Honda riders Cal Cruchlow and Dani Pedrosa are mystified by the apparent lack of acceleration that is hampering the RC213Vs at Austin’s MotoGP round.
The problem, which has affected them even during winter testing, became properly apparent when the 51kg Pedrosa was out-accelerated by the 20-kilo heavier Scott Redding yesterday out of the first-gear corner on to the back straight. Marc Marquez has changed his riding style to cope with the problem and is now using more Yamaha-style lines.
“Honestly, we have no idea. But if you’re in a completely straight line, we have it as well. We know that at turn three, you have a little bit of angle when you accelerate, change to fourth blah blah but at Qatar we had the same problem,” said Crutchlow, speaking at the track.
“They are investigating deeply and Honda are working really hard. It’s not easy. Honda have horsepower normally, they build fast motorcycles - and they still are. Dani Pedrosa should never be passed by someone who weighs 78 kilos, so you can imagine how much we are losing on the track.
“At Argentina, we were losing seven-tenths, it’s a big gap so it means we have to ride faster everywhere else. Honda have the information but it is clear now. When we were complaining about it at the test, it wasn’t clear but when Redding is passing Pedrosa, it’s clear.”
Pedrosa was clearly surprised that he was outgunned by Redding and says that the lack of initial grunt is not helped by wheelspin.
“It is a little bit of everything. A little bit the grip, the acceleration itself, our bike is not set-up to accelerate well and we have to change things little by little. This is one of the tracks where acceleration counts as well as braking and handling. But I can’t say much today as my pace wasn’t very good.
“If we can make the wheelie more smooth and the grip a little bit more, we can improve with electronics some acceleration.”