MotoGP: Honda rumoured to be experimenting with big bang

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While most of the MotoGP paddock headed home to take a few days’ valuable rest before the long slog of three back-to-back Asian races, both the Repsol Honda duo of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa and LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow remained at Aragon for an important test earlier this week.

Supposedly running a complete 2017-specification Honda RCV213 for the first time after testing the new engine after the last round at Misano, MCN’s sources in the paddock believe that the new bike may see a major design change from the current model.

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Running only so far in private tests closed to media, some information has nonetheless leaked out, including details of a wholly different sounding bike for next year. Departing from the ‘screamer’ engine of 2016, the new engine may well feature a ‘big bang’ order as used by other manufacturers.

Firing two cylinders at a time instead of each one individually, the new order would help to tame the aggressiveness of the Honda engine, a complaint that their riders have made regularly in the past two seasons.

However, speaking to MCN ahead of the test, Repsol Honda technical director Shinichi Kokubu remained tight lipped.

“It’s quite early to say something about the engines, because we need some more work on the prototype engines. Maybe later, we can say something. We’re always trying different configurations in Japan, but we can’t say what we’re trying with Marc and Dani. We’re trying some different engine components."

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer