Yamaha’s open policy on data sharing among its four riders in 2013 is already proving a huge benefit to rookie Bradley Smith.
The British rider can compare his data with reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo, nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi and fast improving Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate Cal Crutchlow, which is an invaluable aid in helping Smith adapt to a YZR-M1 1000cc machine.
The 22-year-old made a brilliant start to the 2013 pre-season testing campaign in Sepang last week when he finished with the eighth quickest time and was only 1.8s behind Dani Pedrosa, who dominated the test with a best lap of 2.00.100.
Smith spent the entire three-day test in Malaysia working on adapting himself to the YZR-M1 while also understanding carbon brakes, Bridgestone tyres and the vast range of electronic rider aids at his disposal.
It was looking at the data of Spaniard Lorenzo that impressed Smith, with the double MotoGP world champion’s cornering style particularly eye-catching.
Crutchlow has frequently praised Lorenzo’s smooth and precise riding style since he joined Yamaha’s MotoGP effort in 2011 and he reckons it is his high corner speed that has helped him win 23 MotoGP races.
Smith too was full of praise for Lorenzo and speaking to MCN about what he learned the most by studying Lorenzo, Rossi and Crutchlow’s data, the former 125GP winner said: “Corner speed is the biggest thing I learned. Jorge rides this bike how it needs to be ridden. The arc he uses in the corner is incredible.
"I’m still looking for my entry point and he knows exactly where it is from 100 metres before and he has one continuous arc. It is like a golf putt. You see them on the green and they send it far off left and it drops in the hole, that’s how he rides that bike.
"He sends it out on a line that you’d never expect but with the speed and the lean angle brings it back every time to hit the apex.”
For more exclusive thoughts from Smith, see the Sepang MotoGP test special in the February 13 issue of Motor Cycle News.