TRecently proclaimed World Champion Nicky Hayden and team mate Dani Pedrosa unveil the RC212V with the number 1 plate and a new and spectacular design.
As the culmination of an unforgettable weekend, with Nicky Hayden winning the MotoGP World Champion title, which was awarded to the North American rider last night in Valencia, the Repsol Honda Team officially introduced today, at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, the RC212V, the bike that Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa are going to use next year, featuring a 800 cc engine, built to conform to the new MotoGP Grand Prix rules.
Honda's research and development department, has worked intensely to make the second generation MotoGP machine extremely agile and drivable, thus allowing the team to continue in the front row of the class and to defend the title achieved this year.
The bike already had its public track debut on September 29, in Motegi, the day after the Japanese GP, and despite the test being made for an initial assessment, Pedrosa was able to clock highly respectable lap times. The bike was shown today for the first time with its definitive decoration. The presentation was attended by specialised international media representatives and was chaired by Honda HRC Managing Director Satoru Horiike, Repsol Sponsorship Director Javier Inclán, and both Repsol Honda Team riders Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa.
Jaume Giró, General Director of Repsol;
"Nicky Hayden's World Championship, the Teams' Championship and Dani Pedrosa's 'Rookie of the Year' Award achieved yesterday, Sunday, were the end of the first chapter of a new way to understand sports sponsorship: We stake on people, on team work and on keeping a continuous and tight relationship with all agents making up the Repsol Honda Team. Today we're looking at the future with the introduction of this new bike, with which we are sure to be able to enjoy again big success and achieve the highest goals, putting it in the hands of our riders Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa. Repsol and Honda are once again giving their best to create a bike that is once more a reference in the Motorcycle World Championship."
Satoru Horiike, Managing Director of HRC;
"We are satisfied with the progress of the RC212V prototype. Under the leadership of Takanori Okuma, the project team has remained well on schedule with the development and testing programme set by HRC. We are confident that winter testing will be positive and look forward to being competitive in this exciting new era for MotoGP."
Takanori Okuma, Honda R&D RC212V Large Project Leader;
"When we started development of the 800cc machine, effectively the "second generation" of Honda's MotoGP project, we gave top priority to the pursuit of excellent handling and drivability. For the newly-reduced engine capacity of 800cc, we decided a V4 was the most efficient layout. Rather than focusing solely on top-end power, we also concentrated on producing good power delivery characteristics, which can have a significant effect on lap times. Using enhanced control systems, the result is an engine with good drivability in the low and mid ranges, and excellent power under acceleration when the engine is at the top of its range.
"On the chassis side, we further enhanced the "mass concentration" package developed for the RC211V to improve the agility and quick handling characteristics of the bike. The outward appearance is aggressive and appropriately innovative for a new generation of bike, affording both drivability and aerodynamic efficiency. We will continue to evolve the bike before the season opener and throughout next season."
Dani Pedrosa's Analysis;
It's a little bit difficult to make a good analysis of the bike because I've only had the possibility to ride a few laps. But my first impression is that the bike feels right which is very important when you check the first prototype. We didn't work on the settings - only making some changes to the gearing - but it was clear that the package feels quite similar to the RC211V.
Can you assess the handling characteristics?
Definitely the bike is smaller, so for me it's better because I can control the bike more easily. I could touch my knees with my elbows while sitting on the bike and that's something I cannot do now with the RC211V. This is helpful when you ride a race bike.
What can you say about the power delivery?
The engine character feels a little different to the RC211V, but as I said it was just my first test and development is still going on so this feeling will continue to change. And also I didn't push so much.
Is it easier to ride than the 990cc?
Yes, it seems easier to ride because some things about the bike feel smaller and the rear seat is much shorter which makes the whole bike look more compact. The bike has some characteristics which are a little more like a 250cc but it's still a MotoGP bike. I don't know if it will be faster in the corners because there are many hairpins in Motegi and the corner speed is very low.
Which characteristics do you find better than the 990cc?
For me, the dimensions. I'm not tall and this machine suits my size a little better than the 990cc. Even though the height and the weight are the same as the RC211V, the bike is smaller, more compact and this is good.
- Overall length: 2050mm
- Overall width: 645mm
- Overall height: 1125mm
- Wheelbase: 1440mm
- Road clearance: 125mm
- Weight (kg): over 148kg
- Engine type: liquid-cooled four-stroke DOHC 4 valve V-4
- Displacement: 800cc
- Maximum power: N/A
- Frame type: twin-tube
- Front Wheels (inch): 16.5
- Rear Wheels (inch): 16.5
- Front Suspension: Telescopic fork
- Rear Suspension: New Unit Pro-link
- Fuel tank capacity: 21 litre