2012 MotoGP Prototype
After Casey Stoner completely dominated the French Grand Prix Sunday, he headed to the Jerez circuit Tuesday for some laps aboard the 2012 Honda MotoGP 1000cc Prototype.
Stoner, who won two out of four rounds in 2011 MotoGP so far, was supposed to be joined by teammate Dani Pedrosa, but the Spaniard was forced to miss the test due to breaking his right collarbone at Le Mans Sunday.
At Jerez with Stoner were Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) test riders Kosuke Akiyoshi and Shinichi Ito; both have tested the 1000cc MtooGP prototype at Suzuka in April.
HRC says Shinichi performed the shake down of the new machine early this morning at the Jerez track, before Casey began his testing schedule at 11 a.m. local time in “perfect sunny conditions.”
HRC says Stoner completed 50 laps (221km), using both the standard 800cc Bridgestone tires the Repsol Honda team is using this MotoGP season, as well as the new prototype tires for 2012.
HRC began working on the 2012 protoype when the new regulations became officiao for the MotoGP class, which includes a capacity of 1000cc, maximum bore of 81mm with four cylinders. The team was looking forward to hearing Stoner’s feedback as the bike is in the early development stages.
HRC says: “A crucial point with the 1000cc engine will be fuel consumption, as again in 2012 bikes will keep the 21 liter tank as per the 800cc machines. To deal with this issue, Repsol recently sent experts to Japan to develop a specific fuel and lubricant for the new bike and engineers at the Repsol Technology Centre are focusing on a fuel which will not only offer optimum fuel efficiency but also deliver maximum performance.”
As each manufacturer only has eight days of testing during the season with contracted riders on the 2012 machine, HRC will evaulate today’s data and decide whether or not to use a test day on Wednesday.
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda MotoGP) says: “Everything has gone very well, very positive. It’s just nice to ride the 1000cc again, to feel the engine and the power. I had a lot of fun, I enjoyed the first day because everything we’ve tried seems to be working, so no complaints. The biggest disappointment is that Dani is not going be here to test as he is important to the development of this bike.
“I hope that soon HRC can get his input as well because we need as much data as possible, in order to be ready for next season. We didn’t focus on anything special today, just tried to understand what the bike is doing, how it reacts on the brakes and things like that, also considering some the issues we have with the 800cc right now.
“The braking point seems to be stronger, stability in the front going into the corner seems to be very good, and of course we want to understand how the power delivery is, and it is very smooth so no problem. In general, we haven’t changed too much from the set up we have on the 800cc right now and the feeling is very similar, so it’s pretty good.”
Shuhei Nakamoto (Vice President of HRC) says: “I think we had a good day of testing, the machine worked well as we hoped, without any specific issues. Of course, it’s just the first day so we will need to improve but we tested many things and everything was ok. Casey is happy with a more powerful engine, also drivability was ok and on the chassis side we need to keep progressing.
“Unfortunately, Dani is not here and it would be better to have both riders’ feedback. Casey’s comments are very similar to the ones we received from the test riders, and this is good. Hopefully we can get Dani’s impressions soon to keep working on the development.”