Honda pair fight back on smoother Fireblade

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

Sil­ver­stone saw a huge Honda resur­gence with both Dan Lin­foot and Ja­son O’hal­lo­ran run­ning right at the front in both races and Lin­foot post­ing the fastest race lap of the week­end. Those per­for­mances tasted par­tic­u­larly sweet for Aussie O’hal­lo­ran, who was hav­ing his first race since break­ing his leg and wrist at Thrux­ton last Au­gust.

“The con­di­tions have been re­ally tough and it’s not easy to be deal­ing with that in my first race back af­ter a long time,” O’hal­lo­ran said af­ter fin­ish­ing sixth and fourth.

The Fireblade may have won the cham­pi­onship in 2013 with Alex Lowes, but it’s now in its eighth sea­son of com­pe­ti­tion and up against the much newer tech­nol­ogy of the Kawasakis, BMWS and Du­catis. Much of the devel­op­ment of these new bikes has re­volved around elec­tronic con­trols and so the ar­rival of BSB’S con­trol ECU has nul­li­fied a lot of their ad­van­tage.

“We spend days and days on the dyno all win­ter long,” O’hal­lo­ran’s crew chief, Paul Wil­liamson said.

“We did a lot of work to the en­gine in 2014 and now we have tried a lot of specs to make the bike eas­ier to ride for this sea­son. Last year there was no prob­lem with speed but it was maybe a lit­tle bit of a hand­ful. We have lost some power low down and gained some on top but we have tried to make it eas­ier for the rid­ers to get on the throt­tle.”

Still op­er­at­ing with­out fly-by­wire throt­tle has made it harder for Honda to con­trol the power and forced the team to make im­prove­ments in other ar­eas.

“Last year we did a lot of work on ig­ni­tion but that up­set power de­liv­ery and caused prob­lems with the chas­sis,” he ex­plained.

“We have made a smoother en­gine now that is bet­ter for the rider, for the tyre and the chas­sis.”

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