Honda changing “more than expected” to suit new rear tyre

Honda technical manager Takeo Yokoyama says HRC is having to try “more than expected” to get the 2020 RC213V to work with the new Michelin MotoGP rear tyre construction.

Honda changing “more than expected” to suit new rear tyre

Michelin introduced a new rear tyre carcass for the 2020 season which offers better grip and durability in race situations.

But it has had a profound effect on the pecking order this year, with a number of riders – most notably Andrea Dovizioso on the Ducati and those on the 2020 Honda – struggling to adapt their riding to the tyre.

The 2020 Honda has proven to be a difficult motorcycle, and the added grip from the rear tyre coupled with an inertia problem with the engine is causing problems under braking for its riders. 

Alex Marquez, Stefan Bradl and LCR’s Cal Crutchlow have also struggled to extract the maximum from the tyre in qualifying, with the latter’s sixth on the Spanish Grand Prix grid the only top 10 result on Saturdays for all three.

Speaking during the Catalan GP weekend about where the Honda needs to improve, Yokoyama said: “I think what we are working on the most is how to use the maximum potential from the new rear tyre construction. 

“Honestly speaking, I don’t think we are using the maximum [from the tyre] because there are some areas we had to change a lot the bike. 

“The philosophy of the Honda from the tradition… we have to try a lot of things, actually a lot more than we expected when they decided to change the tyre.  We are trying a lot of things.

“I wouldn’t necessarily agree [the Honda deflects the tyre more], but the way to use – including the riding line – maybe needs to be changed.”

Read Also:

As part of cost-saving measures in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, all non-concession manufacturers have had their engines frozen until the end of 2021 and will be unable to develop them. 

This will force Honda to work exclusively on chassis and suspension to improve the difficult handling characteristics of the RC213V, though Yokoyama is unsure whether this will be beneficial or not to HRC. 

“Of course, if we have the freedom to keep developing the engine, this is one more extra freedom to play with – not only for the horsepower, but the handling, rideability and everything,” he added.

“So, when engine development is frozen, it’s more complicated. It’s more difficult to fix the problem if you have some problems on the bike, which we do have.

“If somebody asks me if it’s a handicap or an advantage for Honda, I can’t really judge. 

“The reality is we can’t change the engine, but we still have many things around it to improve the performance.” 

shares
comments
Morbidelli “looking forward” to Rossi fight in 2021

Previous article

Morbidelli “looking forward” to Rossi fight in 2021

Next article

Espargaro “convinced” he can replicate KTM success at Honda

Espargaro “convinced” he can replicate KTM success at Honda
Load comments
Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward.

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021
How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya Prime

How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya

The expectation on KTM to replicate its winning form from 2020 this season made its difficult start to the new MotoGP campaign even more disappointing. But a key update has seen KTM's fortunes reversed over the last week and returned it to the top step of the podium in Barcelona

MotoGP
Jun 7, 2021
The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement Prime

The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement

It's not been a happy start to 2021 for Valentino Rossi at the Petronas SRT satellite squad, with performances that are a shadow of the rider that utterly dominated MotoGP at the start of the new millennium. At the age of 42, how much longer can he go on?

MotoGP
May 19, 2021
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Prime

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout.

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Prime

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so.

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Prime

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021