Casey Stoner Tests The 2012 1000cc Honda At Jerez

The 2012 machines are slowly starting to emerge. After Ducati debuted their 2012 Desmosedici in a private test at Jerez back in early April, today, it was the turn of Honda to hand their 2012 machine over to their factory riders. Casey Stoner took the machine out most of the day's testing, after a quick shakedown by Honda's test rider Shinichi Itoh. Dani Pedrosa had been scheduled to ride the bike on Wednesday, but as the Spaniard broke his collarbone in the crash between himself and Marco Simoncelli, Pedrosa is unable to test the 2012 machine. Based on the data from the test and the weather for tomorrow - thunderstorms are forecast for Wednesday afternoon at Jerez de la Frontera - HRC will decide whether to use another one of the 8 days testing allowed during the season and send Stoner back out, or wait for a later date (and better weather) and give Pedrosa some time on the bike.

The bike, according to the Honda press release, is based on the RC212V, and at first glance the machine is virtually identical. The only difference that catches the eye is the modified radiator side vent, which carries a bar and seems slightly larger than the 800cc machine. As the Ducati also had a modified radiator side vent, it would seem that the 2012 machines do not generate the same amount of heat as the 800s. Given that the 1000s are likely to rev at significantly lower engine speeds, the amount of engine heat generated will also be different.

Images, courtesy of Honda Racing:

Casey Stoner on the Honda 2012 Machine at Jerez

Casey Stoner on the Honda 2012 Machine at Jerez

Casey Stoner on the Honda 2012 Machine at Jerez

Casey Stoner on the Honda 2012 Machine at Jerez

Below is the official press release from Repsol Honda about the test:

Casey Stoner tests the 2012 Honda prototype in Jerez

With a two week break before the Grand Prix of Catalunya, Honda Racing Corporation today returned to the track in Jerez with French GP winner Casey Stoner aboard the 2012 Honda prototype

HRC test riders Kosuke Akiyoshi and Shinichi Ito have been testing this machine in April at Suzuka, Japan and it was planned for Repsol Honda Team riders Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner to both test in Jerez this week. However, after Pedrosa's accident in Le Mans it was not possible for him to take part and only Stoner has been involved.

Shinichi performed the shake down of the new machine early this morning at the Jerez track, before Casey began his testing schedule at 11am local time in perfect sunny conditions. He completed a total of 50 laps (221km) and as well as using the standard 800cc Bridgestone tyres used this season, he also tested the new prototype tyres for 2012.

This early season test will give valuable feedback about the new prototype from the first stages of its development. HRC sent senior mechanics from the Repsol Honda Team to Jerez to work closely with the R&D engineers and Casey Stoner. The new machine is based on the concept of the present RC212V and the experience gained in the last stage of 800cc bikes. HRC started work on this new project in late 2009, when the new regulations for 2012 become official for the MotoGP class, stating a capacity of 1000cc, maximum bore of 81mm and maximum 4 cylinders.

A crucial point with the 1000cc engine will be fuel consumption, as again in 2012 bikes will keep the 21 litre tank as per the 800cc machines. To deal with this issue, Repsol recently sent experts to Japan to develop a specific fuel and lubricant for the new bike and engineers at the Repsol Technology Centre are focusing on a fuel which will not only offer optimum fuel efficiency but also deliver maximum performance.

Each manufacturer has eight days of testing during the season with contracted riders on the 2012 machine. After checking today's data and the weather forecast, HRC will decide whether or not to continue testing tomorrow with Stoner. HRC will then choose how to make the best use of the remaining days left to work on track with the new prototype, hoping Pedrosa recovers soon to also give his feedback on the new machine.

There is no further update on Dani Pedrosa's chosen direction for recovery, he is still evaluating the two options with his doctors, whether to have surgery or let the fracture heal naturally.

Repsol starts developing a next-generation fuel

Researchers from the Repsol Technology travelled some days ago to Saitama (Japón), where Honda is developing a new 1000cc motorbike that will compete in the MotoGP World Championship from 2012. Coordinated with their Japanese counterparts, Repsol experts started to develop a specific fuel and lubricant for the new bike, which was driven today for the first time by Casey Stoner in a private test held at Jerez Circuit.

