Harris Seek Speed in Moto2
British chassis builders Harris are testing three different fairings, among other items here at Mugello, in an attempt to reduce a maximum speed deficit of 7-8mph over the quickest bikes in the exciting new Moto2 category.
American Kenny Noyes captured pole position at Le Mans for the Jack and Jones team on his PromoHarris, but was only 37th quickest on the straight, at 153.635mph compared to the 161.211mph of the fastest rider through the speed trap, Andrea Iannone, on the Fimmco Speed Up.
“We’ve got three or four things to try, including a different front fender and ram air intake, and three fairings,” Harris’ Richard Brendish said while taking a break in the sun at the back of the pitbox.
“Then we’ll have a look at the data and see how our top speed and acceleration compares, and we’ll use our best parts. Then we’ll modify again for Silverstone. Our chassis is working well, but Kenny is losing a bit down the straight, and that means he has to be harder on the brakes.”
Noyes languishes in 17th place in the championship at the moment, but clearly has the pace to score regular podiums, as he proved when he led the Spanish round for several laps.
Elias-Gresini package heads for Moto2 title
Moto2 championship leader Toni Elias hasn’t had things as easy as his two wins from three races suggest. The 27-year-old Spaniard leads the table by 18 points from the shock winner of the opening round, the 19-year-old Japanese Shoya Tomizawa, but he’s had to resolve grip problems at both ends of his Gresini Moriwaki.
How easy are the 600cc Honda-engined to set up compared to the MotoGP bikes he’s been used to in recent seasons? “It’s just as hard,” he says. “But what I have to do more now is concentrate on keeping my corner speed up.”
Elias is a popular figure in the paddock, and most people would like to see him back in MotoGP – where he could well end up if the senior category can increase the number of bikes on the grid in future seasons.
You’d have to bet on Elias winning the Moto2 title this year: the combination of experience represented by his years in 125, 250cc and MotoGP racing, the talents of the experienced Gresini squad and the Moriwaki company’s chassis-building skills seem too great a package for rival teams to overwhelm.