There is little doubt Honda have a massive advantage over Yamaha with their transmission, both in acceleration performance out of slow corners as seen recently in Austin, AND by stabalising the bike as it accelerates up through the box at fast sweepers leading onto straights, like the last turn at Phillip Island.
It's no coincidence that since HRC started using seamless shift in 2011, they've won 70% of all races, markedly turning results around and overtaking Yamaha as the best manufatcurer. Add this to the horsepower and sorted electronics..and you can see why Rossi & Lorenzo have a mountain to climb this year.
Tsuji puts it around 3 tenths at Jerez. By his reckoning, that would be over half a second at some longer tracks.
Others say it's considerably more..
This from an article written by veteran journalist Dennis Noyes in March 2011.
How much is gained by this 'seamless' shifting? An article published today at as.com in Madrid speculates that Honda is using a Zeroshift gearbox and quotes the manufacturer as saying that, on an average of 30 shifts per lap, the saving in time compared to a conventional gearbox would be 0.9 of a second.
In a 2008 article about the Zeroshft automobile gearbox the estimated improvement was 0.3 of a second.
In Sepang the fastest of the Honda riders, Casey Stoner, took 1.013 from the fastest of the Yamaha riders, Ben Spies, fifth overall. The 'slowest' of the four factory Honda riders, Andrea Dovizioso, was a half second faster that 2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, who was seventh.
Dani Pedrosa/Honda/1'59.803 +0.138
Marco Simoncelli/Honda/2'00.163 +0.498
Andrea Dovizioso/Honda/2'00,541 +0.876
Ben Spies/Yamaha/2'00.678 +1.013
Colin Edwards/Yamaha/2'00.966 +1.301
Jorge Lorenzo/Yamaha/2'01.003 +1.338
So, whether Honda’s gearbox, whoever made it, is giving the Honda riders a couple of tenths or even a lot more is something that only Honda really knows..
Honda have the best bike on the grid, Yamaha have the more accomplished riders..put them on an RCV and they'd be faster than the rookie and under performing permanant fixture.
But half a second or more is asking a lot..Yamaha need to help their riders out as soon as possible.