After creating in 2010 the fuel Marc Márquez used to become 125cc World Champion, the engineers of the Repsol Technology Centre focused on the development of a fuel adapted to the new MotoGP displacement. Repsol thus makes available to Honda all its knowledge about lubricants an fuels for racing, at the same time, Honda shares its racing engines technology.

To develop the fuel with the maximum performance and better adapted to the new 1000cc engine. Repsol will carry out various tests with a single cylinder engine for research based on the prototype being developed by Honda for the next MotoGP season.

Casey Stoner

"Everything has gone very well, very positive. It's just nice to ride the 1000cc again, to feel the engine and the power. I had a lot of fun, I enjoyed the first day because everything we've tried seems to be working, so no complaints. The biggest disappointment is that Dani is not going be here to test as he is important to the development of this bike.

I hope that soon HRC can get his input as well because we need as much data as possible, in order to be ready for next season. We didn't focus on anything special today, just tried to understand what the bike is doing, how it reacts on the brakes and things like that, also considering some the issues we have with the 800cc right now.

The braking point seems to be stronger, stability in the front going into the corner seems to be very good, and of course we want to understand how the power delivery is, and it is very smooth so no problem. In general, we haven't changed too much from the set up we have on the 800cc right now and the feeling is very similar, so it's pretty good".

Shuhei Nakamoto Vicepresident of HRC

"I think we had a good day of testing, the machine worked well as we hoped, without any specific issues. Of course, it's just the first day so we will need to improve but we tested many things and everything was ok. Casey is happy with a more powerful engine, also drivability was ok and on the chassis side we need to keep progressing.

Unfortunately, Dani is not here and it would be better to have both riders' feedback. Casey's comments are very similar to the ones we received from the test riders, and this is good. Hopefully we can get Dani's impressions soon to keep working on the development".

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Looks exactly the same as the 800cc!
Have to feel a bit sorry for Dovi that he didn't get to test at all, especially since Dani wasn't there and they probably had a spare bike? Suppose if he won more than 1 race since joining Moto Gp, he'd have been given a shot...

Can someone enlighten me here please. Can manufacturers use different fuels to each other ..... isn't there a single spec for that sort of thing? Does the above also mean that even in the same team you could potentially have different fuels being used in different bikes?

In MotoGP Repsol develops a special fuel for their Honda team just as Petronas for Yamaha, Shell for Ducati and Elf used to do for Kawasaki.
Don't know about Suzuki though.
They spend lot of time and ressources in this, I doubt they would give different fuels inside of the same team for the same engine, but that's just a feeling.

Racing bikes use racing-grade fuels, at least in MotoGP, I'm not sure about world superbikes.

That's exactly what I do when I'm heading to a track day on my Gixxer!

I hadn't thought about the fuel part of the equation.
Is there an underground fuel war going between the suppliers that the 21L rule is exacerbating?

They have limits on Octane of the fuel. Though maybe there's a little extra magic in some kinds, but I doubt it. At least not since the 500 days.

As Brookespeed said, there is an octane limit, and no doubt a couple of other less obvious regulations. For the most part fuel is one of the areas where engineers/chemists are free to develop. There is no spec fuel. It's the same in F1.

Oil too, something which is often overlooked. Factories spend alot on creating lubricants with less friction, and with the 2012 regulations creating something of a 'spec' engine, they'll be ramping it up further. Reducing friction effectively grants horsepower.

It looks as though a lot of work has gone into the aerodynamics of the bike at first glance. It just looks more 'slippery' than the current 800,even narrower judging from the photo's.Obvious are the larger intake vents.The old fuel limit bugbear remains a talking point,but as pointed out,lubrication and reduced friction are paramount especially when the engine allocation limit is taken into consideration.This goes hand in hand with aerodynamic efficiency.Within the engine,friction is the enemy of power output. Externally,wind resistance is the enemy of potential top speed and fuel consumption. The fuel limitation ensures that aerodynamics are a critical focus point right now. More so than ever before.
I wonder how long it will be before we see this revised bodywork on the current 800. No doubt all the manufacturers will use this current loophole in testing to advance the efficiency of their 800's. Lest we forget,they all wish to bow out of the 800 era as the inceptions last champion.
On a rider level,the mere fact that Dovi was not brought in to test in place of Dani tells a story of its own. Two rider factory Honda team next year. Sattelite or CRT for the rest. I don't see Simmo getting a factory bike next year either.
That over zealous move on Dani may prove to be as expensive for his GP career as was Barry Sheene's Yamaha T-shirt stunt back in the 70's.

