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GP Week : Issue 175
Yamaha's victorious 1000cc M1 was longer and slower round the corners than the previous- generation 800. But the compromise had worked out, yielding a more stable motorcycle better able to take full advantage of the extra power and top speed. This was the main thrust of the company's annual technical briefing at Valencia. But full details were kept under wraps, deliberately, after previous more frank exposes had helped their competitors. "They came too close," smiled MotoGP group leader Kouichi Tsuji. "This year we will be more discreet." While no figures were given, he revealed that they had prepared for the extra power by adding length and shifting the weight balance for ward. The longer wheelbase meant slightly slower cornering speed, but combined with a grippier rear tyre and a much more sophisticated anti-wheelie programme, which alone gained on average 0.15 seconds per lap, it resulted in a bike better able to exploit an average top speed increase of 11 km/h. "We looked at our strong points of braking and cornering, and looked for good balance," said Tsuji. The for ward weight bias had also improved steering feel and corner entry. Torque and horsepower graphs comparing 800 and 1000 showed the expected increase in both, but the curves were flatter and the peaks at slightly lower rpm. The new 1000 was "much more powerful" than the previous-generation 990cc M1, said Tsuji. The higher speeds meant braking force was higher and braking points were earlier. On balance, lap times were faster. but not as much as anticipated. "We expected better lap times, but they were not so different," he said. Yamaha officially confirmed for the first time the reason for two failures that had helped to ruin Ben Spies's season. The rear suspension collapse at Laguna Seca was caused when linkage mounting bolts stripped their thread, and had been fixed by upping the specification. His engine blow-up at the next round at Indianapolis had been caused by the failure of an overheated valve. Unable to modify engines already in use, this had been addressed by adjusting the fuel mixture to cut the temperature, said Tsuji. YAMAHA REVEAL THEIR SECRETS (But not as many as before) MOTOGP >>> NEWS MOTOGP >>> NEWS COMBINED WEIGHT RULE AT LAST FOR MOTO2 Almost three years of complaints from heavier riders have at last born fruit in Moto2, with a combined rider-machine minimum weight rule introduced for next year, with lighter riders obliged to carry ballast. One big loser was Scott Redding, tipping the scales at 74 kg (without leathers and helmet), compared with 59 kg for Marc Marquez. Lightest in the class is Tomoyoshi Koyama, at 48 kg. "So many races I've had to punish the tyres and ride so hard, only to lose it all again on the straights," said Redding. "Sometimes I wonder why I race in Moto2." "It's been a long time coming, but it should make a big difference," said a team spokesman. But it will throw even more focus on tyre management, with no more excuses from either side. The decision came at the GP Commission meeting, after all Moto2 riders were weighed, with protective equipment, at the Australian GP. Hitherto, the class has had only a minimum machine weight of 140 kg. The new combined weight limit is 215 kg. Moto3 inherited a combined bike-rider weight from the 125cc class, set at 148 kg for the new-this-year four-strokes. MotoGP retains only a minimum machine weight, currently set at 157 kg after a controversial four kilogramme boost announced after the end of last season, when machines had already been designed for a 153 kg limit. titanrace.com High performance engine oil providing optimum protection. LUBRICATION p LU 11 GPWEEK.com // 11 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: