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2019 Moto2 Provisional Entry List

No. Rider Nationality Team Bike
3 Lukas Tulovic German KIEFER RACING KTM
4 Steven Odendaal S-African NTS RW RACING GP NTS
5 Andrea Locatelli Italian ITALTRANS RACING TEAM Kalex
7 Lorenzo Baldassari Italian PONS HP40 Kalex
9 Jorge Navarro Spanish SPEED UP RACING Speed Up
10 Luca Marini Italian SKY RACING TEAM VR46 Kalex
11 Nicolo Bulega Italian SKY RACING TEAM VR46 Kalex
12 Tom Luthi Swiss DYNAVOLT INTACT GP Kalex
16 Joe Roberts USA AMERICAN TEAM KTM
18 Xavier Cardelus Andorra ANGEL NIETO TEAM KTM
20 Dimas Ekky Pratama Indonesian IDEMITSU HONDA TEAM ASIA Honda
21 Fabio Di Giannantonio Italian SPEED UP RACING Speed Up
22 Sam Lowes British FEDERAL OIL GRESINI Moto2 Kalex
23 Marcel Schrotter German DYNAVOLT INTACT GP Kalex
24 Simone Corsi Italian TASCA RACING SCUDERIA Moto2 Kalex
27 Iker Lecuona Spanish AMERICAN TEAM KTM
33 Enea Bastianini Italian ITALTRANS RACING TEAM Kalex
35 Somkiat Chantra Thai IDEMITSU HONDA TEAM ASIA Kalex
40 Augusto Fernandez Spanish PONS HP40 Kalex
41 Brad Binder S-African RED BULL KTM AJO KTM
45 Tetsuta Nagashima Japanese SAG TEAM Kalex
62 Stefano Manzi Italian FORWARD RACING TEAM MV
64 Bo Bendsneyder Dutch NTS RW RACING GP NTS
65 Philipp Oettl German RED BULL KTM TECH 3 KTM
72 Marco Bezzecchi Italian RED BULL KTM TECH 3 KTM
73 Alex Marquez Spanish EG 0,0 MARC VDS Kalex
77 Dominique Aegerter Swiss FORWARD RACING TEAM MV
87 Remy Gardner Australian SAG TEAM Kalex
88 Jorge Martin Spanish RED BULL KTM AJO KTM
89 Khairul Idham Pawi Malaysian PETRONAS SPRINTA RACING Kalex
96 Jake Dixon British ANGEL NIETO TEAM KTM
97 Xavi Vierge Spanish EG 0,0 MARC VDS Kalex
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2019 Moto3 Provisional Entry List

No. Rider Nationality Team Bike
5 Jaume Masia Spanish BESTER CAPITAL DUBAI KTM
10 Dennis Foggia Italian SKY RACING TEAM VR46 KTM
11 Sergio Garcia Spanish ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 Honda
12 Filip Salac Czech REDOX PRUESTELGP KTM
13 Celestino Vietti Italian SKY RACING TEAM VR46 KTM
14 Tony Arbolino Italian TEAM O Honda
16 Andrea Migno Italian BESTER CAPITAL DUBAI KTM
17 John Mcphee British PETRONAS SPRINTA RACING Honda
19 Gabriel Rodrigo Argentinian KOMMERLING GRESINI Moto3 Honda
22 Kazuki Masaki Japanese BOE SKULL RIDER KTM
23 Niccolo Antonelli Italian SIC58 SQUADRA CORSE Honda
24 Tatsuki Suzuki Japanese SIC58 SQUADRA CORSE Honda
25 Raul Fernandez Spanish ANGEL NIETO TEAM KTM
27 Kaito Toba Japanese HONDA TEAM ASIA Honda
40 Darryn Binder S-African CIP GREEN POWER KTM
42 Marcos Ramirez Spanish LEOPARD RACING Honda
44 Aron Canet Spanish MAX RACING TEAM KTM
48 Lorenzo Dalla Porta Italian LEOPARD RACING Honda
54 Riccardo Rossi Italian KOMMERLING GRESINI Moto3 Honda
55 Romano Fenati Italian TEAM O Honda
61 Can Oncu Turkish RED BULL KTM AJO KTM
69 Tom Booth-Amos British CIP GREEN POWER KTM
71 Ayumu Sasaki Japanese PETRONAS SPRINTA RACING Honda
72 Alonso Lopez Spanish ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 Honda
75 Albert Arenas Spanish ANGEL NIETO TEAM KTM
76 Makar Yurchenko Kazakhstani BOE SKULL RIDER KTM
77 Vicente Perez Spanish REALE AVINTIA ACADEMY KTM
79 Ai Ogura Japanese HONDA TEAM ASIA Honda
84 Jakub Kornfeil Czech REDOX PRUESTELGP KTM
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Tom's Tech Treasures: Preparing MotoGP Bikes For Sepang's Tropical Heat

