Honda says the performance of its new production RC213V machine that will be raced in MotoGP next season is better than anticipated after its first shakedown test in Japan recently.
The new bike is being rolled out as a cheaper alternative to a full prototype RC213V machine for 2014 and was put through its paces by development rider Kousuke Akiyoshi at the Twin Ring Motegi track.
Initial results were very impressive according to HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto and he told MCN: “I am very happy with the performance of the production RC213V and I am very surprised because it is much better than I expected. But still we need some development.
Engine life is still not enough and also the water and oil temperature was too high. These are the main issues but performance overall is very good.”
Honda will sell a maximum of five of the new production models to customer teams for 2014 and its target was to have lap times within 5% of its factory RC213V ridden by Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez.
Nakamoto added: “Akiyoshi is three seconds slower than the top times on our prototype bike at Motegi. On the production machine he is just 0.3s from his time on the factory RC213V. The lap time difference is less than 5%.
The top speed difference between the production and factory bike is now only 7kph (4.34mph) on the Motegi straight, which is about what I expected. This accounts for maybe for only 0.1s in lap time. The race results are different because with the prototype bike it is easier to overtake."
Pic: Shigeo Kibiki