Honda has confirmed its new 2014 factory RC213V machine is a ‘completely brand new’ prototype bike that Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez could race this season if they are happy with improvements.
The new RC213V was shown off briefly this morning at the Motorland Aragon track in Spain where rain and cold conditions has prevented the Repsol Honda duo from completing their first laps on next year’s V4 contender.
Takeo Yokoyama, who is the project leader of the RC213V machine, gave some brief details of the new bike when it was unveiled under grey and gloomy skies at the Motorland Aragon track this afternoon.
He told MCN: “This is a completely brand new bike. The engine, chassis and everything is new.”
For the 2014 world championship campaign, all factory prototype machinery will have to run 20 instead of 21 litres and he confirmed the new bike was ready for the new fuel limit.
“The engine has to be applied for the new regulation which allows us to use 20 litres. You need better efficiency in terms of fuel consumption and this engine is already applied for that, “said Yokoyama, who also confirmed that the Dorna-supplied Magneti Marelli electronics hardware that is mandaory equipment for all factory bikes next season was not currently fitted to the bike that has been flown to Spain.
He said: “Magneti Marelli is not on the bike yet because we are in the first phase of working in that area.”
Main improvements from the engine have been centred on more power and better power delivery and he added: “On the engine side we have been working a lot on the engine change to manage the fuel efficiency but based on the comments of the rider we have been working on throttle connection at the bottom, mid-range and horsepower, but we never stop working on this.”
Honda adopted a similar strategy in 2012 when it rolled out its 2013 RC213V model at a post race test in Mugello in the middle of the season.
Pedrosa liked it so much he then raced it from the Laguna Seca race onwards and the machine switch was the catalyst for him to go on the most successful winning streak of his premier class career.
He won six of the final nine races on the new bike and Honda was willing to make the 2014 bike available early if this weekend’s Motorland Aragon test was a success.
Could the same policy be adopted this season?
“Absolutely, “said Yokoyama. “The bike is completely new and this is basically our plan for 2014 but in case the rider really prefers the chassis or the engine these parts could be used on the current bike. For the engine it is more difficult because of the engine allocation but for chassis parts I would say even Assen they could have it.
Normally our plan until last year was always to bring the new prototype bike in the middle of the season like the Brno test or the Mugello test last year. But this year there is no Brno test and the next test will only be in Misano and in our opinion if we wait to try the new bike then it could be too late.
If we bring in the middle of the season we can do some modifications in time for the Valencia test and that is the same plan so we came to Aragon to get some impressions here.”