Honda boss: Tyre life key advantage over Yamaha

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Superior grip on worn tyres was a key advantage that dominant world champion Marc Marquez had over Yamaha duo Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo in last season’s MotoGP campaign.

That’s the view of HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto, who believes the factory RC213V 1000cc prototype has better grip in the crucial final laps.

Marquez romped to a second successive premier class title in emphatic fashion last season, with the Spaniard claiming a record 13 wins to clinch the championship with three races remaining.

Honda won 14 out of 18 races with Dani Pedrosa also taking a solitary win in Brno in August and evaluating the strong and weak points of the RC213V package against Yamaha’s YZR-M1, Nakamoto told MCN: “On corner speed, the Yamaha is clearly faster and the throttle opening point is much earlier than us. But our strong point is braking stability. And our machine is also better in quick turning in slow corners. One key area is once the grip drops down our bike is easier to keep the lap time because our bike doesn’t have corner speed. Yamaha loses a bit in this area because they stress the edge of the tyre a bit more. Most of the races this year, Marc overtakes at the end. He is not enjoying being behind, he is trying to overtake but at the beginning of the race it is impossible because corner speed and acceleration on the Yamaha is better than Honda. It looks like Marc is enjoying waiting but he is waiting for Yamaha’s tyre to drop down.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt