1000s could mean less traction control, says Casey Stoner

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Reigning world champion Casey Stoner believes the introduction of more powerful 1000cc engines in MotoGP in 2012 might actually reduce the influence of electronic rider aids like traction control.

Although the new generation 1000cc engines are expected to hit top speeds of over 215mph on faster tracks like Mugello and Catalunya, Stoner doesn’t believe the extra horsepower compared to the 800s will result in a higher level of electronics required.

One issue for the new 1000s is going to be how to successfully put the expected 250bhp to the ground to gain rear grip, with teams having to cut power at some tracks on the smaller capacity 800s to find traction.

The influence of electronics in the modern MotoGP era has been criticised by most riders who say gadgets like traction control, engine braking and anti-wheelie have negated rider skill and made the racing boring and processional.

Calls to lessen the number of electronics though has always been fiercely opposed by the factories, who use MotoGP as an arena for developing new technology that eventually filters down to production machinery.

But during tonight’s Repsol Honda team launch in Malaysia tonight, Stoner said: “In my opinion we might be able to use them (electronics) a lot less. We might be able to stop, pick it up and squirt it out of the corner a bit more without being on the edge of the tyre so much.

“With the torque of the engine also you actually get a lot more traction in many ways so you’ve got more control with a slide and you get more grip. To go fast enough sliding isn’t the way to go fast but I do find that in a few corners sliding can make you a little bit quicker.

“But unfortunately that’s not the fastest way round, so we will still have to reduce that. If we were putting on a show they’d be easier to slide but unfortunately we’re there to try and win races and the fastest way round the track is to keep the wheels in line.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt