17 July 2014
‘Thumb brake’ appears on final day of Honda's Brno MotoGP test
"They tested many items on their current machines... including a rear thumb brake" - Honda MotoGP technical director Takao Yokoyama.
Repsol Honda MotoGP riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa wrapped up their private Brno test on Thursday.
After some wet weather on day one, then the debut of next year's RC213V on day two, the pair concluded testing by lunchtime on day three.
HRC technical director Takao Yokoyama revealed that the pair had tried a thumb operated rear brake, rather than the usual right-foot lever.
Former Repsol Honda rider Mick Doohan famously used a thumb brake due to leg injuries, bit since Marquez and Pedrosa have no such issues it would only be introduced for performance reasons.
“Marc and Dani completed the testing programme we had put together, and they tested many items on their current machines - nothing too major just some small developments, settings and parts - including a rear thumb brake,” said Yokoyama.
“Then of course we had the first version of the 2015 RC213V for them to try. There were mixed comments as always when a new bike goes on track for the first time, but to be its debut we are reasonably happy with it as now we know which direction to continue in”
Reigning champion Marquez completed 41 Thursday laps on the 2014 bike, plus five laps on the 2015 prototype. Honda did not release any lap times, but Marquez indicated he was happy with the performance.
“The test has gone pretty well, especially on this final day as the track had a good level of grip,” said Marquez, yet to lose a race in 2014. “The times began to look good and we were able to try out some other things as well as confirm some feelings on the 2015 prototype.
“Overall, the most important thing that we take away from this test is that we were able to try this new bike and give some positive feedback. Moreover, Honda also brought us some new parts for our current RC213V machine and we were able to test with the electronics and the brakes, plus some different setups to what we have been using up to now.
“We are happy with how it went, because we've put in a lot of laps and gathered a lot of data. Now we can take a break, which we all certainly deserve!”
Pedrosa, currently seven points ahead of Yamaha's Valentino Rossi in the battle to be best of the rest behind Marquez, completed 16 laps with the 2014 machine on Thursday.
"In the end we have put in a lot of laps. The weather was good to us and we were able to try many things, in particular some small adjustments to the bike," he said. "Some changes have been made thinking more about the future, but others can be used more immediately at the next few races.
“Overall I am happy with the three days, because we have been able to take some steps forward with the electronics; we'll see if that gives us any improvement on the bike. We were also able to test the new bike and put in our first kilometres with it, but we will have to keep testing it further down the line in order to continue to with development.”
Repsol Honda will now start its belated summer break, which ends with round ten at Indianapolis on August 10. MotoGP will then return to Brno for the Czech Republic Grand Prix one week later.
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