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GP Week : Issue 190
The all-new in-line four suzuki MotoGP bike was out again, testing with the regulars and the staying on for two more days of private gallops, to be followed by more days at Mugello in the coming week. Randy de Puniet again had the task of circulating the machine, and placed a respectable 13th-fastest. His time of 1’35.097 was 1.8 seconds off Marquez’s best, but fully half-a-second quicker than his qualifying time on his regular ART for the race. suzuki originally intended to rejoin the series in 2014, but announced the delay of a further year at their previous test run after the Catalunyan GP in June. According to a team statement, the bike had new engine specs aimed at increasing torque with new electronics for better traction control and engine braking. The chassis was also new, and the fairing improved in search of more top speed. SUZUKI GALLOPS ON TOWARDS THE YEAR AFTER NEXT MOTOGP >>> nEWs Yamaha’s long-awaited seamless-shift gearbox made a flawless debut at Misano, wafting Lorenzo to a masterly win. The rider had described the sensation of uninterrupted acceleration as he shifted up on the straight as “like riding a scooter”. More importantly, with his high-corner-speed style and smooth lines, the uninterrupted flow of power played to his strengths. “You can change gear still at an angle. With the old gearbox sometimes the bike would wheelie, or be unstable.” But the unit’s arrival was marked by rueful words from Yamaha Motor Racing chief Lin Jarvis, grumbling at the cost of a technology whose sole current use is for MotoGP racing, and only became necessary to circumvent the regulations. “If Honda had not invested a huge amount of money to go seamless, we wouldn’t have invested a huge amount of money to do the same,” he said. It was the nature of competition, he admitted, adding: “We’re always looking to improve technology. At the moment the seamless shift has never been on a road bike, but in ten or 15 years, we don’t know.” Honda developed its seamless-shift technology to get around 2010 regulations banning “automatic” gearboxes and dual-clutch instant-shift systems. Ducati bought into an after-market British system already in existence; but Yamaha had to devise enough differences in its new system to avoid Honda patents. Jarvis also referred to another regulation that had hiked costs, apparently to no purpose: “when the regulations went from 1000cc engines to 800cc, but then came back to 1000” . HRC’s Livio Suppo brought up another point where regulations impose artificial distance between racing and road bikes. “There are many sports bikes in production with electronic suspension that is not allowed here in MotoGP. The rules should be linked to production,” he said. SEAMLESS G-BOX? Lorenzo: "It's like riding a scooter!" Bridgestone wheeled out a new rear tyre for the Misano tests, to universal approval of riders, calling for it to be made available as soon as possible, and hopefully in time for the next round at Aragon. The new cover is changed for improved edge- grip and warm-up performance, and is meant to take the place of the current “harder” of the two options offered at each GP. Though actual tyres vary from circuit to circuit (including asymmetric mixed-compounds where required), this year has seen the harder rear option barely used, and the harder front only seldom. The company has a new front available as well, but according to a spokesman it will be held back for the present, because giving teams two tyres to test rather than just one would be in danger of confusing the issue – especially when they had modifications of their own to test. “The harder rear has hardly been used this year, mainly because the improved electronic controls make it unnecessary,” he said. The new tyre offered better edge grip, taking account of the electronic and mechanical changes. Riders have a choice of two compounds for each weekend, with the less powerful CRT bikes using the softer rear as the harder choice, with an extra-soft rear as their second option. Factory riders have cast envious glances at this tyre. Improved warm-up performance is also at the top of the riders’ wish-list for the front tyre, after a number have crashed this year in cool morning conditions, often on their first or second laps. Dani Pedrosa is one victim, and at silverstone also Marquez, Crutchlow (again), Hayden and several others. RIDERS WELCOME NEW BRIDGESTONE REAR 18 GPWEEK.com // 18 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: