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Yamaha set-up report – Valencia
1 November 2005
Valencia is a circuit that offers a slightly undulating layout with good camber combined and an abrasive surface.
It has many stop-and-go 90-degree corners, bumps and a tight design which has claimed many of victims losing the front-end. This is especially the case with the faster and heavier MotoGP machines.
For this reason riders will be chasing security on this very point, followed by stability under brakes, while still offering the agility to deal with a circuit that is more suited to a 250 than a 240hp MotoGP four-stroke.
The latest spec YZR-M1 offers all the traits that a winning MotoGP bike should have; agility, drivability off slow and medium speed turns, enough horsepower to survive on the straights and all of this offered consistently throughout an entire race.
The linear character of the 'big-bang' YZR-M1 power plant is supported by state-of-the art electronic engine management systems that offer a much more rider and tyre friendly delivery - making it easier to get on the power earlier in the turn and with more confidence.
This is essential in the final turn - the run onto the front straight and the start/finish line. With all of these qualities secured, the main challenge will be to set-up the bike giving enough front-end confidence on corner entry in order to not fall victim to a low side crash.
Regarding the geometry and suspension set-up, the Yamaha will have a front-end lifted slightly, compared to most other circuits, and the rear lowered. Combined with the right front spring rates and preload, all controlled by the rebound, this will allow for improved stability under brakes and a planted front-end.
With good camber, except for the penultimate sweeping turn, the ability to leap the M1 hard off the turns is essential. Especially with the high corner speeds Rossi likes to carry.
To ensure this the rear suspension preload will be set to prevent an excessive amount of rear-end squat - reducing understeer - while still offering a plush enough ride to provide good, consistent traction.
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