New Honda aero: No ‘big steps, a little disappointing’

While much attention was focussed on the new Kalex chassis, LCR riders Alex Rins and Takaaki Nakagami ran through a range of Honda aerodynamic options during Monday’s Jerez MotoGP test.
New aero for Alex Rins at Jerez test
New aero for Alex Rins at Jerez test

Some of the latest aero had been used by HRC wild-card Stefan Bradl during the Spanish MotoGP weekend, but Rins and Nakagami felt no clear benefit from the various combinations tested.

“We did many different configurations with the wings, about the aero, and honestly, we tried like five sets of different packages. Like front, side, swingarm, and all these things. And more or less the feeling was very similar,” said Rins.

“Some wings turn a little bit better, the others have like better stability on brakes, but in the end, we make the back-to-back with the standard one, and the lap time is very similar.

“Unluckily I had a crash in the last minutes with the soft tyre, and I couldn't improve the lap time. Let's see for Le Mans if we can use something. “

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Nakagami agreed: “We tested some aero packages as planned, but honestly, at the end we went back to standard. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any big steps.

“So it's a little bit disappointing about the performance. Because I expected... this is a really important test and also from outside [the new aero] is a different shape, so I believed something big changed, because now the aero is one of the big things to change the bike.

“But the performance, not so much changes. And we are still missing edge grip, rear grip, and with some aero, less turning, so even worse. “

Rins (+1.148s), who endured a tough Jerez weekend after the victory highs of COTA, salvaging 13th in the Sprint, was 17th fastest at the test.

Nakagami, who finished ninth in the main grand prix, was twelfth (+0.740s).

Only Bradl and, very briefly, Repsol Honda's Joan Mir got to try the new Kalex frame at the test. 

However, unlike engine and fairing developments, there are no restrictions on trying chassis updates during a grand prix weekend.

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