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Yamaha unveil new M1 prototype in Jerez

Yamaha unveil new M1 prototype in Jerez

Yamaha unveil new M1 prototype in Jerez

Yamaha made their public debut with the YZR-M1 prototype last weekend in Jerez for the IRTA tests. Visually different to the 2003 spec YZR-M1s set to be used by the Fortuna Yamaha Team and the Gauloises Yamaha Team this season, this Research and Development prototype features a unique Öhlins twin shock rear suspension system, a four-into-one under seat exhaust system, an inverted rear swingarm and an experimental Deltabox chassis.

Technical Test Team Manager Shuji Sakurada feels that the addition of a dedicated full time test team will form the perfect platform to evaluate the potential of new ideas, and doing so alongside the factory teams provides the ideal environment to compare data. This is why the testing team is also based in Italy, at the Factory Team´s main workshop, and why Yamaha has employed the services of top rider and former MotoGP World Championship challenger Norick Abe.

$$$ ´We are always evaluating new concepts in an effort to ensure the YZR-M1 continues to be competitive,´ explains Sakurada. `Our main focus, at the moment with the test team, is chassis development. The twin shock rear suspension system is just one example of a fresh approach. The belief is that it could improve traction and tyre life, something we can evaluate accurately thanks to the support we have from Michelin.´

Although the under seat exhaust offers little benefit in outright power the main advantage of the reshaped system allows the chassis engineers more room to develop the rear swingarm unit, in turn complimenting the modifications made to the YZR-M1´s chassis. Featuring two main damping units across the top of the main chassis this concept explores the flex characteristics of the alloy frame and is targeted at improving rider feel.

MotoGP, 2003

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