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

"Finding the correct suspension set-up for the bike is our main problem in Rio. It's a fast track with wide open corners, apart from the 180 degree turn onto the longest straight which runs parallel to the start and finish straight. However, despite facing these fast turns which would suit hard rear suspension settings we then have to compensate for the bumps and track imperfections which would make it impossible for the rider to hang onto the machine with those settings.

"Also the track is often dirty with some covering of mud and sand which produces very little grip. Logically the track layout indicates to hard settings but the other factors such as bumps and the surface mean we have to work with the riders to find a compromise.

"With so much dust and dirt on the track, the engine can also suffer. Small stones and sand have been known to enter via the air intake and get lodged in the combustion chamber which obviously causes considerable damage to the engine. Many teams fit a denser air filter in the air intake of the engine to prevent any impurities causing damage to the piston and valves.

"Working with the riders to get the correct suspension setting and keeping anything from entering the engine is the key to success in Rio. It's always a challenging weekend and the start of four flyaway races.

"Three years ago Alex Barros was second on one of our machines and Max (Biaggi) has been on pole twice and Tohru (Ukawa) once. Get those suspension settings correct over the bumps and we could be going one better in the race on Saturday."

 

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