7 November 2013
Valencia MotoGP: Honda presents 2014 Production Racer
Honda reveals test rider was just 0.3s slower on new Production Racer than factory RCV!
Updated with pictures from the launch, more shots below.
On the eve of this weekend's Valencia MotoGP, Honda unveiled its new 'open' class RCV1000R Production Racer, for use by privateers next season.
Nicky Hayden (Aspar), Scott Redding (Gresini) and Karel Abraham (Cardion AB) are confirmed as racing the machine, with the identity of the final rider - Hayden's team-mate - to be announced.
At the presentation, HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto revealed that when both machines were tested "same day, same rider, same tyre" the lap time difference between the Production Racer and full factory RC213V was only 0.3s.
And when they put in the softer compound rear tyre, only available to the 'open' class riders, the gap was just 0.1s!
Asked if the lap times had been set by Casey Stoner, HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto replied: "Both. Casey Stoner is a Honda test rider!"
The Production Racer, which will be sold rather than leased, is a toned down version of the RC213V - leading this year's championship with Marc Marquez. The main differences are steel rather than pneumatic operated valves, and a conventional rather than seamless shift gearbox.
The 1000cc V4 engine will still produce 'over 175KW' (235hp) at 16,000rpm, while the bike will be delivered with Öhlins suspension and Nissin brakes.
As dictated by the open class rules - which replace the existing claiming rule (CRT) regulations - the RCV1000R must be fitted with the full control ECU system, but is also eligible for four-litres of extra race fuel and seven more engine changes relative to the factory bikes.
The price tag to buy the Honda is believed to be around 1.2million euros, however an upgrade package for 2015 means that the cost when spread over two seasons is likely to be around 800,000 euros a year.
The machine will make its official debut in next week's post-race test, when the new open class entry from Yamaha - featuring leased 'full-spec' M1 engines - is also due on track with Forward Racing.
However only two of the Honda RCV1000Rs will be available to test at this stage. These will almost certainly be for 2006 world champion Hayden and Moto2 frontrunner Redding - with Abraham currently injured there is little for Cardion to gain by testing with replacement Luca Scassa.
Pramac is set to swap one of its factory Ducatis for an open class Desmosedici, essentially a GP13 fitted with the full ECU system, next year. The open class machines are seen by many as a template for future MotoGP regulations.
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