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Magneti Marelli introduces software upgrade

Magneti Marelli introduces software upgrade

Monday’s sole day of testing in Jerez gave Magneti Marelli the perfect opportunity to move the development of its ECU on to the next step. The system is currently being used by the majority of those on CRT bikes.

Following each of the races so far this season in Qatar, Texas and Spain, those using the Magneti Marelli ECU (Electronic Control Unit) have been reporting back to the Italian company to inform of the changes they would like. In line with these requests, the first significant software update was rolled out for the Jerez test on Monday.

“We have improved some things following requests from the teams and the MotoGP™ Director of Technology (Corrado Cecchinelli),” Marco Venturi, Head of Motorsport for Magneti Marelli’s Bologna Site, explains to “This will effect wheelie control and the anti-jerk strategy, which relates to the re-opening of the throttle after the apexes of corners (and should allow for more stable mid-corner ride).

“The first step this year was to make sure the system was running properly and being used by everybody in the best way possible, using all of the performance available. It can be quite complex for the teams, so it needs to be understood step-by-step.

“The next step is to improve the performance of these bikes. The most important thing to see is whether they have made an improvement in their lap times compared to last year and whether the feelings of the riders and technicians are as we expected, in order to improve the drivability of the bike and performance in general.”

One man testing the upgrades on Monday was Colin Edwards, with the NGM Mobile Forward Racing rider pleased to see that enhancements are being made.

“It’s all about pounding out the laps and looking at data,” says the American. “Also, you can’t just go out there and be a second off the pace. You need to be right on the pace so these guys can study the data, looking at front wheel speeds and lean angles to see where they have improved. It’s just about doing the laps. Step-by-step, hundredth by hundredth and tenth by tenth; not that it’s a whole lot faster, but it’s getting better.

“With the first system that we had, we wanted to do things but just didn’t have that parameters in the software. They have listened to some of the things that we need and we’ve got them on there now, so that’s a good sign.”

Providing more encouragement for Magneti Marelli, Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera headed directly to Q2 qualifying and started tenth on the grid for Sunday’s race in the south of Spain, which took place before the upgrade package was in place.

“We were very, very happy,” Venturi adds. “It seems that we have made a good step. In my opinion the team has as well, by knowing all of the small things better and learning opportunities they have with the tuning. They have improved their calibration with many small things: traction control, wheelie control, engine braking and so on.”

Currently running the system are all CRT runners except those on ART (Aprilia Racing Technology) chassis. Although Michael Laverty is powered by an Aprilia engine, his frame is designed completely in-house by the PBM team and so, unlike teammate Yonny Hernandez who rides with a full ART package of chassis and engine, the Northern Irishman does use the Magneti Marelli ECU.

Having now carried out the test, Edwards is expecting further improvements in lap times as the MotoGP™ season continues at Le Mans in France next weekend.

MotoGP, 2013

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