Ya unless Dovi starts winning races pronto, he'll be out on his ass. Maybe go to Gresini with Simo since Aoyama is under-performing even more?

I'm curious though; what did Barry do in the 70's?

Totally agree, Aoyama might not be challenging for podiums (although he did in Jerez) but to say he's underperforming I think is a bit out there. He's 14 points ahead of Simo, hasn't been outside the top 10, and has finished every race (I'm pretty sure Dovi and Lorenzo are the only other riders that can say that). All while on a bike that isn't quite up to spec (and after breaking his spine!)
I'd say he's doing pretty well. He's consitant and careful. He's making Simo look even worse right now though Simo might be doing a better job at that by himself.

Hes an ex-250 champ and its his second year in the series on the same bike so he knows it much better now. I think he would be expected to be in the Edwards/Dovi/Rossi/Spies group, chasing down the front 3 but his times are not up there yet.
Hes 14 ahead of Simo but nowhere near the same pace. Once Simo chills out a bit and starts finishing races, he'll clear off.
Now, I like Aoyama,hes clean and tidy with his lines and seems like a quiet, hard worker. But he finished 20 seconds off Simo last race even though Simo had a ride-through. Factory bike or no factory bike, 45 seconds difference between teammates over 27 laps is definitely under-performing

That makes the assumption that the difference between the Factory and Tech3 M1 is the same as the difference between the factory RC212V and the satellite version. There is only suggestion to the contrary.

Didn't make that assumption, I think anyway. There is not 45 seconds difference between simo and Aoyamas bikes, its mostly down to the riders (IMO), that was my point.

Perhaps, in good time, enlightenment may be bountifully bestowed upon my person, by your good person, as to the meaning of your most recent of comments, thanking you

The only have 8 days of testing, yet they decide if Dani can't test to only run one bike.
Don't they have another 2 riders under contract? I can understand they may not let Simoncelli ride it after what happened in Le mans, but Dovi?

It's obviously better to let him ride than no data, or a slow testrider.

Seems Puig still has them by the balls....

Only riders with contracts for 2012 are allowed to test the 2012 bikes. That means only Rossi, Hayden, Stoner, Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Spies.

Interesting..... didn't know that. Given the absence of Dani, I too was wondering why Dovi wasn't given a shot at the 1000. I like the guy. He's struggling to match his factory Honda colleagues, but I too assumed his input would be better than no input at all. I respect Honda, but I didn't like thinking they valued him so little, regardless of his obviously tenuous position with them.

Thanks for the info David. Clears that up.

Please check Doviziosos stats/"accomplishments" so far, he deserves better than a Pramac or a WSBK ride. He is maybe not an alien, but definitely a top5/6 rider and one of the smartest out there (invers Simoncelli ...).

2008 JiR HONDA 5th overall
2009 REPSOL H. 6th -"-
2010 REPSOL H. 5th -"-
2011 REPSOL H. (4th) -"-

If not HONDA (GRESINI? LCR?), maybe TECH 3 could be an option for him (Colins contract ends at the end of this season as far as I know ...). But of course: 1000cc, etc. ...

and the members comments is just a reminder of why i love this site. i like how david observed the aerodynamics/rev/heat connection regarding the current and future bikes. also, someone brought up fuel which made me think about how different compounds of fuel also burn at different temps. i believe the factory engineers havent been this happy since the last engine capacity change. too bad all the things happening off the track lately have been much more interesting than the racing =)

if, as a consequence of Dani's injury, he cannot test and influence the development process of the new bike. If it is developed according to Casey's needs, Marco may have wrecked this year and next for Dani.

Tend to get deleted, as they do not contribute anything to the conversation. No matter which rider they are made supporting or attacking.

It's the old credo of "if you're not with us, you're against us" which is the worst kind of nonsense imaginable.

My comment was contentious but clean and relevant. Sure, a few may have disagreed but I don't agree with everything you write..and I resemble that remark about being stupid ;o)

The remark removed was a disguised attack on Stoner, and rather shallow. From what I can gather from speaking to Stoner, he genuinely wanted Pedrosa to test the bike, as Pedrosa has 4 years experience on the RC212V, as well as a year on the 211V, and so can help develop the bike in the right direction, and give him, Stoner, a winning machine. He genuinely likes having Pedrosa as a teammate, just as he liked having Hayden as a teammate. And the reason he doesn't mind is because he believes he can beat them any day of the week. The operative word, of course, being "believes". Pedrosa - as long as he can stay healthy, which is not easy - is no pushover.