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.


Air cooling system on Kalex (Marc VDS), for water
Peter Bom: Moto2 engines automatically enrich the fuel mixture over 80°C in order to cool the engine. This rich mixture causes a slight loss of power and in the extremely tight Moto2 class, every detail is worth looking at. Here we see the MarcVDS team, cooling down there Moto2 engines while the bike waits in the pit box.


Air duct for front calipers (Yamaha YZR-M1)
Peter Bom: Air ducts to guide air to the brake caliper, and no covers over the carbon brake disks. Carbon brakes have a fixed temperature window in which they operate well. Too low and they don’t work (very low coefficient of friction), too high and they get damaged.


Seat adjustments on Lorenzo’s GP18 during FP1


Honda RC213V (Marc Márquez)


Under the tank of the Ducati GP17, Xavier Siméon (Tito Rabat's bike, out through injury)


Exhaust Ducati GP18 (Danilo Petrucci)


Ducati GP18, Andrea Dovizioso


Clutch lever sensor on Maverick Viñales bike


Brembo calipers


Carbon swingarm (Honda RC213V)


If you would like access to the full-size versions of these technical photos and all of Peter Bom's explanations, as well as desktop-size versions of the other fantastic photos which appear on the site, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. A subscription will also give you access to the many in-depth and exclusive articles we produce for MotoMatters.com site supporters. The more readers who join our growing band of site supporters, the better we can make MotoMatters.com, and the more readers will get out of the website.

If you would like to buy a copy of one of thes photos, you can email Thomas Morsellino

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Cal Crutchlow Out For Valencia, Aiming For Return At Sepang

Cal Crutchlow is out for the rest of the 2018 season, as well as for the winter tests at Valencia and Jerez. The injury the LCR Honda rider sustained in practice at Phillip Island is so severe that it will take at least until the beginning of next year before Crutchlow will be fit enough to attempt to ride.

Crutchlow sustained a so-called 'Pilon' fracture of the tibia, fibula (the two bones in the lower leg), and talus (the bone which hinges the two leg bones, and joins them to the feet). That fracture (Pilon comes from the French word for pestle) is the result of the foot smashing into the ground, and the three bones being crushed together by the force involved.

Crutchlow had surgery to fix the bones, which involved the use of two plates, eight screws and some artificial bone. The severity of the injury is such that he has had to keep his ankle immobile, and with no weight on it. He hopes to start moving it again soon, and will start cycling again this week. But with a typical recovery period of between six and twelve months, Crutchlow has been forced to miss all testing this year.

The LCR Honda rider is aiming for a return at the Sepang test on February 6th, three months after his surgery. The chances of the Englishman being 100% are slim, but he should be fit and strong enough to manage testing and prepare for 2019.

Below is a statement taken from the LCR Honda press release: 


Cal Crutchlow

“First of all, I would like to say thank you for all the well wishes I have received since the Friday of the Philip Island GP. To all the medical staff at the circuit, my LCR Honda CASTROL Team, HRC and everyone who came to visit me while I was in hospital in Melbourne, especially my wife Lucy who travelled to be with me for the 12 days I had to stay. Also, Jake Harrison and Andy Roche for sorting everything out and, of course, our Team Manager Lucio (Cecchinello) who stayed with me every day until he went to Malaysia”.

