GPtech Motogp Race Reportposted Mar 22, 2013
Tags: General News, Racing All Article Tags
Report March 2013
The race weekend is quickly approaching, tests are completed, schedules set, and tons of work to be done on the bench before the race – right on schedule to make the scramble to the first race. Twenty pounds lighter and close to 15 horsepower more over last year is rapidly advancing the project forward.
This is a quick look at what was done in advance of the COTA race this April.
There were two opportunities to test the Bridgestone tires at the Texas track. At both tests the overall assessment was good – the team was able to go through all the combinations and also able to confirm the chassis improvements worked well.
Mike Barnes tested both times and will race the bike at the first US MotoGP round. Mike is getting along well with the extreme characteristics of a bike demanding 60+ degrees of lean angle and absurdly high cornering loads. Local Texan Ty Howard tested the same bike to help speed the development.
The workload back at the shop has been made a little more difficult with the testing schedule. Deadlines are pinched and some schedule adjustments are made to adjust with the ever changing development. Things have gotten slightly more challenging with a couple engine mechanical issues and crash damage repair.
Good news is KWS has signed on as a technical sponsor to help with the engine package. In addition a whole new group of sponsors has signed on to help with engine performance.
Schedule quick look: Week before 2nd test
Bike on bench getting a revised seat, tank, tail section – awaiting a revised fuel cell from BCL (arrived Tues pm). Wednesday make gas tank mounting, revise subframe, paint tail section and reassemble remaining motorcycle. Thursday load and prepare cargo for Friday drive. Friday waited for UPS to arrive with shifter from Germany. Determined wheel bearing in rented Uhaul trailer is garbage – drive to Uhaul – completely unload first trailer and reload all contents in 2nd replacement trailer. Start drive south to KWS (1,100 miles away). Arrive at KWS Sat around lunch. Install engine #1, dyno tune, load and started driving west to COTA racetrack Saturday evening (1,300 miles). Arrived COTA Monday, setup and await the crew.
On track the bike was working well and Mike Barnes was getting up to speed quickly. Throughout the two days a variety of combinations were run to get the bike to behave even better. Unfortunately a valve head snapped off in the “A” engine (an unlikely mechanical problem). Switching to the “B” engine solved any additional run issues. Mike made a mis-step on day one and another at the end of the second day – just a simple case of pushing too hard resulting in a low side. Mike was uninjured and caught his flight to Daytona to defend his championship in the XR1200 class.
Thanks to all the sponsors and people helping put this together, without your help the project would be even more overwhelming. Every bit helps and is needed to make this happen.