5 years ago
One of the most interesting aspects of pre-season testing is seeing what the different manufacturers have been working hard on during the winter. New technology is being rolled out all the time in MotoGP™ and 2021 is no exception, as we saw plenty of new parts being put through their paces at the Official Qatar Test.
So let’s have a look at the significant parts each manufacturer brought to the table ahead of Round 1 under the lights.
The innovation kings of MotoGP™. In recent years, Ducati have led the way in bringing new and before unseen additions to the track. 2021 has seen the Bologna factory unveil some more creations, the most notable being their new front aero. This is quite a significant change and something we’ve never seen before, it seems like it’s more than just a ‘winglet’.
We don’t know for sure, but Ducati could possibly be looking at tidying up the airflow to increase top speed and create more grip in the corners. It’s a very interesting update and what we do know for sure is that Gigi Dall’Igna and Ducati are continuing to flex their muscles in the aero department.
Elsewhere, the famous ‘salad box’ is a different shape. Then, as we’ve seen with Aprilia, Honda, KTM and Suzuki, a front holeshot device was heavily testing in Qatar.
Long story short, the 2021 RS-GP is completely new. The engine, chassis, two aero designs, exhausts and ‘salad box’ have changed, and Aprilia also have their first carbon swingarm – which means Suzuki are the only manufacturer that don’t have this feature.
The Austrian manufacturer’s biggest visual change is the new seat unit. Dani Pedrosa tested it thoroughly in Qatar, while the other riders tried out a new fairing. It’s slimmer at the top with – seemingly – a few more ‘shark teeth’ carved in, as seen on Pedrosa's bike below:
The Japanese giants brought three different chassis to the Qatar Test: one ‘standard 2020’, one with carbon bonded onto the frame and a completely new one – the one seen in Jerez with Stefan Bradl at the start of 2021. New aero – first seen at the Misano Test last year – was tested by Bradl and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) in the first couple of days too.
Join us on pit wall for a practice start!#QatarTest pic.twitter.com/kbqiXftYj3— Repsol Honda Team (@HRC_MotoGP) March 7, 2021
One of the main talking points from the World Champions is that test rider Sylvain Guintoli, Joan Mir and Alex Rins gave a 2022 engine a run out. Guintoli and Rins both said that it’s a marked improvement. A new chassis was being used too as well as a new swingarm, with Mir’s crew chief Frankie Carchedi explaining on Twitter that they’ve had “many more new and exciting” parts to try.
The Yamaha riders have been testing a new chassis, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) saying that he’s found a little bit more top speed with “many small parts” being tried. All four riders confirmed they’ve tried that new chassis, and by the sounds of it, it will be used – at least to begin with – in 2021. In addition, a new mudguard was tested. This should help when racing in a pack, something Yamaha struggled to do in 2020, so we will see if this has any effect over the race weekend in Qatar.
Head over and join the MotoGP™ Tech group on Facebook for all the latest tech updates, as we now get set for the start of the season in Qatar!
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