“I had excellent surgeons in Matthias Russ and Dr Evans who initially put an external fixator on my leg until the swelling went down and they could operate, which was 6 days later. The crash resulted in a Pilon fracture of my tibia, fibula and talus bone. The surgery was completed in three and half hours and, along with reconstruction with artificial bone, two metal plates and eight screws were inserted”.

“The injury I have can take a recovery time of up to 12 months and, although as a typical motorcycle racer I thought I would be back in time for the Valencia GP, unfortunately this is not the case. I can’t put any weight on my ankle for six weeks, but am continuing to recover and having physiotherapy. This week I will start to try and cycle again and look forward to preparing for Sepang in February 2019”.

“I have had a fantastic season again with the LCR Honda CASTROL Team and HRC and I look forward to making more great memories in 2019-2020. Good luck this weekend in Valencia to my team and to all the people on the MotoGP grid. I look forward to watching the best motorsport championship there is as a fan this weekend.”

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Ducati And Casey Stoner To End Collaboration

Ducati announced on Tuesday that they would not be renewing their collaboration agreement with former double world champion Casey Stoner. The move had been widely rumored since the middle of the year, and the announcement was merely a formality.

For Ducati, the bulk of the test work will continue to fall on Michele Pirro, who did most of the development work. Stoner's input was valued by Ducati as he was able to lap at similar lap times to Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo, while Pirro is a couple of tenths slower than the factory riders. Stoner had helped with development of both the Ducati Desmosedici and the Ducati Panigale V4. 

What happens next for Casey Stoner is unknown. Rumors continue to circulate that Honda are interested in seeing Stoner return as test rider, though official sources remain quiet on the subject. 

Below is the press release from Ducati on ending their relationship with Casey Stoner:


Casey Stoner and Ducati conclude their collaboration

Ducati and Casey Stoner will not continue the collaboration agreement that has seen them work together since 2016.

The accord had been stipulated on a three-year basis (2016-2018) and in these three years, thanks also to Casey’s important contribution, Ducati has constantly improved the performance of the Desmosedici GP, which is now considered to be one of the most competitive bikes in the MotoGP World Championship.

The collaboration between Ducati and Stoner also contributed to the final development of the Panigale V4, as well as offering important suggestions for the development of other bikes currently in the Ducati range. In his role as Ducati ‘brand ambassador’, Casey was one of the undisputed stars of the last two editions of WDW (World Ducati Week) in 2016 and 2018, in which the Australian champion actively took part, and where he was greeted with incredible signs of affection by Ducatisti from all over the world.

“Casey is and will always remain in the hearts of Ducatisti and it is also on their behalf that we wish to thank him for the important collaboration he has offered us over the last three years,” commented Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. “His technical indications and suggestions, together with the work and the feedback of the factory riders and Michele Pirro, have helped to make the Desmosedici GP one of the most competitive bikes on the grid, and his advice for the development of our production bikes has been just as precious and useful. Ducati and its many fans wish to offer their sincere thanks and their best wishes to Casey and his family for a serene and happy future.”

“I want to thank Ducati for the great memories and especially the support and enthusiasm of the Ducati fans for our shared passion for racing and motorcycling, I’ll always remember this,“ added Casey Stoner. “Over the past three years I have really enjoyed doing my job with the test team, the engineers and technicians, as we worked towards improving the Desmosedici GP package and I sincerely want to wish the team all the very best for their future endeavours.”

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2019 WorldSBK Provisional Calendar Announced: 12 Confirmed Rounds, 1 TBA

The FIM has announced the provisional WorldSBK calendar for the 2019 season. The calendar as it stands has 13 rounds, 12 of which have been confirmed. Brno and Laguna Seca are out, while Jerez makes a comeback, with a midsummer round still to be announced. That round could be Kyalami.

