Thursday, February 15, 2007

MotoGP: Yoda’s Wisdom on Kawasaki’s 800cc Ninja ZX-RR


Olivier Jacque is right on the case on his ZX-RR. Can he possibly win a race in 2007?

Kawasaki’s Racing Director, Ichiro Yoda has spoken. This man, who joined Kawasaki's MotoGP project in 2005, has more than 20 years of grand prix engineering experience. For two years, Yoda has been the driving force behind the development of Kawasaki's 990cc Ninja ZX-RR MotoGP machine. And now, in 2007, with Yoda being in full charge of Kawasaki’s MotoGP effort, Randy de Puniet’s and Olivier Jacque’s fortunes are tied to his engineering expertise.

Talking about the new 800cc Ninja ZX-RR, Yoda says, “We knew from the start that we would have to rev the 800cc engine harder and higher if we were to liberate enough power to be competitive.” And he adds that “Quick, and accurate turning is critical to a good lap time, especially with the new 800cc machines.”

How different is the new 800cc machine from last year’s 990cc racer? Says Yoda, “The 800cc machine is an evolution of the 990cc bike, in that we have taken what we learnt during the past four years and incorporated those lessons into the design of the new machine. Yes, there are some parts that remain from the 990cc machine, such as the running gear and the bodywork, but the major components like the engine and the chassis are all new.”

What about power delivery? “The 990cc bikes had so much power that a lot of our development time was spent trying to counter the tendency to lose grip at the rear under acceleration. The bigger bike could feel quite nervous to the rider on the throttle, and when it did lose rear traction it did so suddenly. The characteristics of the 800cc machine are such that it is easier to control on the throttle, and the transition between grip and no grip is both smoother and more predictable. Because the engine is smoother with the 800cc bike, it means the whole system is more stable,” explains Yoda.

Finally, what are your goals for this year? “I think a first win in the MotoGP class for Kawasaki is a realistic goal for us this year. In terms of the championship, I think a position in the top seven at the end of the season is a reasonable expectation for us,” says Yoda.



Also see:
Remembering John Surtees
The Mighty Kawasaki ZZR1100
Wayne Gardner: The Wild One from Woollongong!
Honda V4: Racers for the road
1990s: The first liquid-cooled Suzuki GSX-R750s

No comments:

Labels

2WD AC Schnitzer AJS Akrapovic all-wheel-drive Alpinestars AMG Aprilia Ariel Audi Avinton Bajaj Barry Sheene Benelli Bianchi Bimota BMW Bosch Brammo Brembo Britten BSA Buell Bultaco Cagiva Campagna Can-Am Carver Casey Stoner Caterham Chinese bikes Classics Concept Bike Confederate CRandS Custom-built Dainese Derbi Diesel Ducati Eddie Lawson EICMA 2008 EICMA 2009 EICMA 2012 EICMA 2013 EICMA 2014 EICMA 2015 EICMA 2016 Electric Ferrari Fischer flying machines Freddie Spencer Giacomo Agostini Gilera Harley-Davidson Helmets Henderson Hero Motocorp Hesketh Honda Horex Husqvarna Hybrid Hyosung Ilmor Indian Intermot 2012 Intermot 2014 Intermot 2016 Interviews Isle of Man TT Jawa Jay Leno Jeremy Burgess Kawasaki Kevin Schwantz KTM Lamborghini Lambretta Laverda Lazareth Lotus Mahindra Malaguti Markus Hofmann McLaren Mercedes-Benz Mick Doohan Midual Millepercento Mission Motors Mondial Morbidelli Morgan Moriwaki Moto Guzzi Moto Morini Moto2 Moto3 MotoCzysz MotoGP MotoGP-2007 MotoGP-2008 MotoGP-2009 MotoGP-2010 Motorcycle Design Motus MTT MV Agusta MZ News Nissan Norton NSU Peraves Petronas Peugeot Photography Piaggio Porsche Quad Renard Renault Riding Impressions Roehr Ronax Ronin Rotary Royal Enfield Scooters Segway Shootouts Short Films Skills Specials stunt riding Supercharged Suter Suzuki Toyota Travel trike Triumph Turbo TVS Two-stroke Ural V10 V12 V4 V6 V8 Valentino Rossi Velocette Vespa Victory Vincent Volkswagen Voxan Vyrus Wakan Wayne Gardner Wayne Rainey Wunderlich Yamaha Yoshimura Zagato