This sea­son fea­tures Mo­togp’s big­gest tech­ni­cal shake-up since 2002, so how are the fac­to­ries re­act­ing to 2016’s new tyres and elec­tron­ics?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - 2016 Motorgp Silverstone Preview - By Mat Ox­ley MCN CON­TRIB­U­TOR

‘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.

Be­neath that con­sis­tent Rep­sol liv­ery, the 2016 Honda RC213V is a vastly dif­fer­ent beast

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