The season starts out in a similar vein to previous years, kicking off proceedings at Phillip Island on 24th February, before heading to Buriram in Thailand three weeks later. Three weeks after that, the series lands in Europe, racing first at Aragon in Spain, where WorldSBK and WorldSSP are joined by the WorldSSP300 class, before heading north to Assen for the Dutch round. Four weeks after Assen, the WorldSBK paddock heads south to Italy for the round at Imola.

There has been a fair shake up of the middle of the season, with various rounds reshuffled. From Imola, the paddock heads west again to Spain, this time to Jerez, then drives all the way back again to Misano. From Misano, WorldSBK heads to the UK, for the British round at Donington Park. 

After Donington, an additional round has been scheduled, though it is not yet clear where that is. It is widely expected to be Kyalami, though details remain to be finalized. After this round, WorldSBK  heads into its long summer break, with no racing through the month of August.

WorldSBK returns in the first week of September, the paddock heading down to Portimao. From there, it is north again to France, and the last round in Europe at Magny-Cours. Then overseas again, first to the San Juan Villicum circuit in Argentina, which made a very successful debut on the calendar this year, and from there to the final race at Losail in Qatar.

With just 13 rounds on the calendar, and a schedule stretching over 8 months, there are significant gaps in the calendar. Most races are 3 to 4 weeks apart, with a break of between 6 and 8 weeks in the summer, depending on whether Kyalami happens or not. Though Dorna hopes to generate more interest with the addition of a third race, a shorter sprint race, for the WorldSBK class, the spread out schedule risks fans losing interest between races. 

There are three clashes with the MotoGP calendar, though two of them are in very different time zones, and so race times will not overlap. The Dutch round of WorldSBK on 14th April falls on the same weekend as the US round of MotoGP in Austin, Texas. The final round of WorldSBK in Qatar is to be held on the same weekend as the Australian round of MotoGP in Malaysia. The UK round at Donington is to be held on the same weekend as the German MotoGP round at the Sachsenring, though the WorldSBK race is likely to be held at a much later time, once the MotoGP race has finished.

Below is the provisional 2019 WorldSBK calendar, and below it, a downloadable graphic with all of the races displayed:


MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship
FIM Supersport and Supersport 300 World Championships
2019 provisional calendar, 13 November

Date Country Circuit WorldSBK WorldSSP WorldSSP300
22-24 February AUS Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit X X  
15-17 March THA Chang International Circuit X X  
5-7 April ESP MotorLand Aragón X X X
12 -14 April NED TT Circuit Assen X X X
10-12 May ITA Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola X X X
7-9 June ESP Circuito de Jerez Ángel Nieto X X X
21-23 June ITA Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” X X X
5-7 July GBR Donington Park X X X
19-21 July TBA *        
6-8 September POR Autódromo Internacional do Algarve X X X
27-29 September FRA Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours X X X
11-13 October ARG Circuit San Juan Villicum X X  
24-26 October QAT ** Losail International Circuit X X X

*(TBA) To be announced.
**(SC) Schedule change - Round held Thursday – Saturday

2019 OFFICIAL TESTS

  • 18-19 February, Australia, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit (WorldSBK & WorldSSP)
  • TBA, Official Mid-season test

Calendar poster:

2019 Provisional WorldSBK calendar

Source: 

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All Change In WorldSBK: BMW, Honda, Yamaha Announce New Teams And New Bikes At EICMA

While the line up for the 2019 MotoGP season was settled surprisingly early in the year, the opposite has been the case for WorldSBK. With just two weeks to go to the first full test of 2019, there are still a whole range of seats open, and questions going unanswered.

One of the reasons for the delay became clear at the EICMA show in Milan last week. While the manufacturers were presenting their newest bikes, including some of the key machines which will star in World Superbikes next year, a couple of manufacturers also presented their racing programs for 2019.