Maybe, after 18 months, Stoner might not be so happy for Pedrosa to be testing. But right now, he doesn't mind. a bit strong?

Questioning Caseys development feedback after his results at Ducati went backwards? Dani has won nothing in five years?..they're facts are they not?
I just think that privately, Stoner may not be as unhappy as he comes over, publicly his words are completely understandable given who he works for.

I appreciate your response and don't want to upset you so I'll shut up for now.
MMs is a great site, one of the best..but it's not perfect.

Facts they may be. However in no way do they necessarily correlate to the quality or otherwise of a riders feedback. That is a fact you should full well be aware of. Far too many other factors need to be considered before opinioning on the feedback quality of a riders comments.

MotoMatters is not a Stoner site. But it is also not a Rossi site. Nor is it a Pedrosa site, a Lorenzo site, a Hayden site, or even a Bautista site or a Barbera site. Nor is it a Redding, Iannone, Biaggi, Davies, Laverty, Takahashi, Marquez or Faubel site.

I try to be as objective as possible. When objective fails, then I at least aim for dispassionate. I realize that to hardcore fans of a particular rider, that can sometimes be harsh. 

My policy, therefore (and as I am human, it gets applied completely inconsistently and when I feel like it) is to allow positive posts in favor of a rider, and remove posts attacking a rider (no matter who those riders are). There is plenty of room for criticism of riders here, but I like it to be fact-based, or at least well-argued.

I think that if you thought about your charges against Stoner, you could probably make a decent case for them, and one which I would absolutely let stand here, whether I agreed with them or not. However, I think you write faster than you think sometimes, which can be a shame.

I am very glad for your support for the site, and I welcome your contributions. I would only ask that you go back and read them twice before deciding to post them finally, as I think if you did, you would make a much better case for your argument.

Again, thanks for your support, and thanks for feeling strongly enough that you want to participate. But I have to be strict sometimes, not so much for the people who have posted something, but more because of the possible responses those posts may provoke.

clarify that, it feels as if you needed to justify your actions in front of very biased fans, and you don't, simply because you are one of the most objectives GP reporters around and very few readers question this.
And when you feel a bit more passionate, you write in the editor's blog section, which is a good solution.
Don't waste your time justifying yourself too often, otherwise you will end up just doing that because of a minority of comments. Or maybe write a disclaimer which you can point to every time these unfounded and ridiculous suspicions (accusations) arise?
As usual that's very well phrased, cautious, honest and crystal clear.

I understand and will admit to the odd inflammatory post..though nothing is meant personally, to riders and other posters alike.
Debate can get a little heated and it can't be easy moderating yet allowing the flow to continue unabated. It's a thin line and one I'll endeavour to bear in mind going forward.

We have a lot in common after all..our love of motorcycles and the sport in particular.


Thanks for that link Nostodamus.
Great insight to how the crew chiefs like to work,
they like the riders to tell them what the bike is doing and not
suggest how to fix it.

Ramon Facada's comment about Casey,
"It’s a rider that for me needs a good group around to build confidence, but (Stoner) has a very good base. He is able to understand things that are difficult. He can feel very small things."

Makes sense now why during practice/qualifying Casey will often ride out of the pits and do only 1 lap and come straight back in.
He can tell straight away whether the "tweak" has worked or not.

Thanks Nostro it's a decent piece but it still doesn't really answer the question. No doubts that the rider doesn't spanner or where his particular area of expertease is, but that's never really been the question or assumption, It's still entirely possible that some riders are just better at not only feeling the issues but translating that into useable feedback. WSBK riders moving to GP are a good example there is an information overload when they first move, it stands to reason that some will cope/adapt better than others and one area where this will be significant is in both giving and using feedback/data better than other riders.
On the Casey(I use him because he has the most different approach to the practice/qual) point and this will no doubt be derided in the interest of fairness. Is that even if Casey is way off the pace, he has still kept to the few laps at a time approach even though it is not translating into results. . It could well explain how he often hasn't shown the race pace he has shown in practice/quali. He has been quoted as saying when asked why he hasn't practiced with a full tank that it is 'the same for everyone' where you would expect that the other aliens work hard at it, as the start(on the full tank) it is often the key part of the race(and where Casey struggles). Of course it's down to individual riders but there appears to be plenty of scope for a rider to add value to his performance by both his understanding of what the bike is doing and his ability to translate it in to useable data...

