Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Jerez debrief with HRC’s Cristian Gabarrini

Jerez debrief with HRC’s Cristian Gabarrini

New for 2014 are the four customer Honda RCR1000R bikes on the MotoGP™ grid. Ridden by Drive M7 Aspar pairing Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama, as well as GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Scott Redding and Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham, the project is overseen by HRC’s Cristian Gabarrini.

Cristian, provide us with an overview of your position…
My role basically involved two activities. First, I’m the link between the work we do on track and the HRC engineers who work at home: everything related to possible problems that may arise, including reliability issues or requests made from teams for any kind of improvements, pass through me, without intermediaries. Second, I’m available to support the teams with regard to the setup: during the race weekend I can provide assistance to the crew chiefs to compare the data in order to understand more quickly the right direction to take.

Is there an exchange of information between the four riders aboard the RCV1000R?
Yes, there is, but it’s obviously filtered due to a confidential agreement with the technical suppliers: Gresini, for example, is the only one to use Showa suspension and Nissin brakes, therefore HRC is monitoring the situation in order to avoid a transfer of confidential information.

What about a first assessment of the project after the first four races of the season?
I would say that the assessment so far is quite positive: the first most critical phase, in which a completely new bike is brought on track for a race weekend and in which often emerge reliability issues that can hardly be verified during testing, has been overcome quite easily. This important phase was concentrated basically in the first two testing sessions of the year and has also been facilitated by the large amount of data available, having four riders on the track. Then we had the opportunity to begin to focus our efforts on performance improvements and on finding the best way to take for the bike setup, with all four riders. Some upgrades have also been made ​​to the electronic calibrations, as allowed by regulation. Now we are carrying on a more specific work, rider by rider, with the aim of assessing their common needs. If a complaint or a request comes from all the riders, it’s clear that it’s a characteristic of the motorcycle which still needs to be improved or adapted.

Have you already experienced similar requests from all the four riders?
Yes, with regard to the electronics: we therefore worked in that direction, giving to our teams some upgrades that have been appreciated by all our riders. From the setup point of view there is still not a meeting point, but this is due to the fact that the riders have a different riding style and completely different characteristics. Redding, for example, is forced to stay on the bike in a different position being much taller and heavier than Hayden or Aoyama. I suppose, however, that in a few races also the needs regarding chassis setup adjustments will converge.

Speaking about electronics, what kind of work has been done on details?
The software available for the Open bikes offers a certain number of adjustments for each area, such as traction control, engine braking, torque curves, etcetera If a request is made by a team for a further ‘extra’ adjustment and Dorna believes that’s reasonable, this upgrade is provided to all. At the moment, we haven’t had the need to add something because the current software is able to provide us with what we need. In HRC, however, we have adapted what we already have available to our specific needs, in particular with regard to the engine brake management: among the various ways in which you can manage it, we have identified the most suitable for the characteristics of our bike.

Redding is the only MotoGP™ rookie aboard the RCV1000R: what about his apprenticeship?
First of all, Scott has a very positive approach: he’s very open to listen to the advice coming from his team and from HRC. He's working a lot on his riding style because he comes from a category where the engine power is very limited, so he is used to carry a higher cornering speed, while in MotoGP™ you need a compromise that allows you to raise the bike as soon as possible on the exit - increasing the contact surface of the tyre, with benefits on tyre wear and on acceleration. After all, this is an issue on which all the riders coming from a smaller class must work. Scott is also very tall and heavy, so he needs a specific setup, influenced also by the fact that he’s really aggressive under braking.

MotoGP, 2014

Other updates you may be interested in ›