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GP Week : Issue 195
The first of the proposed new generation of 'Open' non-factory MotoGP bikes made its public debut in Valencia, at a low-key unveiling on the eve of the race. Dressed in black and looking very similar to the current factory bike, the RCV1000R was shown to press on Thursday, and was out on track for official tests on Monday. Although early runs were somewhat unconvincing in terms of times, new riders Hayden and Aoyama were still working on base electronic settings, and Redding was injured. HRC vice-president Shuhei Nakamoto was bandying about more impressive numbers. At Motegi tests, the new bike’s lap time “on the same afternoon with the same rider” was 0.3 seconds slower than the factory machine, and when fitted with the softer tyres available to non-factory machines, had shrunk to 0.17 seconds. Asked if those times were set by a Honda test rider or by Casey Stoner, he laughed and said: “Stoner is a Honda test rider.” The production version is based closely on the RC213V factory V4, but with some important differences, including changes to the crankcase castings, it was revealed. Where the works bike uses pneumatic valve springs, the for-sale version has steel; and it lacks the seamless-shift gearbox. Most significantly, it will use control electronics supplied rather than the organisers, rather than the free software of the factory bikes. In exchange they get 24 rather than 20 litres of fuel, though the Honda is configured to carry only 22. Non -factory bikes also get 12 rather than five engines, but Honda’s package offers only four, with one or t wo rebuilds. Honda gave the power output was quoted as “more than 175 kW” (234.7 bhp). The price is pegged at 1.2 -million Euros a year for one rider: this includes two machines and basic spares, two spare engines, and engine maintenance. Nakamoto had already revealed that the company will make a healthy loss on the project, and now said: “ T he gap between factory bikes and the current CRT machines was a little too big, so this is the way we like to help private teams. The target was to produce a reasonably competitive machine for a reasonable price.” PEDROSA GOES UNDER THE KNIFE Dani Pedrosa went almost straight from the test sessions to hospital for surgery to his collarbone ... not the left one he broke at the sachsenring this year, but the right one, the snapping of which after a collision with the late Marco simoncelli ruined his 2010 challenge. Since that time, he has been racing with the injury plated, fortunately without significant problems. Surgeons removed the plate and 13 screws successfully. “Now I need to rest up, but I can’t wait to be fully fit soon,” he said. Lorenzo suffered a similar injury and repair in his Assen crash, but fell again two weeks later, bending the plate and rebreaking the bone. Nicky Hayden was also bound for the surgery, for attention to his right wrist, which has been bothering him for much of the season. “I ’m not sure what they’ll do because it’s been a while since I saw the doctors, but I guess they’ll be removing the screw anyway,” he said. That was the result of a wrist injury sustained when he was knocked off at the first corner at Valencia in 2011 by Alvaro Bautista. RACER FOR SALE Honda launches new MotoGP B-teamer MOTOGP >>> nEWs 18 GPWEEK.com // 18 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: