Originally Posted by OveRReV
HRC has been to sacrifice a championship just so they could learn as much as possible with their concepts of prototype parts for next years' bike, remember the NR500's (oval pistons & 8valves per cylinder V4) when HRC decided to go back into GP racing they spent huge amounts of resources for 3 years & not a single GP championship did they reap with that but they have valuable lessons gained from that experience & the next year they made an NS500 (V3 2stroke) & took the championship.
Honda wasn't so much sacrificing a few championships in order to learn with the NR as they were trying to beat 2 stroke bikes with a 4 stroke. Soichiro Honda detested 2-strokes and in the past Honda was able to do beat them with 4-strokes so they figured they could do it again.
In the late 50's and going into the 60's they achieved it by adding cylinders, valves, revs, and gears. So, true to form, they had planned to build a V8 but the GP rules limited cylinders to 4. The NR500's oval pistoned engine was a solution to that limitation that just ended up not working out well enough to win races at the time.
but lately it seems Ducati is headed toward the right direction & with an annual budget of less than 25% of what HRC spends for a season they certainly making it for the hoards of HRC engineers back in japan harder to come up with something better to improve the RC211V, they have probably maxed out the potential what the current RC211V has to offer.
Ducati Corse has about 100 employees and HRC has about 125. Notice that Ducati Corse doesn't give its customer team (D'Antin) anywhere near the support that Honda gives to its customers. Don't get me wrong, Ducati has done a fantastic job but they are not doing with significantly less employees nor with a shoestring budget. Less than Honda for sure though.
The whole reason Honda gave Nicky the 06 RCV is because they felt the 05 has reached the end of its development cycle and was not going to get much faster. The 06 was by no means a world beater when they started the season but they were hoping that by the end of the season the could reach enough of its potential to win consistently. Unfortunately I don't think they're there yet.
like the original RC211V they must start with a clean sheet of paper & build it from the ground up with no shared components from the 990cc bike, Ducati has learned a big deal from their WSBK domination & has transferred the technology to their GP program with amazing results but the same could not be said to HRC whereas the CBR1000RR hasn't won a single WSBK championship but it's smaller sibling the CBR600RR still dominates the WSS class for 3years running, that is the kind of result HRC is expecting of their bikes but there's an old saying "what works for one may not work for the others".
Well number 1, Ducati is not competing against full-on HRC bikes in WSBK, they're all effectively privateer CBR1000RR's, with some support from Honda Europe for Ten Kate at least.
Look at the CBR1000RR's (the HM Plant bikes are
full-on HRC leased bikes) in BSB and they won the constructors title last year and just narrowly missed out on the rider's title. This year Kiyonari is in a tight points battle for the championship with Lavilla and Haslam. The current CBR1000RR is probably not as good a starting point for racing as the K5 GSX-R1000 but I think HRC bikes would be doing a bit better against factory Ducatis.
as for 800cc MotoGP bike i'll bet it would be much similar to the RC45 but without the single-sided swingarms & if Honda wins championships with it you can expect a road going version to be made in very limited quantities & a stratospheric price tag to match.
Unless the 800 has a V4 I doubt it will have anything to do with the RC45. The RC45 was had handling problems and didn't do as well on the world stage as its predecessor (RC30) or its successor (RC51).