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GP Week : Issue 110
Dani – from rostrum to the surgery DANI Pedrosa was bound for surgery on the Monday or Tuesday after the Jerez weekend, after doctors discovered a new reason for the left arm problems that spoiled his first two races. The first diagnosis was of nerve damage to the brachial plexus (junction) affecting his arm, leaving it weak and numb as the race wore on. But further investigation in the week before the Spanish race revealed a different type of residual damage from the injury and subsequent surgery to a broken collarbone at Motegi late last season. Instead, it is a pinched artery, that in certain positions cuts off the blood supply to his arm. The constriction can be repaired by relatively minor surgery. “Usually I hate operations,” he said after the trouble struck him again at Jerez. “ This time I am looking forward to it. “ The artery is not always closed – it depends on the arm position.” He explained. “ This has been the problem all the time, but what the doctors could see was the nerve plexus problem, and we thought it was that,” he explained, adding when questioned that he had not yet decided whether to change his medical team. In waspish mood before the weekend, he was reluctant to talk about the problem, preferring to concentrate “on this race” – feeding speculation that he is feeling the pressure of playing second fiddle to a faster team-mate (Casey Stoner) for the first time in his career. It’s unfair – Stoner blames marshalls Honda’s gearbox secrets revealed Moto GP news >> THE secrets of Honda’s quick-change gearbox, which gives riders an almost seamless flow or power as they accelerate out of the corners, were revealed, when two patent applications were unearthed and published on the internet. The publication includes an engineering drawing of the gearbox, although without explanatory notes it is not clear to a layman how it works. What can be seen are how the gearsets on the two shafts are arranged sequentially, first to sixth in a line, with each shaft a mirror image of the other. Simplified, it resembles the two cones of a continuously variable transmission, except with gears in constant mesh. The clever trick is the split-second method of disengaging one gear-set and engaging the pair of gears adjacent, hardly interrupting the power application. This is obvious from the exhaust notes of the Hondas, rising and falling from one gear to the next without any discernible break for the shift to take place. The reports state that there are two patents covering the system, one in Japan and the other in the USA. The Japanese patent, filed last year, is in the name of the Honda Motor Company. The later US patent does not name Honda, and dates from February 3, 2011. Rival companies are known to be working on a similar system, while others are commercially available as after-market accessories.