Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kevin Schwantz: "The good guys are still winning...!"

Kevin Schwantz
Kevin Schwantz Kevin Schwantz Kevin Schwantz
The Texas Tornado talks about MotoGP and the role of electronics in motorcycle racing

In a recent interview conducted by Motorcycle-USA, 1993 500cc motorcycle grand prix racing world champ Kevin Schwantz expressed his thoughts on the current state of MotoGP, the role of electronics in today’s racebikes and the impending move to 1,000cc engines in 2012. Here are some excerpts from what the Texas Tornado had to say:

On the move from 990cc to 800cc engines and, now, back to 1,000cc engines from 2012

When they went to four-strokes, it was definitely a big change and I don’t think they needed to change the displacement to try and slow the bikes down. The issue was the speeds were getting so great but the run off was not enough. So all they’ve done now is add five miles per hour to the centre of the corner when it went from 1,000s to 800s. That safety is still not there even though the top speed is not as great but the corner speed is higher now. I think the state of MotoGP is descent right now – it’s not a full field as we’d like to see but I think going back to 1,000cc rules and giving prototype machines a smaller number of engines and production-based bikes more fuel – all the advantages will give from one to the other, I think that will be good. They have to do something to get more bikes out there.

On the role of electronics in motorcycle racing

Two-thirds of a machine right now is electronics. What they need to do is come up with what F1 and what I heard NASCAR is trying to implement with fuel-injection and have McLaren build the ECU. It’s a little bit like Moto2 but not quite as restrictive. Manufactures want to be able to see that development. We have a horsepower advantage, we don’t want you to cut our horsepower. Maybe everybody runs the same electronics but you’re not going to hamper the fact that I build a built a better engine. We still want to see that. If I’ve got one that’s smoother and puts better power to the ground, maybe works better in the rain and when it’s hot. Everyone is on that same electronics package. Then it’s a much better series.

On what’s more important – talent or electronics

I think even now with more electronics than what’s needed, the good guys are still winning. They can find a way to ride around problems they encounter throughout the race!

Please visit Motorcycle-USA for the full interview


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