Antonio Cobas, technical director of the Camel Pramac Pons team, describes the challenges that will face the MotoGP teams at this weekend's Pacific Grand Prix...

"A large part of the Motegi circuit is taken up by long straights. In fact, 2400 metres of the 4800 metres track is made up of straights. This means that Motegi has the highest average throttle use per lap plus the highest percentage of full throttle use out of all the circuits on this year's calendar.

"The bikes must be set up with suspension settings that, while improving the performance of the machine when accelerating with low engine revs, should also improve the performance under braking. Four-stroke engine braking is also a crucial factor, there are four major braking points where the speed is reduced from 250kph to less than 100kph.

"With so much throttle use, the bikes also consume more fuel per lap and so careful setting of the ignition system is essential if you are not going to run out of fuel. The race has been reduced from 25 laps to 24 this year since it was almost impossible for most manufactures to reach the end of a 25-lap race with a 24 litres fuel limit. Next year, the limit will be further reduced to 22 litres, so the number of laps will again have to be modified or a new type of ignition used where the power of the bikes is reduced considerably in respect to the engine capacity.

"Regarding tyre use, the number of straights mean that a harder compound has to be used because the central part of the tyre is under pressure and is heated up for a longer period of time than is usually the case at other circuits.

"For this reason, Motegi is one of the circuits which gives us a rear-end chattering problem. This means the theoretical ideal setting for the rear suspension often has to be sacrificed to combat this problem.

"Last year, Alex Barros brought the team a great victory first time out on the RC211V four-stroke and a repeat win on Sunday would set us up perfectly for those last four races."



Loading Comments...