Author: Bike Social Sports Reporter Posted: 13 Jan 2015
HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto has said that Bike Social-backed Scott Redding needs more time on the factory-backed RCV213V Honda to get used the difference in power.
The British rider steps up from the underpowered RCV1000R production racer for the 2015 MotoGP season and while his old bike was largely based on its factory counterpart, he got quite the shock when he rode the RC213V for the first time in Valencia.
“It’s almost like a completely different bike to be honest’, Redding said in November. ‘I kind of expected it to be like my old bike with more power. I was two seconds off [in the Valencia test]; it’s not acceptable. I expected to be maybe one second off but in the end it was 1.6 and that was really pushing my best.”
Confident in Redding’s ability, HRC Vice Executive President Shuhei Nakamoto, to give him his full and official title, says the Brit just needs more time.
“Scott has one year’s experience in MotoGP but our factory machine is different to the open class machine”, he explained. “The biggest differences are power and engine characteristics therefore he needs a bit of time to understand how to use the engine power, then we will see where he is.”
When quizzed about the difficulties faced by Honda’s 2014 satellite riders, Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista, Nakamoto admitted that the RC213V is not an easy bike to ride.
Bradl and Bautista both endured a miserable 2014 season taking home just a handful of top six results between them to place 9th and 11th respectively in the overall standings. While neither rider was a proven podium contender, both had shown better form in MotoGP previously.
“This year’s machine was not easy to ride”, Nakamoto confessed. “More difficult than last year. It is different to ride than the Yamaha machine. We try to find the torque to make it easier but the result was opposite and the riders say there is too much torque.”
Having walked away from the 2014 season with both the Riders’ and Constructors’ championships, Honda’s year was far from shabby but HRC bosses were left scratching their heads at the end of the season after Yamaha outscored them in six of the final seven races.
Nakamoto seems to be of the opinion that the difference comes down to mid-corner speed, an area in which the Yamaha YZR-M1 thrives. "Everyone has asked for increased cornering speeds but we have not yet made the breakthrough needed”, the Honda boss continued. “In the second half of the season Yamaha has made progress both with the motorcycle and the riders. Our bike this year was more difficult to drive than that of 2013. We want to make it easier, like the Yamaha.
“Anyone can ride [the Honda]. Maybe I ride the bike today and the lap time is over two minutes. To find the last one tenth, two tenths is very difficult. One tenth difference, this is the difference.”