A top rider on Honda’s new production RCV1000R MotoGP bike will be capable of upsetting the formbook to beat full factory prototype 1000cc machines at some tracks in 2014.
Honda’s production bike qualifies for the new non-factory rules, which permits it to run 24 litres of fuel and use Bridgestone’s special soft tyres.
That’s four more litres than the factory bikes to be campaigned by the likes of Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi.
Many feel that will be a significant advantage at tracks like Qatar, Silverstone and Motegi, where fuel consumption is always critical.
HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto told MCN: “In qualifying the factory machines are at full power but during the race we cannot use full power because of 20 litres. So in the race the gap will be closer for the production bikes with 24 litres. I’ve no doubt a top level rider on some circuits could be in the top six with the production bike. If Casey (Stoner) rode one maybe he can win at Phillip Island (laughs)."
British rider Scott Redding will race the new RCV1000R for Fausto Gresini’s squad next season, but Nakamoto added that the cost to develop the new project had surpassed initial estimates.
He added: “I am happy with the performance and reliability but not happy about cost. It is much more than we thought it would be but Honda is committed to this project. We will not pass the development costs onto the customers - Honda will pay for this."