May 20, 2011
Honda also appears to be quite far along in the development of next year’s 1000cc MotoGP bike. A test a few days ago at Jerez with Casey Stoner, as well as a Honda test rider, resulted in the following video. Not only are Stoner’s comments positive, as well as those from the Honda representative, the bike looks extremely smooth and well-controlled for an early prototype. Stoner is hardly babying the machine, or tip-toeing around the circuit as though in early development stages.
With the immense power the new 1000cc bike is undoubtedly putting out, electronics are surely playing an important role in corner exits even at this early stage. You will notice that the bike is not stepping-out uncontrollably at any point during the video.
The thought that the 1000cc era might prompt a return to “steering with the throttle”, a technique that could favor American riders, is probably false given the modern electronics controlling these bikes and the obvious need to preserve fuel and tire life. A shame, in some respects, for those of us who remember Mick Doohan and others using this technique to steer the 500cc two-stroke monsters years ago, and even the more recent, similar tactics used on the first four-strokes in the class displacing 990cc.