motogp-honda-casey-stoner-dani-pedrosa-podium GEPA Pictures/Gold & Goose

The big change for MotoGP next year is the move back to 1,000cc machines from the 800cc class. Having tested the new Honda RC213V at Brno this week, Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa explain how the new machine for 2012 is shaping up.

The RC213V package

Casey: “We found some positive things and confirmed others that allow us to move forward. I had some problems with bounce, but it’s something that shouldn’t be too difficult to fix, along with the braking and electronics, two areas that will improve along with the chassis.”

Dani: “In my first outing in the morning, the feeling was quite similar to those I had for the first time in MotoGP, you can see the difference in torque and power [from smaller-engined bikes]. Maybe I'm still riding it like an 800cc bike and I need to understand this a bit better and ride differently, but it seems to work quite well. Compared with the 990 I rode in 2006, the power is quite similar, but it’s slightly lighter in weight and behaviour. On a new bike, electronics, engine, chassis… everything in general is imperfect, but based on my past experience with new motorcycles, it’s not a bad starting point. We have to get the chassis working the right way, because the tyres next year may have a slightly different make-up, and that affects the chassis.” 

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Straight-line speed

Casey: “Compared to the 990 from 2006, the 1,000 is more or less the same, I think, though it’s got more grunt. When I went from [testing the] 1,000 [in Jerez] back to 800, I didn’t notice a huge difference, especially in the taller gears, because you couldn’t put that power down quite as much anyway. You’re carrying that speed a bit more down the straight, and you’re able to run a taller gear because you’ve got that much torque down the bottom. So you can still ride it in a few different options, but in the higher gears you’ll be able to play around with it a bit more.”

Cornering

Casey: “I’ll attack each corner the way it needs to be ridden. There’ll be different surfaces in different areas, and sometimes the ‘ideal line’ won’t be the ideal line on that particular corner. With the 1,000, I think it’s going to be a little less dependent on that sort of riding, because you’re going to be able to make up a little bit of power… just concentrate more on getting out of the corner, rather than getting through it quite as fast. It’ll change the way people ride a little bit.” 

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Tyres

Casey: “I think the way 1,000s were beforehand, there was still a tyre battle, and there was a tyre battle for the first part of 800s, which produced some great races and passes back and forth and all the rest of it. Now with 1,000s, there’s not going to be a lot of difference. The main thing you notice is in the higher gears – fourth, fifth on the 800 – you basically don’t have a lot of power to spin, so when you spin you’ve got to be on the edge of the tyre. But with the 1,000, even when you pick the bike up it’s still trying to spin a little bit. That part will be slightly different when you’re riding in the wet in different situations. I also think the way you control wheelies is going to be a little bit different. The 1,000 is going to want to pop wheelies through more gears rather than how the 800 does, in second and third, sometimes fourth. But a 1,000 will want to pull a wheelie in just about every gear, so you’re going to have to control that a little bit more. [In this test] we tried a couple of new tyres and we had some problems, we lacked traction and it caused more bounce, so we refitted the standard tyres and the problem was gone.”

Overtaking

Casey: “Some riders believe that with more torque, you may be able to make a pass off a corner. Even Dani on the same bike as me is able to out-accelerate me just because of the way he rides. So that strength is his, but then he’s got some other weaknesses in his way of riding. And also with more top speed, it’ll change the brake markers, and most of the passes are done on the brakes now.”

Casey and Dani’s words are courtesy of HRC and Repsol Media 

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