MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Yamaha Working Quickly to Close the Gap With Honda in MotoGP

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) may have caught a break when Honda’s Casey Stoner crashed out at Jerez, and Lorenzo came home first on the dicey, wet track, but Yamaha is working quickly to close the performance gap with Honda on dry tracks, as well.  Lorenzo is set to test a new MotoGP engine following the Estoril round, and there are also rumors Yamaha is working on a shift mechanism to counter the advantage Honda has developed with a new clutch/transmission combination that not only provides ultra-quick shifting, but a seamless transmission of drive to the next gear. 

The Yamaha already handles very well, of course, and these developments could put Lorenzo on more equal footing with Stoner, who has captured both pole positions so far this year, as well as the win at Qatar.

14 Comments

  1. Michael Esdaile says:

    I thought the discussion was about the Y A M A H A ? Thing is, it’s a great bike, without the ‘supposedly’ superior Honda gearbox. I am sure Yamaha will not be so stupid as to field a bike with a new gearbox without thrashing the hell out of it first. Lorenzo leads the championship going into the third round, at a track he has won three straight in MotoGP. I’m a BIG Stoner fan (the kid is unbelievable) but let’s not forget all those years a bloke name Wayne Rainey won on a slower bike, that stopped, turned and got through corners better than the ‘faster’ Hondas. For Stoner to win this year, it will take a huge effort and I doubt he will be in front on the points table before mid-season. If he is, watch out!

  2. r6xtc says:

    Yeah, but you go to remember too that 2011 was Spies first year on the MotoGP circuit. A lot of the tracks he never been on. So the practices are wasted just learning the track. No time to set up the bike properly. I would have to say he did a good job last year. There even videos of him poking fun of how he had learned the track so quickly.

  3. Brad says:

    Martin, Spies wasn’t on a factory Yamaha last year..

    • jimbo says:

      Justifications for a favorite’s under-performance are not only tiring, but they spotlight and underline the under-performance. What’s the 2011 excuse? It’s statistically 100% accurate to predict that Spies, same as most racers, will never win a MotoGP championship.

    • Martin says:

      Hi Brad,
      Yes I know this – badly typed. Should have been a comma there somewhere. Second year in MotoGP, 1st on a factory. Although from what he said after first trying a factory Yamaha I am sure his bike last year was closer to a factory bike then Casey’s LCR Honda in 06. And he got the same tires as Vale.

  4. Vic cif says:

    Yes,As Tim says, I am not fan of Lorenzo, but so far he is the best, so far. Pedroza, if healty, is a potential winner too. Vale will improve and may win some. Spies will improve but may not win or maybe will in the end of the season. But have you overlooked Simoncelli?? (I personally don’t like him either for his dirty antics in 250). The guy is very good under the rain, he showed in the last race and is good in dry track also.
    So I think he is a great contender this year, if not the Champion.

  5. Tim says:

    It’s tough for me to say, because I’m not a big fan of his personality, but Lorenzo is the best rider in MotoGP right now, period. He just needs a bike that is reasonably close in performance to the Honda, and he’ll repeat his title. Stoner can win it if the Honda maintains it’s power advantage, but if Yamaha gets close, the title will be Lorenzo’s. Rossi is on an inferior bike. Spies is talented but not quite at Lorenzo’s level.

    As big of a Rossi fan as I’ve always been, Lorenzo is the smoothest, most precise and efficient rider I’ve seen on a GP bike (Spies is probably second–as great as Rossi is, he’s more of an attacking rider.) Lorenzo needs to win a lot of races to take over the GOAT title, and I seriously doubt he’ll ever catch Rossi in number of wins, but right now he is definitely the man.

    • motobell says:

      I am a big rosi fan too – would like to see him win1 or 2 more titles again, but reality is that stoner is the fastest.. i have not doubt that in the hands of stoner the desmosedici would have been on the podium once already.. the kid is ridiculously fast and won despite a unrideable ducati when rossi had a perect all around bike – yes tires played a factor and all.. again amongts these guys it is splitting hair

  6. Norm G. says:

    re: “The Yamaha already handles very well, of course, and these developments could put Lorenzo on more equal footing with Stoner”

    these developments also represent in-season testing and could accidentally lead to a reduction in performance…? or worse a DNF…? you’ve been gifted the points lead by valentino and have 4 home rounds left in the quiver. don’t blow it guys.

  7. Wendy says:

    Oh, yeah, Jorge Lorenzo, the reigning World Champ is just a plate of cold paella.

  8. burtg says:

    Don’t just talk about Lorenzo. Ben Spies actually exists. And he is for real.

    • Martin says:

      Unlike the aliens perhaps? Dani won his third race after moving from 250’s. Casey was on pole in his 2nd race on a satalite bike in the days when factory teams got the best tires. Vale wan the MotoGP championship in his 2nd year. As did Stoner. Spies is in his second year on a factory bike and hasn’t visited the top step or even made front row in qualy this year. But he seems like a nice guy – so let’s count that as a win.

      • motobell says:

        fair comments.. Spies is fantastic no doubt, but not in the league as the aliens. the order in absolute speed is stoner, lorenzo, dani, and rossi and in race conditions you know can fight it out – rossi, stoner, lorenzo, dani.