Thomas Morsellino is a French freelance journalist and photographer, with keen eye for the technical details of MotoGP bikes. You may have seen some of his work on Twitter, where he runs the @Off_Bikes account. Peter Bom is a world championship winning former crew chief, with a deep and abiding knowledge of every aspect of motorcycle racing. Peter has worked with such riders as Cal Crutchlow, Danny Kent, and Stefan Bradl. After every race, MotoMatters.com will be publishing a selection of Tom's photos of MotoGP bikes, together with extensive technical explanations of the details by Peter Bom. MotoMatters.com subscribers will get access to the full resolution photos, which they can download and study in detail, and all of Peter's technical explanations of the photos. Readers who do not support the site will be limited to the 800x600 resolution photos, and an explanation of two photos.
As Tom was not in Thailand, here are some photos of things he has noticed at recent races.
Right handlebar of Valentino Rossi's Movistar Yamaha M1
Peter Bom: Although the bike is ‘ride by wire’, Yamaha still rely on the natural feeling of Bowden cables for the rider throttle, where both Honda en Ducati have electric wires coming from the throttle housing.
Left handlebar of Valentino Rossi's Movistar Yamaha M1
Peter Bom: The small wheel in front of the handlebar is there so the rider can adjust the position of the front brake lever while riding. Riders are very sensitive to the front brake pressure point, and this might change during the first laps out as a result of the temperature changes.
Three connectors on the front fork of a Ducati GP18, the left one goes to a (hidden) sensor that measures the acceleration of the unsprung part of the front fork, needed to judge front fork damping qualities. The middle one is connected to two (!) wheel speed sensors. Just to show you how important measuring wheel speed is, they connect two identical sensors just in case one breaks. The right-hand connector is there for the sensor that measures the temperature of the carbon brake disc using infrared. Pretty important as the carbon brakes need to be kept between 300° and 700° Celsius. Any lower and they are just not there when you need them, anything higher and they are damaged beyond repair (and they are very, very costly).
If you would like access to the full-size versions of these technical photos and all of Peter Bom's explanations, as well as desktop-size versions of the other fantastic photos which appear on the site, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. A subscription will also give you access to the many in-depth and exclusive articles we produce for MotoMatters.com site supporters. The more readers who join our growing band of site supporters, the better we can make MotoMatters.com, and the more readers will get out of the website.
If you would like to buy a copy of one of thes photos, you can email Thomas Morsellino