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GP Week : Issue 162
2013 HONDA COMES EARLY TO SOLVE TYRE WOES Honda delivered two “completely different” MotoGP bikes to Mugello, for tests the day after the Italian GP, as the factory strives to solve tyre-chatter problems afflicting factory riders Stoner and Pedrosa. Both engine and chassis were different, said HRC vice-president Shuhei Nakamoto. “Two bikes will arrive on Saturday for the Monday tests,” he said on Thursday evening. “Originally this machine was for next year, but our test riders noticed some differences. If our riders here give us a good result, we will start to give them this choice even this year.” In the case of the engine, revised for more power delivered in a more usable way, Stoner could use it as soon as Laguna Seca in two weeks, but Dani will have to wait a bit longer. This is because Stoner is still using his original two of the allocation of six engines, while Pedrosa took his third at the Sachsenring. The redesign had been to address the problem of harmonic vibration that both have been suffering. “Especially Casey has been struggling with this from the rear side since the beginning of the season,” he said. This had been improved race by race. “At the Sachsenring we could manage this better.” The new softer front tyre, introduced for all at Silverstone four races ago, had brought a whole new level of chatter to the front end of the factory Hondas, though nobody else has the same complaint. Nakamoto couldn’t guarantee that the new chassis – with revised stiffness ratios and weight distribution – would solve the problem because the Japanese test riders had never induced the problem: “The reality is, it is a matter of lap times,” he said. “If they could be as fast as Casey and Dani, they would be (racing) here.” The new bike looked very similar to the current RC212V, but was thoroughly changed throughout, he said. But the vee angle of the engine was not altered. MOTOGP >>> NEWS 11 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: