The 2016 MotoGP championship was a year of technological transformations. Innovation never stops in race departments across the globe. This is what the Top teams of 2016 have planned for 2017 season.
Consequently, most factories describe their 2017 priorities as better turning and better corner-exit performance. In the Bridgestone era, the way to make a race-winning lap time happened on corner entry; now the place to make a lap time is from mid-corner to the exit.
The top team of 2016, Honda will be switching to an easy-going ‘big-bang’ engine, with revised firing intervals, to reduce wheelspin and wheelies. Honda established the ‘big bang’ concept to GP racing in the early 1990s; 20 years after HRC guru Youichi Oguma first had the idea, when he built an off-road CB175 twin with both cylinders firing at the same time, to gain more traction.
Marc Marquez thinks the new engine is a right step forward because all he wants for 2017 is better small performance. Unbelievably, the reigning champion will probably continue with a revised 2014-spec chassis because it still gives him great confidence.
Last season was one of Yamaha’s poorest in MotoGP. The YZR-M1 is a neutral, rider-friendly bike but it often worked worse with the Michelins than any other bike.
So the first thing is to sort out how the M1 transfers load, into corners, through corners and out of corners. Last season Yamaha riders failed to get the bike balanced for the optimum front load on entry and optimum rear load on exit. Moreover, they ended up with too little front load, which is why Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi lost the front so frequently. Also, Yamaha engineers need to adjust engine constitution to reduce wheelspin and fine-tune the traction control to save the rear tyre for the latter half of race.
Ducati won two races during 2016, and now the Bologna brand takes the next step towards winning back the title. Jorge Lorenzo’s addition might just do that but what parts of the Desmosedici need an upgrade?
In theory, the winglets ban will affect Ducati more than anyone else, which is why the company’s star test rider Casey Stoner tested the bike without wings back in August. But although a wingless Ducati will lose some acceleration, the loss of downforce increases top speed and makes the bike quicker in direction-changing, another issue during 2016.
Suzuki made the breakthrough last year, scoring its first-ever MotoGP victory in the dry. The GSX-RR is now nearly fully competitive, with perhaps MotoGP’s best-steering chassis and excellent engine performance. At Sepang, the GSX-RR came second fastest at 201.1mph/323.7km/h, just behind the Ducati.
Suzuki engineers need to keep working in the same direction. Fine-tuning the chassis and saving a little more performance from the inline-four engine will do wonders. Their biggest job is to improve electronics settings, especially traction control in the wet.
Here is a video of MotoGP 2016 Crashes, were some happened due to technical shortcomings: