He's a 'technical journalist' and what exactly does that mean? I've no idea of his background, has he qualified as an engineer? Or is it because he raced when he was younger it qualifies him as 'technical'? Being a motogp technical journalist doesn't mean he is privvy to the correct facts and figures of Yamaha and Honda gearboxes.
As you say, he was adamant that the Yamaha couldn't achieve the lap times it did relative to the Honda without a seamless gearbox, so his conclusion was that it had one. He then backtracked completely from that remark because he said you could tell from the engine note at gear changes that it wasn't seamless. We know the Ducati has a seamless box, so how does the little engine revs graphic look when they change gear?
This is the problem with these expert pundits. They think they have to provide the answer to everything and they love to give the impression of being astute enough that they do it through reasoned deduction from what they see or hear. Fact is it was pretty obvious he hadn't a clue about the Yamaha geabox
They love to expound their theories as fact as to why a particular rider is doing what he's doing. With the Yamaha, first off it was a new gearbox, then no, wait a minute, no it isn't, it's beacuse Lorenzo altered his gearing to take the hairpins in second, so he could lap quicker
No mention of whether Cal also altered his gearing as at various stages in the race he was running the same lap times on his 'bitza'. Was he taking the hairpins in 1st or 2nd or didn't it make any difference?
If it's all down to the gearbox, why did Cal comfortably outpace two factory spec Hondas on his bitza with non-seamless box? He passed Bradl through the slalom where Bradl would have the much touted advantage of being able to change up whilst leant over
Too much analysis. Maybe the Hondas were fastest because their two riders just rode a bit faster on this occassion. Their lap times were close, a difference of 0.2s in fastest laps. The biggest difference in fastest laps was in sector 2 where both Hondas put a fastest time 0.2 s quicker then the fastest Yam. That sector included the second hairpin with the slalom before it and hardly any straight after it. Sector 4 which included most of the uphill pit straight (following a hairpin to get onto it) and the hairpin at turn 1. Cal was second fastest time here only 0.01s slower than MM.
These figures can be looked at over and over but they show nothing conclusive. If you rode 2 hOndas back to back with everything constant but the gearbox, maybe then you could say for definite exactly what the advantage is.
Under race conditions where a rider is reacting to what's going on around him, conditions aren't constant, it's nigh on impossible to say what difference that gearbox makes. If it was that real, Cal wouldn't have been 4th.