Perhaps the biggest story came from Honda, where HRC presented Althea and Moriwaki as their new partners in running their WorldSBK program. After a partnership of three years, and a relationship going back nearly two decades, Ten Kate are out, with the Italians and Japanese taking over.

It wasn't just Ten Kate: title sponsor Red Bull were also out. The energy drink firm had signed up when Nicky Hayden was with the team, a big name draw for sponsors, and a rider with a long connection to Red Bull. It was Red Bull who brought in Jake Gagne, the American who never really found his feet in the WorldSBK championship. After two years of poor results, Red Bull withdrew.

HRC + WorldSBK

The idea behind the switch is to have much more direct involvement from HRC in the project. Moriwaki is to focus on developing the Honda CBR1000RR SP2, while Althea is to handle the logistics and management of the team. Japanese rider Ryuichi Kiyonari has been brought in to ease communication with Moriwaki and HRC, while Leon Camier has been retained with the objective of chasing results.

The direct involvement of HRC marks a major change of tack. The Japanese factory has been absent from WorldSBK since 2002, the year in which Colin Edwards became world champion on a Honda RC51. Since then, Ten Kate has been left to hold the fort with the aid of Honda Motor Europe, the European headquarters of the Japanese manufacturer. In the past, that support was always resented by HRC in Japan. A former Honda team member once said of the previous HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto, "he sees every Euro spent on World Superbikes as one which should have been spent on MotoGP," they told me.

It seems like Honda decided they could no longer stand idly by and see a Honda get beaten in a racing series. They have won just about every other major championship in recent years: Marc Márquez in MotoGP, Joan Mir and Jorge Martin in Moto3, Tim Gajser in MXGP, and Kevin Benavides was runner up in the 2018 Dakar Rally. The last time a Honda won a World Superbike title was in 2007, when James Toseland took the title for the Ten Kate team.

Necessary faster

Merely increasing the level of support may not be enough. As HRC found to their cost at Suzuka, the Honda CBR1000RR is being outperformed by its rivals, even with full factory backing. The latest iteration of the Fireblade may have had extra electronics aids to help with corner entry and throttle response, the fact is that the bike is still listed as producing 190 horsepower. That is 11hp down on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR, which produces 201hp, 14hp down on the new BMW S1000RR, which is listed at 204hp, and a whopping 27hp down on Ducati's latest weapon the Panigale V4 R. With the technical regulations restricting any major changes in pursuit of power, it is hard to see how HRC can make much of a difference.

Honda weren't the only manufacturer making a presentation at EICMA. BMW were there, announcing they are partnering with Shaun Muir's SMR Milwaukee Racing for the 2019 season. SMR is to switch from Aprilia to BMW, and compete next year on the new BMW S1000RR introduced at the EICMA show.

BMW and SMR also announced two new riders: gone are Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori, moved to make way for Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger. Reiterberger has a long association with the Munich factory, having bounced between the WorldSBK series, the German IDM championship, and the Superstock 1000 championship aboard a BMW, winning the Superstock title in 2018. Sykes had left Kawasaki disillusioned, feeling that Kawasaki had favored Jonathan Rea and developed the bike in his direction, rather than for Sykes. As first Kawasaki rider to win a title since Scott Russell in 1993, Sykes felt overlooked.

VVT comes to SBK

The new BMW S1000RR is an interesting prospect for the 2018 WorldSBK season. The bike has been completely redesigned, including radical change in chassis and BMW's new ShiftCam variable valve system. The frame now features much lower forward engine mounting points, allowing the use of longer forward struts. This follows contemporary thinking on managing chatter and cornering, and is a design pattern which has been used in MotoGP since the class switched to four stroke engines.

The ShiftCam technology will also be an interesting development. The system features two inlet cam lobes – a mild lift one for lower engine speeds and more torque, and a high lift one for full power – which are shifted using a selector drum. An electric motor inserts a steel pin into a slot, which physically moves the camshaft sideways along its rotating axis. Although it is a mechanical system, the timing of the shift between the milder, torquier lobes, and the sharper, higher power lobes is electronically determined based on engine speed, gear, throttle opening, etc. This will become one more variable to be managed inside the electronics, and should in theory offer an advantage in providing smoother power delivery on corner exit, as well as more predictable back torque on corner entry.

