Honda's decision to skip the MotoGP test at Barcelona has so far not paid off. The first day of their three-day test at the Motorland Aragon circuit was an absolute washout, with torrential rain forcing the Honda riders to spend almost all day in the garages. Only Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista put in a few laps, Bradl shaking down the 2014 version of the RC213V which Honda has brought to the test, and Bautista checking a few things from Barcelona. Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez did not venture out on track.
Instead, Honda took the time to introduce the 2014 version of the RC213V they are planning to test in Aragon. The bike is completely new, including a new engine and chassis, the engine ready to manage the reduced fuel allowance (cut from 21 to 20 liters) to be introduced at the request of the MSMA from next year. The plan is that if Pedrosa and Marquez prefer the bike to their current machine, they could get the machine early, perhaps as early as the next race, at least as far as the chassis is concerned.
HRC's technical director Takeo Yokoyama spoke to MCN's Matthew Birt at Aragon, to provide more details. The full story is here, but the most worrying revelation is that the new engine produces more power and has improved power delivery, despite the reduction in fuel consumption. Improved throttle connection at the bottom end and mid range had been important, Yokoyama told MCN. Like Suzuki, Honda have not yet started using the Magneti Marelli spec ECU, but work has already started on porting software from HRC's proprietary ECU to the Magneti Marelli unit.
The weather forecast for the rest of the week is looking a little more promising, with a chance of rain on Wednesday but the prospect of a dry day on Thursday. Suzuki and Yamaha have already arrived at the track, and will join the on track action - should there be any - from Wednesday.
Below is the press release and photo of the new 2014 RC213V:
Rain prevents testing on day one in Aragon
Wet weather prevented the Repsol Honda Team from testing on the first day in Aragon. Instead, Team Technical Director Takeo Yokoyama took the opportunity to present the 2014 RC213V prototype machine to the press that attended the event.
Hopefully the weather will improve tomorrow so the team can begin work on their test programme.
Takeo Yokoyama Technical Director
"This is the prototype of the 2014 machine. It is a complete new bike, both in terms of engine and chassis. Our plan is to test it now in order to be able to do, eventually, some changes before the post-race test in Valencia in November. Anyway, if Dani and Marc find something in the bike that they feel is a really big improvement compared to their actual RC213V, HRC will do its best to provide it already later this season as we already did last year"