Yamaha 1000cc Test At Misano: Too Much Horsepower For A Tight Track

The factory Yamaha team concluded a 1-day test at Misano on Monday, taking the 2012 Yamaha MotoGP machine out for the second time, after an earlier test at Brno. The test had originally been planned as a public test together with Honda and Ducati, but Ducati withdrew from the Misano test in July, and Honda pulled out shortly after the Brno test, both factories saying that they had nothing to test. As a result, the test morphed into a private test, leaving a small band of journalists to twiddle their thumbs in the press room, with no access to times and no access to the pit lane.

As a result, we have only the times released by the factory to go by, and with Jorge Lorenzo posting a 1'33.7 and Ben Spies posting a 1'34.3, both men were a couple of tenths quicker on the 1000cc bike on Monday than they were during the race on the 800s a day earlier. The difference with Brno was mainly down to the difference in the tracks: Brno is a big horsepower circuit with plenty of places where the added grunt can come into play. Misano is much tighter, with a lot of low-gear corners exiting onto the straights, meaning that neither the 800 nor the 1000 could use their horsepower to full effect. As a consequence, the extra mid-range of the 1000 largely went to waste. Even from the press room, sat above Misano's front straight, it was clear the 1000s were struggling to get the power down, the bikes wanting to wheelie all along the pit straight.

The small difference in times between the 1000s and the 800s rather validates Colin Edwards decision to join the NGM Forward team aboard a CRT machine. At Indianapolis, Edwards had said that while the CRT bikes would struggle at horsepower tracks like Brno and Mugello, there would be tight tracks like Laguna Seca and the Sachsenring where they would be much more able to hold their own. Given the fact that the times Lorenzo posted on Monday aboard the 1000 were pretty much identical to the times he was running in race trim during qualifying, Misano could be another track where the CRT bikes might be in with a chance.

Below is the official press release from Yamaha:

Yamaha Complete Second Successful 1000cc Test in Misano

Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies had their second opportunity to ride the 2012 1000cc YZR-M1 today at the Misano circuit in San Marino. The test followed Lorenzo's flawless Grand Prix win yesterday, his second Italian victory of the season. The bikes tested were the same as first used in Brno in August, with minor changes to set up and electronics for the tighter, twistier Misano circuit.

Jorge Lorenzo

Position : 1st Time: 1'33.7 Laps: 60

"It's been a little bit more difficult here than Brno, which is a very fast track. Misano is a little bit slower so the difference between the 800 and the 1000 is much smaller. It's difficult to understand the riding style you must use straight away. We've made a lot of progress in a couple of hours and the bike has a lot of potential. I'm very excited about the future. We've been working on the electronics to help in the braking area but mainly I've been getting used to the riding style of the bike and also adapting the bike to my riding."

Ben Spies

Position : 2nd Time: 1'34.3 Laps: 74

"We rode the same bike as we did in Brno but we changed a bunch of things and started working on a lot of electronics. Misano is a much more physical track; it's quite tight so there's a lot of wheelies and rear spinning. It's fun to ride but very physical compared to the 800. I enjoyed it a lot and we went quite fast on it, getting some pretty good lap times. We've got a lot of data now for the engineers to go away and work on the next step for our next test. I think next year is going to be really good and I'm looking forward to racing the thousand!"

Test Times

1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1'33.7

2. Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1'34.3

Misano Record Lap

J.Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2011, 1'33.906

Misano Best Lap

C.Stoner (Honda) 2011, 1'33.138

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is a call bandied around by both journo's and web jockeys. Just wait until Hayden, Spies, and old hands like Rossi get the big bikes back then the men will be sorted from the boys. Yeah, yeah, meantime back in the real world Cadalora smooth Mr Corner Speed World Champ Lorenzo slings a leg over the thing and is damn fast straight away. Surprising? Hardly.....
He really was a kid at Christmas after the Brno test. Buzzing out of his skin with the thousand thrill. Infectious.

Did you miss the title headline that this was a test?

I doubt we will know if the "thou's" really make a difference until by maybe the second or third race of next year. I suspect/hope that they will at least allow for more rider, and less machine, accountability for the results.

I can't understand why those kind of slow, tight tracks are in MotoGP, at the other hand the likes of Monza are in 'slower' WSBK serie. BTW interesting how the current races would look like when Misano would again be reverted to the old direction. Anyway what for developing the fastest bikes for just too slow track? It's beyond me.

Strange that Ducati declined to stay on and do this Misano test, but i understand they are doing a three day test at Mugello this week with Rossi doing one day of it. Maybe they think the faster nature of Mugello is a better test for the 1000.
And i wonder what they are testing which is using up another of their limited test days for the 1000s, could it be a new frame?? we will find out soon.

Yeah agree brutale, I suspect Ducati are trying something totally new and therefore at the very infancy of development. Best kept behind closed doors till they are making some real progress, anytime will be directly compared and I suspect with their lack of development time will not be favourable to ducati.. and it may not work of course..
Are Casey and Jorge riding the 1000 the way it should?? not sure yet, at the last test Casey's best time(though considerably better than his race pace) was only a 10th better than Danis best 800 time from the weekend a 1.56.3. This test barely any diff for the yams.. Can't help thinking their is more to come and the relatively 'incredible times' at Mugello were specific to the track having new very sticky asphalt..

The 1000's straight out of the box are faster than the 800's which have five years of development. Also either Rossi or Hayden commented that the 1000 Ducati was about half a second faster than the 800 around Mugello. Once again a brand new bike faster than the old one which has had a lot development. Rossi also commented that he was impressed with the performance of the new Yamaha at Brno. And it is very likely that both Yamaha and Honda don't want to show what they can really do just yet. So yes, a lot more to come from the new bikes.

Maybe they kept the 5 years of development in the chassis and electronics and just stuck a new motor in it?

Even if they have just stuck a 1000 cc motor in an 800 cc frame ( and I seriously doubt it is that simple, and obviously not for Ducati) it is clear from all the riders' comments that the 1000 bike behaves very differently on the track and requires a different riding style. Also Stoner in particular commented after Brno that a lot of work needs to be done to get the electronics right. All riders have experienced issues with excessive wheelieing and wheelspin. So it is reasonable to expect that the new bikes will be quite a bit quicker on most tracks once they are sorted.