by Toby Moody

With all MotoGP teams using radios in the pits due to the deafening sound of the MotoGP bikes, no-one has cottoned onto the idea of using the now legal-for-three-seasons rider to pits radio possibility... except Team Roberts: and some interesting figures have come out of it.

For example, in Barcelona the team reckoned that they saved 8 minutes and got in another run out of it. This was through Nobuatsu Aoki being able to talk to the team on his in lap, informing them of what needed doing, rather than arriving into the garage and having the mechanics standing around as dialogue between he and Crew Chief Nick Davis decided what to do.

8 minutes is 13% of the session, but if that happens in every 1 hour session throughout the weekend, then that is a saving of 24 minutes!

The radio essentially cuts the middleman out. All the team can communicate with each other, but only two engineers can be heard by Nobuatsu. The radio itself (pictured) is housed within the aero hump behind his crash helmet and is derived from F1 radio technology.

The advantage of Team Roberts having purchased an ex-Honda F1 engine truck after Honda left Jordan GP two seasons ago is enormous as there is an inbuilt telescopic radio mast that towers up into the sky. The truck is said to have cost nearly $250,000 new.

Needless to say, during the chaos of the Mugello re-started 'second' race, it was invaluable as to the fitting of tyres at the right time, and whether or not Nobu was going to enter the pits after the first warm up lap and potentially take the second 'wet' bike, just as Jeremy McWilliams did with his Aprilia.

 

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