On Thursday at Misano, Repsol Honda team principal Livio Suppo gave an update on the Production Racer version of the RC213V, to be available as a new privateer entry from 2014.
The bike is based on the championship leading factory prototype, but without the expensive seamless gearbox and pneumatic valves.
So far only Gresini Honda is officially confirmed as running the machine, for Scott Redding, but Honda is prepared to supply up to five riders and more announcements are expected soon.
“The first test has been good, reasonably fast. The test rider Akiyoshi was almost as fast as on the factory bike so we are confident,” said Suppo. “Of course at that time the bike was running with the electronic software developed by Honda and next year we will need to use the Magneti-Marelli so we have to develop this system.”
As a privateer entry, the Production Honda will need to use the full control ECU system, hardware and software, but be eligible for extra fuel and engine changes relative to the factory prototypes.
“The bike is very similar to the factory bike, just no pneumatic valves or seamless transmission, but it will have 24 litres of race fuel which will help,” Suppo confirmed.
Speaking generally about the new range of privateer MotoGP machines on offer by Honda and Yamaha, Suppo added:
“We have to find a way to provide teams with reasonably competitive machines for a reasonably price. It is not easy, because to reach the level of a factory bike is very high. But we have to do something, also Yamaha is doing something similar, and for sure it is good for the sport.”
Honda has a perfect test rider for its project in the form of newly retired double world champion Casey Stoner, although the second of the Australian's four HRC test sessions was recently rained off.
The announcement of the tests triggered a flurry of speculation that Stoner may make a race return, something Suppo again denied.