Honda Doesn't Have Pneumatic Valves At Shanghai

The speculation over over the past few weeks had been intense: would Honda risk their untested pneumatic valve engine at Shanghai, to take advantage of the added top end power it should provide? Now that practice has started, the answer appears to be "no" at least according to Spanish sports daily AS asked Dani Pedrosa whether he had the air valve engine, and Pedrosa answered that they did not. "The engine isn't here. It's not ready," the Repsol Honda rider said. "I asked to have the engine once it is ready and working, so we don't have to put it to the test. For the moment, we will have to work with what we have. No deadline has been set, and I don't know when it will be ready. We were supposed to have it to test after Estoril, but there were a few problems which meant it wasn't there".

So it looks as if the Repsol Honda men will have to make do with the conventional steel spring engine. That bike isn't doing too badly so far: Although the RC212V was 9km/h slower than Casey Stoner's Ducati GP8 down Shanghai's interminable back straight, as 320.5 versus 329.4 km/h, Pedrosa is just 1.4 km/h down on Valentino Rossi, and close enough in total lap time.

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