2012 IRTA MotoGP Jerez Test Photos - The Editor's Mediocre Pit Lane Shots

No cilinder head peaking through the fairings on Valentino Rossi's bike shows how much the engine has changed

New for 2012: front brake protectors. The riders don't even notice they're there.

Racing art: Brembos machined from solid

Nicky Hayden's crew chief Juan Martinez has plenty to think about

Compare and contrast wheelbase: Rossi's short bike...

... vs Hayden's longer bike

New in pit lane: screens to protect the prototype's modesty.

Also new in pit lane. Bikes you can wander around and look at without mechanics shooing you away


Just in case somebody fancies a salad

Ten Kate prepared engine, FTR built frame


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Another Rossi vs Hayden difference: Nicky has a rear disc with a lot less drilling, and brake dust all over the rear wheel...

...... Mediocre about them David.

Very interesting details on the wheelbase details.

Keep them coming.

A big part of motoGP is the technological spectacle which is hampered by the secrecy of the factories. If nothing else, the CRTs are giving us a lot of cool stuff to look at.

Great pics, keep them coming. You usually never see the bike with the fairing off in the pits with the door up, the most you will see is whats in these pics. There is no technological spectacle in Motogp, unless you're in the box or the trailer and you have a crew badge. In 10 years in the box of a top team and 3 years in the 4 stroke era, I saw the top end off the engine once. In the two stroke era you'd see everything off at the end of every practice. Nowadays the engine comes in a sealed box and leaves the same way, they dont get opened. That's Dorna's rules on the number of engines, not the team's. Things are a lot more relaxed at the tests, as you can see, but you'll see jack at the races and you'll never see anything that normally resides under the fairing.

...the first person to bite.

Your post is most intriguing. Can you share a few more hints/tidbits about your experience in the paddock? You certainly sound like someone who knows/has seen & done much more than I, so...tell us more!

crank webs rubbing crank cases, holes in pistons, photos sent to Japan etc, dropped valves, sitting talking and watching the race with Barry Sheene the year before he passed away... one of my life's highlights, seeing Barry race on his Manx....I was/am a very lucky person to be allowed to share all of that over a long period of time. If you want to see anything go to Sepang for the tests, its all very friendly like the paddock used to be and you'll see plenty and no one will stop you wandering around.

...for not replying. We just moved into our first house, and to alleviate the pressure (yeah, RIGHT!), we've got the mother-in-law over from England for a couple weeks, which really is fine, because I simply ADORE her, but it's still a LOT on our plates. Simply put, my world is a MAELSTROM right now. Anyway, are you just a dedicated fan with plenty of resources to allow your attendance at tests and races, or are you a member of the paddock? I love listening to/reading stories, so please favor us with more, or send a story or two to theoriginalcraig at either/both of the "Big Two" email carriers...

Thanks for sharing! I'll make it out to Sepang if I ever get the chance. Recently, I met a woman who lives and works in Malaysia for Petronas, and when I told her that I watch every race that takes place at Sepang, she told me where all the good hotels were to stay in Kuala Lumpur. Being cheeky, I joked, "Why don't I just stay with your family?" She replied by giving me her business card, and the address to the family home! If the hospitality in the paddock is 5% as good as the locals' goodwill, then that's water we ALL should be drinking, and I'll try my best to make it to a test someday!

Hope to hear more sometime, and I hope we have 2012 season worth being awake to see!

Hayden's rear disk also looks thicker (vented maybe?) with more braking surface (less holes) which might indicate that he uses them more than Rossi...
These are awesome pics that I could drool on for hours! keep them comming David!

David thanks for the neat pics. Terrible shots - yea right !

Did you hear/do you know if the Duc engine can be moved forward to facilitate increased weight on the front end, which VR seems to be indicating might be helpful?

Looks like they've rotated it around the c/s sprocket. The front head and the crank are way higher. So it looks like they are after a higher CoG for more load-transfer under brakes. That's also what worked for Rossi on the Yamaha when they changed to Bridgestones, but with a much smaller change, just adding extensions to the top of the forks.

Load transfer under brakes - is that the same as understeer?

An excellent article (linked yesterday) 'WHAT'S UP, DUCATI?' by Dennis Noyes wonders if the problem is the engine 'with a lot of rear cylinder weight aft,' as opposed to the Yamaha, which has its engine and gearbox pancaked up as close to the front wheel as poss, to move weight forward.

Yamaha, which has its engine and gearbox pancaked up as close to the front wheel as poss

I suggest you look at the photos of the Yamaha. They could easily move the engine forward another 12cm if forward weight bias was the goal.

it's just a revised engine position as i mentioned, up and back as graham eludes to aide weight transfer under brakes. counterintuitively, you don't attack that problem necessarily by moving an engine forward. yamaha and possibly even honda did similar with their bikes, they just didn't go out of their way to broadcast it. the full width radiator is to provide extra surface area for an engine that was known to have cooling issues in it's original 990 guise. fast forward a decade, add 10cc's more displacement, and it's sure to be making even MORE power now, thus have even MORE rejected heat to dissipate.

OK so braking is sorted - how is the understeer to be addressed - isn't that VR's main complaint (as another poster postulated: if you're running wide you aren't going fast)?

...Rossi's rear brake looks shiny vs Hayden's looks dull(?) Is this because Hayden's was't used before the pics or os it because Rossi really abuses the rear binder and Hayden is of the "no rear brake" camp? I'd die to know!

Hayden's is dull because it is covered in brake dust. He uses it way more.

The extra shine in Rossi's rear disk could just be lighting. David, did they look much different in the metal? It looks like the rear of Rossi's bike was more brightly lit.

The extra holes in Rossi's rear disk could be a setup thing too - maybe he's more concerned with unsprung weight than Hayden.

or is the brake dust from the TC applying the brake ?

For that matter, does the TC use fuel cut, spark cut, brake application or a combination thereof ?

Interesting the different rear brake setups on the Ducatis.
One of the great rivalries was Spencer v Lawson and Lawson apparently hardly used his at all apart from to steady the bike. By contrast Spencer's rear brakes showed heavy signs of use after races, reportedly because he used it to modulate power delivery.
A couple of questions.
Given the difference in the brakes, is it safe to assume that the bikes have the same length swingarms when making assumptions about wheelbase based on those photos?. Is there also adjustment at the swing arm pivot on the frame?
Can someone say what the items above the swingarm are - electronic sensors?

The two on top are wheel speed sensors, quite why there are two I'll let someone else more knowledgeable answer that. I'm intrigued by the extra wire running down the rear of the swing arm and then inside near the spindle?
Also, why does one bike have a brake hose bracket under the swing arm and one does not? And one bike has its wiring guided under the hugger, while the other one goes outside the hugger. Are we looking at two different designs of swing arm here and hence the chain adjuster position differences?