Honda's seamless shift gearbox has been the talk of the MotoGP world since it first debuted at Sepang, with journalists on a quest to chase down exactly what it is and how it works. The only response you receive from HRC or Honda riders about the gearbox is that it is "better" and that it is "smoother". The best guess about its operation so far has been that it is either based on or very similar to the Xtrac Instantaneous Gearshift System, which allows two gears to be engaged simultaneously, while driving only one.
Since the introduction of the system, speculation has been rampant as to exactly how much advantage Honda's gearbox confers. Wild guesses were doing the rounds, with the highest guess being that it would give an advantage of 0.9 seconds a lap, an absolute eternity. According to one of the journalists over at GPOne.com, Filippo Preziosi said he believed that Honda's gearbox was probably worth around 0.2 seconds a lap.
In my adopted home of the Netherlands, they have a saying: "Meten is weten", to measure is to know. In that spirit, I went out to the side of the track during the test, and took a number of recordings of bikes exiting Turn 10 and shifting up the gears, going past and shifting up. On the basis of those sound recordings, I tried to estimate the length of the gearchange for each of the bikes that I had recorded.