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The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Automotodrom Brno, KymiRing and Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli MotoGP™ Tests saw factory teams try new parts on their machines as preparations for the rest of the season – and more recently 2020 – were in full swing. But what new innovations have the factories been rolling out? Let’s take a look:
The 2020 Repsol Honda RC213V is in the works...
After testing a carbon covered chassis at the Barcelona Test, Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo have used it during race weekends since. At the Brno Test, Honda were seen testing a slightly modified version, which had a carbon reinforcement near the steering beam.
At the Misano Test, on what looked to be the 2020 prototype RC213V, we could see a different carbon reinforcement on top of the chassis, again near the steering beam. In addition, we saw a Honda with a second version of the half carbon covered frame that we saw at the beginning of the season.
The Iwata factory first tested their initial 2020 YZR-M1 at the Brno Test, before Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP duo Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi undertook a busy two days at Misano.
Rossi: "We had some new things for next year"
Arguably, the most notable new part Yamaha unveiled was a Suzuki-esque double piped exhaust. It’s no secret that one of Yamaha’s main weak points is power, so did this have any effect on performance? Viñales was the only rider to try this new part, with Rossi heading out with a front-wheel cover that gave an aerodynamic shape to the brake disc cover that keeps temperature in the front brake, while also driving air out of the brake duct in a more efficient way. What’s more, Yamaha had a carbon swingarm to try at the Misano Test.
At the Barcelona Test, the Bologna factory were seen testing a carbon-reinforced part towards the lower end of the chassis. In Brno, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) tested a new swingarm and at the Finland Test, Michele Pirro was seen using a couple of new bits: a previously unseen front fairing and a slightly bigger version of Ducati’s famous ‘salad box’. At Misano, Pirro was also seen using a new-look belly pan on the GP19.
The Hamamatsu factory’s most obvious new part was the double exhaust they first previewed in Qatar. Since then, Suzuki’s main aim has been working on the chassis and swingarm and at both Brno and Misano, Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was testing and comparing different chassis’ and swingarms.
During the Barcelona Test, a new chassis made its way onto the RC16. Moreover, KTM relocated their steering damper, which also forced them to redesign their fuel tank this season.
Aprilia have been experimenting - like the other teams this season – with a carbon-reinforced frame, which gives added stiffness and a different effect on the grip and bike behaviour. The Italian brand have also been trialling a holeshot device, which was certainly seen in Finland on test rider Bradley Smith’s machine.
As always, the factories have been busy working on this season’s bikes throughout the season but now, more attention is starting to turn towards 2020.
2 years ago