Thomas Morsellino is a French freelance journalist and photographer, with keen eye for the technical details of MotoGP bikes. You may have seen some of his work on Twitter, where he runs the @Off_Bikes account. Peter Bom is a world championship winning former crew chief, with a deep and abiding knowledge of every aspect of motorcycle racing. Peter has worked with such riders as Cal Crutchlow, Danny Kent, and Stefan Bradl. After every race, MotoMatters.com will be publishing a selection of Tom's photos of MotoGP bikes, together with extensive technical explanations of the details by Peter Bom. MotoMatters.com subscribers will get access to the full resolution photos, which they can download and study in detail, and all of Peter's technical explanations of the photos. Readers who do not support the site will be limited to the 800x600 resolution photos, and an explanation of two photos.
Switchgear on Johann Zarco's KTM RC16
Peter Bom/David Emmett: Color-coded buttons (with labels) on the left handlebar of Zarco's KTM, green for traction control (TC), red for engine brake (EB), colors chosen for self-evident reasons. The thumb lever with the N on it below the handlebar is used for engaging neutral. You do not want to engage neutral while on track, so it is locked out and impossible to engage during normal riding. The position of this lever varies per rider: Zarco is not using a thumb brake, so can mount it on the left handlebar.
Triple clamp and left and right handlebars on Johann Zarco's KTM RC16
Peter Bom/David Emmett: ' There is a lot to see here. On the right handlebar, Zarco has two buttons, again color-coded. The blue button (LC) is for launch control. What the green button (CE) is for is not clear, though the most likely explanation is either the engine kill switch or the pit lane limiter.
Note the slotted top triple clamp. That is one way of managing flex, something which Yamaha also uses. Look carefully at the small locking bolts running in the slots behind the triple clamps. This is a way of ensuring the two handlebar clipons are in exactly the same position on each side.
Knee grip on Jorge Lorenzo’s Honda RC213V To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.
Knee grip and special tank solution on Lorenzo’s Honda RC213V To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.
DE: At the Barcelona test, Taka Nakagami got a chance to ride the 2019 factory-spec Honda RC213V belonging to teammate Cal Crutchlow. It was part reward for a strong season, part to get feedback from another rider (Marc Márquez dominates while Crutchlow and Jorge Lorenzo have struggled with the bike), and part because Nakagami's riding style is more similar to Lorenzo's. After the test, he said "I had a good feeling on this bike and it was positive. I felt that the engine performance was quite a big step, which means it's easier to make the lap time. But physically it's not so easy with this bike, the handling is a little bit heavier. But we understand this and I think it has good performance. There are some negative things, some positive things, but if you improve your lap time it means it's mainly in the positive way. Just a little struggle physically for the handling, but on the other side the positives are the top speed and corner exit."
Bigger exhaust on the Yamaha YZR-M1 To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.
Knee grip and special tank solution on Lorenzo's Honda RC213V (also fitted with the new new aero) To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.
A newer, larger 'salad box' on Jack Miller's Ducati GP19 To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.
Mudguard with temperature sensors (Yamaha YZR-M1) To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.
Swingarm attachment on Jorge Lorenzo’s bike To see the technical explanation for this photo, sign up to be a site supporter.
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If you would like to buy a copy of one of these photos, you can email Thomas Morsellino