MOTOGP’S TECH EVOLUTION
This season features Motogp’s biggest technical shake-up since 2002, so how are the factories reacting to 2016’s new tyres and electronics?
‘Last year we could put down the power because the slides were nicer with our electronics’ MARC MARQUEZ
This year’s Motogp bikes may look pretty much identical to how they looked last year but they are very different animals if you delve deep enough. For 2016 Dorna introduced the biggest technical shake-up since four-strokes arrived 15 years ago, making pit lane a busier place than it’s been in years.
The two main changes – tyres and electronics – have required engineers to adapt chassis set-up and riders to adjust riding technique.
Most importantly, Bridgestone tyres have been replaced by Michelins. Initially, Michelin’s front slick offered less grip, while its rear slick gave more. That required crucial changes to chassis stiffness and bike balance, which now changes race by race as Michelin gets its front tyre up to speed.
It’s the same story with the electronics. Race by race, data engineers unlock the secrets of the same-for-all rider-aid programmes written by Magneti Marelli. The software is slower and less sophisticated than the factories’ old tailormade kit, so the riders are working harder than they’ve done in years to tame the 260+bhp they have available in their right hand.