Testing season opens

We will have to wait until the end of November to find out just how much of an improvement the new BMW S1000RR is over the old bike. The WorldSBK paddock will assemble at Jerez on 26th and 27th of November, with all of the teams currently entered set to test. Ducati and Kawasaki will be getting an earlier start, with Chaz Davies getting his first taste of the Ducati Panigale V4 R alongside Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam at Aragon on the 14th and 15th, Wednesday and Thursday of this month.

Yamaha were the last manufacturer to make an announcement at EICMA last week. As had been widely expected, the GRT Yamaha team announced they would be stepping up to the WorldSBK class in 2019 aboard Yamaha YZF-R1Ms. The rider line up was a little more of a surprise: Sandro Cortese got the call to move up, reward for lifting the 2018 WorldSSP crown. Marco Melandri, discarded by Ducati, was picked up by GRT Yamaha, in a move which had been rumored for a while.

Open seats

Those might have been the announcements which have already been made, but there are still plenty of questions still left unanswered. There are some big names left unsigned, and some manufacturers still uncertain of competing. There are perpetual rumors about Aprilia's intention for 2019, rumors which span the gamut from a complete withdrawal to fielding a factory team. There is talk of Suzuki being interested in WorldSBK, though their involvement would only extend to supplying bikes, and little else. The Suzuki GSX-R1000R produces 202hp, and has been competitive in British Superbikes.

Riders left without a seat for 2019 at the moment include Eugene Laverty, WorldSBK runner up in 2013 and multiple race winner; Xavi Fores, who had five podiums in 2018 and was often ahead of the factory-backed Aruba.it Ducatis; Loris Baz, double race winner on a Kawasaki as teammate to Tom Sykes; Lorenzo Savadori, regarded by Aprilia as the future of their program; and Jordi Torres, an immensely popular Spaniard and race winner for Aprilia.

Also out of WorldSBK is Laguna Seca. The US circuit announced their 2019 schedule last week, which included a curt statement that World Superbikes would not be part of the MotoAmerica round in July, as is tradition.

Where WorldSBK will be racing in 2019 is still not entirely finalized. A calendar is due to be released any day now, but it appears that some details may still need to be finalized. Kyalami in South Africa is set to be one of the stops on the calendar, while the German language website Speedweek is reporting that the Sokol circuit in Kazakhstan could join the calendar.

Below is the 2019 WorldSBK line up as it stands so far.

Aruba.it Ducati  
Chaz Davies Ducati Panigale V4R
Alvaro Bautista Ducati Panigale V4R
   
Pata Yamaha  
Alex Lowes Yamaha YZF-R1
Michael van der Mark Yamaha YZF-R1
   
GRT Yamaha  
Marco Melandri Yamaha YZF-R1
Sandro Cortese Yamaha YZF-R1
   
Kawasaki Racing Team  
Jonathan Rea Kawasaki ZX-10RR
Leon Haslam Kawasaki ZX-10RR
   
Barni Ducati  
Michael Ruben Rinaldi Ducati Panigale V4R
   
Moriwaki Althea Honda  
Leon Camier Honda CBR1000RR
Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda CBR1000RR
   
SMR BMW  
Tom Sykes BMW S1000RR
Markus Reiterberger BMW S1000RR
   
Puccetti Kawasaki  
Toprak Razgatlioglu Kawasaki ZX-10RR
   
Pedercini  
Gabriel Ruiu Kawasaki ZX-10RR? Aprillia RSV4?
   
GoEleven  
Roman Ramos Kawasaki ZX-10RR? Aprillia RSV4?
   
Althea Honda  
Alessandro Delbianco? Honda CBR1000RR

Gathering the background information for detailed articles such as these is an expensive and time-consuming operation. If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting MotoMatters.com. You can help by either taking out a subscription, by making a donation, or by contributing via our GoFundMe page.

