MotoGP NEWS Guru
Join Date: Sep 2005
Thanked 17 Times in 13 Posts
Feedback Score: 4 reviews
While Honda continues to pour over the RC212V and how it has completely underestimated its design focus as well as the competition's almost seamless adaptation to the new 800 class, Honda promises that it will have the next evolution of the 212 in Brno for testing.
But even so, other factories are gearing up some changes as well: Ducati will be testing a new fairing design to help it turn better and cope with windy conditions (at the request of championship leader, Casey Stoner). Yamaha will be bringing a new M1 engine, featuring pneumatic valves. This will make the already quick handling M1 a speed demon.
The "evolution" 212 will be available for testing by Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa, but a full-fledged, raceable bike will not be available to them until later in the season. Which begs the question, has Honda conceded defeat for 2008? It appears they have determined that the 2007 version of the RC212V is wrong on all fronts, having seen exhaust modifications, whole new chassis and fork modifications.
The gleaming redemption of this all has to be Honda's dominance on the World Circuit. James Toseland has taken the Ten Kate/Hannspree Fireblade to the top of the World Superbike standings, exerting a dominant double win performance at Brands Hatch, all but securing his second world championship. Meanwhile, Sofuoglu was crowned World Supersport champion with three rounds left on the new 600RR Ten Kate/Hannspree Supersport machine. But is it okay at Honda HRC HQ?
It is the premiere class that Honda relishes the most. It is where much of its HRC budget goes to, so much so, they have capped the engine supply for 2008, disallowing the Roberts team of fielding a two-man team. To add fuel to the fire, Toseland is leaving the Honda outfit in WSBK and heading to MotoGP, riding the enemy's bike -- Tech3 Yamaha, potentially on dominant rubber (read: Bridgestones).
This is just the world circuit. In AMA Superbike, Honda is chronically racing for third place, behind the Yoshimura Suzukis. The highlight though is AMA Formula Extreme, where Josh Hayes is riding dominant on the new 600RR as well. So, how can Honda get it right in so many places, but be so miserable at the top of the game (GP)? Can Honda get it back? Will it be with a rider like Pedrosa, when the "next Rossi" is already slated to be riding a Yamaha (read: Jorge Lorenzo)?
With the current trend, the future looks bleak for Big Red on the level of racing where it has been so successful in the past and the level that Honda prides itself on being so dominant. The upcoming Brno test will tell the tale of the Empire. Only time will tell, but as Hayden has said, "Honda don't get it wrong for long; they'll figure out how to get back on top." Adding on his return from holiday to Brno, "[Brno is] a track where horsepower is your friend with some big uphill sections and pretty long straights. So it will be exciting to see what HRC brings back to the party this weekend."
If it's true, let the party begin!
"Itīs not easier to ride, but I donīt need something easier, I need something faster." - Nicky Hayden #69
Next Track Days (NESBA): September 10 - Summit (Main)