Most wins I saw Casey take on the Ducati were when he shot out from the start of a race with a full tank of gas and pulled a big lead on the rest of the field.

This year on the Honda Casey said that he has set the bike up to come on when the fuel load has lightened and has preferred to sit back at a comfortable pace before passing. Thats what he did at Qatar and the same at Jerez (till VR took him out). At LeMans he knew/thought he could lead as his pace during practice was much faster than everyone else, but Dani obviously found some pace.
CS said he was running faster than he would of liked but still managed a win.

As you always keep mentioning that the Ducati has gone backwards since Casey was there, yeah maybe he isnt best development rider there ever was, but he never had Jeremy Burgess by his side either.

The article confirms my long held assumpton that engineers ie the factory and the crew chief are the ones that develop the bikes. The rider's job is to tell them what problems he is having with the bike but NOT to give the solution.

To say lay the blame for Ducati going backwards over the last few years on Casey's shoulders is unfair. The factory gives him a new model bike at the start of each year. He and the crew has to fix the problems before the bike can be competitive. Last year is a good example. Performed poorly at the start but winning races at the end. Who developed the bike over the year? Casey's crew with Casey's input.

Rossi has the same problem this year, new bike with same old problem because the factory can't fix it. Can Rossi and Jeremy developed the Ducati to a winning machine by the end of the season? I think not even with all the extra money that Ducati is throwing at it.

I feel that Pedrosa is exactly like Stoner, very confident in his own abilities and not worried to have a competitive teammate that might outscore him. To them that's only gonna be an extra incentive, not a weight on their mind.
And after the past 3 seasons, Lorenzo must be pretty much bullet-proof, just like Spies.

I'm glad you deleted some of these "fanboy" comments David. There is another website (rhymes with trash) that facilitates fanboy comments.
I'm a Stoner fan and I think he is the fastest rider by far but I recognize the guy has some rough edges.
I don't understand people who come onto this site with the sole purpose of rubbishing Stoner or any other rider for that matter.
Let's not turn this forum into an idiotically parochial site.

Thanks fot the enlightenment David. I missed out somewhere between business and pleasure that only 2012 contracted factory riders may test proposed 2012 factory kit over the 8 day limit,2011. That explains it for me as to why Dovi,Hiro etc could not step in for Dani.
BobDog...I can place the Barry Sheene comment around the time he threatened and clearly intended moving to Yamaha,expecting the same kit Kenny was getting.
I've got it somewhere in a video taped interview with F1 commentary legend Murray Walker. Apparently it was at some party/function when Barry,still with Suzuki,turned up wearing a Yamaha T-shirt. He was promptly told something to the effect,that if he wore it inside,it would prove to be the most expensive he ever wore. Barry promptly did and the rest is history.
What has this got to do with Casey testing the RC213V...oops,did I designate it #13 ? Nothing really,other than to emphasise that what was then,is just as it is now.
Rewind and laugh. Valentino to Ducati, Stoner to Honda...Back then Ago to forward Lawson to Honda.
Technologically the sport has advanced,as one would expect,but fundamentally the character of the sport,critique and hero worship has not changed much,if at all.

There's a transcript on the forum of a very recent interview with J.B where he makes a most telling point about Ducati development - at least while Stoner was there:

Beattie directly asked Burgess if now that he had seen the inside of the Ducati MotoGP bike and team, if he "... wondered how the hell Casey ever won races on it?".

Burgess responded, "Look, Casey is a fantastic rider and did a wonderful job on that bike. But there were too many DNFs. In this particular instance, Ducati let themselves down by only analyzing the success. They never analyzed the failure. They treated the DNFs of Casey as (being) more specific to Casey, as bad luck rather than something not quite right (with the bike). .. Perhaps Casey had to ride too close to the limit to win. the margin Casey had was a lot slimmer than we would like to have on the bike that Valentino rides."

Obviously that doesn't of itself make Stoner a fantastic development rider - but if HRC have belief in Stoner as a rider and listen to what he says - and react to that - there is no reason yet to believe that what happened at Ducati will be repeated at Honda.