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Tom's Tech Treasures: Studying The MotoGP Bikes At Phillip Island

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.


Torque sensor on the Yamaha M1
Peter Bom: Like all current MotoGP engines, the Yamaha M1 has a torque sensor fitted to the drive shaft. By measuring the amount of torque delivered on the track, the manufacturer can validate their engine dyno torque maps and fine tune them on the track. Note that Yamaha don’t use them on Sunday, that’s when everything should be sorted out. Left of the sprocket is an ‘inside-out’ or inverted sprocket which the external starter motor slides into.


Reinforced chassis on the Suzuki GSX-RR
Peter Bom: By gluing carbon fiber onto specific points, Suzuki can increase the stiffness of their chassis exactly where they want, and how much they want.


Aerodynamic outflows on the Ducati GP18 (Petrucci)


Suzuki GSX-RR engine


Honda RC213V tail (Marquez)


Carbon swingarm (Honda RC213V)


Front end of the Yamaha M1 (Valentino Rossi) with carbon fork


Electronics hub on the Yamaha M1


Ducati GP18 winglets


Electronics hub on the KTM RC16


Sensor on the clutch lever on Valentino Rossi’s M1 to evaluate starts. Maverick Viñales has a similar system


If you would like access to the full-size versions of these technical photos and all of Peter Bom's explanations, as well as desktop-size versions of the other fantastic photos which appear on the site, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. A subscription will also give you access to the many in-depth and exclusive articles we produce for MotoMatters.com site supporters. The more readers who join our growing band of site supporters, the better we can make MotoMatters.com, and the more readers will get out of the website.

If you would like to buy a copy of one of thes photos, you can email Thomas Morsellino

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Grand Prix Commission Close Down More Electronics Loopholes

The Grand Prix Commission is to tighten the noose on electronics a little further, in an attempt to prevent cheating. The GPC today issued a press release containing the minutes of their meeting held at the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang. There, they agreed restrictions on the ECU, agreed to limit riders in all classes to FIM homologated helmets, and increased the penalty for speeding in pit lane.

The two changes to the electronics are aimed at restricting the ability of teams to alter the data on the official ECU. The first change allows the Technical Director to use an official approved laptop to download the data directly from the datalogger on the bike, connected to the ECU, rather than relying on the team to provide the data. By downloading the data directly, the idea is to ensure that the data has not been altered for whatever reason.

The issue for the teams is that their data is then stored on a computer outside their control. To ensure that such data does not leak to their rivals, a safeguard has been put in place to have the data deleted once it has been verified by Technical Control.

The second change to the regulations involves forcing the use of an official unified CAN Bus decoupler. This is basically the adapter used to connect a laptop to the spec ECU, to allow the data engineer to download the data from the datalogger. It is called a "decoupler", because it isolated the two ends of the connection, meaning there is no direct electronic connection between the ECU and the laptop, to avoid electrical surges from causing damage. As there is already some intelligence built into the decoupler, it is conceivable that a team or factory could program the decoupler to alter the data in some way as it is being downloaded. Enforcing the use of an official item avoids this.

The other major change for next year is that only FIM homologated helmets will be allowed to be used in any FIM sanctioned racing activity, which includes MotoGP. The FIM homologation of helmets is stricter and more thorough than the current test used by national and international standards, such as ECE, Snell, and JIS. 

In general, this will have a positive effect on safety, both for racers and for consumers, as manufacturers move to incorporate the new FIM standard in the design of their helmets.

But there has been some criticism as well: the FIM homologation process features a hard-shell philosophy. The idea behind this philosophy is that injury from direct impact is best prevented by having a hard helmet shell, which resists puncture or damage as much as possible. Critics say that although this protects against direct impact, it does not absorb energy as well, increasing the risk of brain damage because the rider's head is stopped more abruptly, generating higher g forces, and allowing the rider's brain to move inside their skull.

