrival at Jerez, who concurred. On the morning of practice, however, Krummenacher was suffering severe pain, and decided to go to a real hospital – where he underwent an immediate two-hour operation and was admitted to the intensive care unit. He had ruptured his spleen, lost almost three litres of blood internally, and was in danger of infection. Close call for 125 star