Honda will introduce new parts at the forthcoming post race test in Estoril early next month in a bid to ease the chatter issues currently hindering reigning world champion Casey Stoner and Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.
Ever since Stoner and Pedrosa first tested the factory RC213V 1000cc machine on the new softer construction Bridgestone tyres, the pair have been plagued by a severe chatter issue, which is a vibration under braking and corner entry.
Despite testing different frames and a vast array of set-up options over the last few months, HRC technical staff have not been able to solve the chatter issue, which has not been a problem for rivals Yamaha and Ducati.
Honda boss Shuhei Nakamoto expects new parts to be available for Stoner and Pedrosa to evaluate during the one-day Estoril test on May 7.
But he denied that a new chassis would be rolled out when speaking to MCN.
He said: “We don’t have a plan to bring a new chassis but we will bring some different items to try. We are trying several things but unfortunately we can’t fix this problem. This issue comes from the tyre grip level. If the track surface is different then the level of the chatter is also different.”
Stoner complained about chatter after test sessions in Brno and Valencia last year and again when the pre-season campaign resumed in Sepang at the end of January.
But at the final test in Jerez last month, he said the chatter was almost completely eradicated. But it was back with a vengeance during the first 1000cc race in Qatar earlier this month and Nakamoto added: “All circuits we are having chatter. In the first Sepang test it was very bad, at the second Sepang test a little better.
"Jerez it wasn’t such a big problem but it was still there and in Qatar it was a very big problem again. We have tried several things and at the moment we haven’t found a solution to fix this problem.”
Asked if he had an idea just how much the chatter issue was slowing Stoner, Nakamoto said: “I don’t know exactly, it is difficult to say. When Casey is in a good mood it doesn’t matter about chatter because he is very fast and he rides around the problem.”