Donington BSB: ‘Now We’ve Got 1,000rpm More’

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Airwaves Yamaha riders Leon Camier and James Ellison are enjoying an extra 1,000rpm on the top end of their Yamaha YZF-R1s at Donington Park this weekend.

The bikes’ performance has been boosted with conrods, pistons, camshafts and valves taken from Ben Spies’ World Superbike programme with the Yamaha Italia factory bikes.

“Now we can rev the engines to 14,500rpm,” team manager Colin Wright said.

“When we had production parts we couldn’t rev beyond 13,500rpm.

“The power output isn’t very different to what we had at Brands and Oulton, but the new parts allow the engine to run a lot freer.

"You can reach max revs, where peak power is delivered, a lot quicker. The parts are lighter and there’s not so much friction. ”

Closer tolerances on the new components mean that the R1 engines are now inspected every 1,500-2,000 kilometres, but that’s a minor inconvenience for a team that has won three of the four BSB rounds held so far this year.

But why did the Airwaves team have to wait so long before getting the improved parts? “At Brands we wanted to be sure that what we had would do the distance,” Wright said.

“Colin’s approach is very healthy,” Yamaha motorsports co-ordinator Nigel Bosworth said. “He doesn’t over-complicate things. I’ve worked with teams that really dig deep into problems and make it a lot more difficult than it has to be.”

Until now Camier has been running parts from YEC – Yamaha Engineering Corporation, the equivalent of Honda’s HRC racing division.

“Anyone running an R1 can get the same - just go to and YEC,” Bosworth said.

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Mike Nicks

By Mike Nicks