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Tech 3 in dark over Yamaha’s new seamless shift gearbox

Published: 13 September 2013

Updated: 24 November 2014

Yamaha has yet to clarify whether Cal Crutchlow’s replacement Pol Espargaro and British rider Bradley Smith will race its new seamless shift gearbox from the start of the 2014 MotoGP world championship.

The Japanese factory has been under immense pressure from Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi to race the new system, which rivals Honda have been using since the beginning of 2011.

After repeated pleas from Lorenzo and Rossi, Yamaha finally confirmed in Misano earlier today that its factory duo will have the new gearbox available in San Marino this weekend.

The seamless shift gearbox allows smoother upshifts but Yamaha has not been ready to give the system to an increasingly impatient Lorenzo and Rossi until it has proven to be bulletproof reliable.

While the system is ready for Lorenzo and Rossi to try on a race weekend, Crutchlow and Smith won’t get the opportunity for the upgrade in the final six races of the 2013 MotoGP world championship.

And speaking recently about the spec of the satellite YZR-M1 machines that will be made available for Espargaro and Smith in 2014, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal said: “Yamaha’s policy like all the factories involved is that the factory team get the priority for the latest evolution. This is clear and will always remains the same.

"This year Cal’s bike is very close to the factory spec and Yamaha will give us a bike that is fast enough to be in the top five and even better.

"The big question mark at the moment is the gearbox. We will have it? I can’t answer that but I really hope we will have the gearbox because it is a big advantage. But I can’t say 100% I have the answer yet.”

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