It's taken five years, but Dani Pedrosa's 800cc Honda has finally beaten the Losail top speed record set by Max Biaggi's 990cc Camel Honda in 2004
Back in 2004, Max Biaggi clocked a top speed of 334.4km/h on his 990cc Camel Honda, during the inaugural MotoGP event at the Losail circuit in Qatar. That top speed record then remained unbroken during the 990cc era and in 2007, the first year when 800cc bikes replaced the 990s.
In 2008, Marco Melandri’s Ducati matched Biaggi’s top speed, hitting exactly 334.4km/h during the race in Qatar. This year, however, Biaggi’s record was finally broken, with Dani Pedrosa hitting a top speed of 338.6km/h at the Losail circuit, while qualifying for the Qatar MotoGP and then again hitting that speed during the race.
The Pedrobot’s Repsol Honda wasn’t the only bike that broke Max’s Qatar speed record though. In qualifying, Mika Kallio's Pramac Ducati hit 338.0km/h, Casey Stoner’s Marlboro Ducati did 337.2km/h and Jorge Lorenzo's Fiat Yamaha did 337.0km/h.
The main reason behind implementing fuel restrictions and reducing engine size from 990cc to 800cc in MotoGP was to reduce top speeds. So what’s next? Will MotoGP see engine size being reduced to 600cc in the next 2-3 years…? But, oh no, that's Moto2 already... :-)
Qatar Top Speed 2004-2009:
2004: Max Biaggi Camel Honda 334.4km/h (990cc)
2005: Carlos Checa Ducati Marlboro 328.7km/h (990cc)
2006: Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 330.2km/h (990cc)
2007: Casey Stoner Ducati Marlboro 324.7km/h (800cc)
2008: Marco Melandri Ducati Marlboro 334.4 km/h (800cc)
2009: Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 338.6km/h (800cc)