The other school of helmet design favors a softer shell, which has more flexibility. The idea behind this is to bend slightly and absorb energy, allowing the rider's head to decelerate more slowly, and reducing the chance of brain injury as the brain moves inside the skull. The downside to this philosophy is a lower resistance to impact, the critics claim. 

Depending on which philosophy a particular helmet manufacturer follows, it will be easier or more difficult to obtain FIM homologation. Some manufacturers may be forced to produce special racing helmets to comply with the FIM requirements.

The press release from the GPC appears below, and from the FIM on helmet homologation below that:


FIM Grand Prix World Championship
Decision of the Grand Prix Commission

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Paul Duparc (FIM), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA), in the presence of Carlos Ezpeleta (Dorna), Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting) and Corrado Cecchinelli (Director of Technology), in a meeting held in Sepang on 3 November 2018 made the following decisions:

Technical Regulations

EFFECTIVE SEASON 2019

Data Analysis – MotoGP Class
The Technical Director has been granted authority to download data directly from the ECU to the “Official PC” for the purpose of verifying that it has not been modified from its original recording. Once it is established that the data complies with the FIM regulations it will be deleted from the Official PC.

ECU and Connections – MotoGP Class
In addition to the official ECU and IMU teams are now restricted to only using the official unified CAN decoupler which may also not be modified or have additions.

The unified Can decoupler is categorised as a “Free Device”

Ambient Fuel Temperature – MotoGP Class
The lead time between the announcement of the official ambient temperature and the start of the race has been increased from 60 to 75 minutes. This is to give teams more time to complete the fuelling process.

Helmets
The Commission approved the new FIM helmet standard established by the FIM for all circuit racing disciplines. This means that there will now be a single, enhanced standard for helmets, replacing the various international standards used before (ECE, Snell and JIS).

Helmet homologation tests are ongoing with some manufacturers having already concluded the tests and some planned within the next weeks. It is the intention of the FIM to publish by the Valencia GP a list of the helmets manufacturers that have been approved through the FIM Racing Homologation Programme and of those which are working to achieve this.

Brake Components
More detailed specifications for the materials used for brake hose connections and brake master cylinders were approved.

Disciplinary Matters

EFFECTIVE SEASON 2019

Speeding in Pit Lane
Currently there is a standard fine of €200 for exceeding the pit lane speed limit.

In future the FIM MotoGP Stewards will have the possibility to impose larger financial penalties for repeat offences during the same event. The Stewards will also have the right to impose higher fines or further penalties for excessive speed or for multiple repeat offences during the season.


FIM homologated helmets mandatory in Grand Prix as of 2019

Following the decision of the last Grand Prix Commission, who gathered in Sepang (MAL) on November 3 2018, the use of FIM homologated helmets will be mandatory for all riders accessing FIM Grand Prix competitions starting from next year. The FIM homologation will be thus required for the helmets in place of the international standards (ECE, Snell and JIS) to which the FIM referred solely to until now. Relatively to the international standards previously referred to, the FIM homologated helmets have undergone an enhanced and more complete evaluation of their performance; this includes an assessment of the protection against low, medium and high velocity linear impacts, oblique impacts and penetration.

The FIM Homologation Label will uniquely identify each helmet that access FIM Grand Prix competitions and will be an efficient tracking tool for Technical Stewards. By scanning the label QR code, information relative to the helmet features and the validity of the homologation will be accessible. A link to the tradename webpage will be also available for redirection to the advertising and the web services offered by each single manufacturer. Further, the 3D FIM Hologram will add a high security value to the label in order to guarantee maximum trust in the homologation.

‘This is a true example of technology at the service of sport and safety, we are very proud that this Programme’s launch is under way and that the industry and the whole racing community have welcomed these changes’ explained Fabio Muner, FIM Sports Director.

It is the intention of the FIM to publish by the Valencia GP a list of the helmets manufacturers that have been approved through the FIM Racing Homologation Programme and of those which are working to achieve this.

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