During the winter there has been a lot of talk about the gap that Honda is called upon to make up from the competition. It has also been accused of depending totally on Marc Marquez. In fact, there is one other manufacturer more concerned than Honda: Yamaha.
Not only that, in fact, the Iwata-based company lost the 2022 world championship after gaining an advantage over Bagnaia’s Ducati of no less than 91 points at the Sachsenring, exactly in the middle.
The advantage was squandered, precisely because Yamaha was able to count only on Fabio, given the problems of Franco Morbidelli and the absolute inconsistency of the RNF satellite team, which then moved to Aprilia.
The result is that in 2023 there will be only two M1s on the track, with the Iwata engineers called to recover the engine disadvantage, but not only that, without having any other data available than those of El Diablo and Franky.
It is true that the signing campaign led to the arrival of Luca Marmorini, a former Ferrari engineer to solve the power problems of the in-line four-cylinder, but the competition did not stand idly by with KTM which hired technicians from Ducati and Red Bull F1, not to mention Aprilia which above all strengthened the aerodynamics area and was the only manufacturer, together with Ducati, to provide new ideas in this field. Just think of the lower part of the fairing and the small spoiler on the tail of the RS-GP tested at Mugello which preceded the stegosaurus fins of the Ducati.
All innovations that Yamaha then introduced later to verify their effectiveness.
Already because now in MotoGP, thanks to the restrictions with freezing and the number of engines and aerodynamics, every detail counts and the result depends on the harmonious functioning of each component.
If aerodynamics in fact improves grip in certain situations, on the other hand it “eats” up power. To fully exploit it, therefore, it needs ‘expendable’ horsepower because the drag or aerodynamic penetration coefficient (indicated as Cx) due to the wing elements has increased a lot compared to the fairings of Kenny Roberts’ times.
That’s not enough: the lower the Cx, the more easily the bike will cut through the air and as a result the lower the fuel consumption.
So Yamaha, while trying to increase the power of the engine, but at the same time looking for a more efficient aerodynamic shape, will see on the one hand a part of the power dissipated by the wing appendages and on the other an increase in consumption.
Not knowing the data, we venture that it may have been precisely these problems that diminished Fabio Quartararo’s enthusiasm for the efficiency of the renewed engine after the Misano tests.
And this without counting that every innovation needs careful testing before being approved, with all that follows. We recall the delay accumulated by Ducati precisely in 2022 for the choice of engine configuration, but also of the front lowering…
Read More: MotoGP, Sepang test: Yamaha in the hands of Cal Crutchlow for Quartararo’s M1 2023-01-21 09:28:48