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Now We Shall See: Lorenzo Feels Healthy, Is Coming Off A Win, and Gets The Beloved Seamless Gearbox For Misano

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Rookie Marc Marquez (Honda) is the star of this season, no doubt, and the odds on favorite for the title with only 6 races remaining and a 30 point lead over teammate Dani Pedrosa.  But defending champ Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha – down 39 points to Marquez)  feels fully fit after struggling with a shoulder healing from two recent surgeries, and has momentum after a win in the last round at Silverstone.  More importantly, Lorenzo and teammate Valentino Rossi will race at Misano for the first time with Yamaha’s version of a seamless gearbox … something already enjoyed by the Honda and Ducati factory riders.

Since the seamless gearbox engages the next gear before the shift, drive is continuous.  Although you can experience something similar in a production automobile these days from a dual clutch transmission (DCT), not to mention some production Honda motorcycles, such as the CTX700 DCTs are illegal in MotoGP racing.  This has required a great investment by Yamaha to come up with a design that does not violate this rule.

What’s the big deal?  Lorenzo and Rossi loved the transmission when they tested it for the first time a couple of months ago, and are dying to race with it.  There are several advantages.  The fundamental advantage is that the continuous drive during upshifts leaves the chassis “calm” without the sudden surge of power normally associated with a gear change.  This means the rider can ride more aggressively while remaining in control, and even experience less fatigue over the course of a race.  Lap times may improve slightly, but the main advantage probably relates to tire life … the rear tire may last a few laps longer before it “goes off” near the end of a race, meaning the rider maintains more consistent traction and control for a longer period of time.

This weekend’s race in Misano represents a chance for Yamaha to step up, and possibly set the tone for the remainder of the series.  Both Lorenzo and Rossi love Misano and have had excellent results there.  Rossi considers it his home track.

29 Comments

  1. EZ Mark says:

    So if they’re allowing this technology, why not just allow the Dual Clutch?
    DCT is the future of transmissions, car and bike, and racing is supposed to develop technology that we can all buy later.

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  2. pigiron says:

    It’s Rossi who has placed third so far in Free Practice 2 with the seamless transmission. He likes it and says it allows him to concentrate more on his racing line rather than worry that upshifts will take away from his concentration coming off the apex.

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  3. Ax1464 says:

    You can also “experience something similar” with several Honda streetbikes. The DN-01, VFR1200, and CTX700 were/are all available with DCT.

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  4. ROXX says:

    For Lorenzo or even Pedrosa to have a shot, they need Marquez to dnf in at least one of the next few remaining races.
    When Lorenzo had shoulder issues and couldn’t race it really out Marquez in position to win the title (that and his exceptional skills).
    Too bad this happened to Lorenzo because we would really have a neck and neck title chase going on which would make the season even more exciting.
    Stay tuned though as you never know what will happen in GP racing….

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  5. soi cowboy says:

    After watching 10 minutes of youtoob, I am ready to pronounce my verdict on the seamless shifter. To me, there is no reduction in the step of torque pulse between gears. The magic is in a special dog that allows direct change from one gear to the next. In a conventional trans, you occasionally get the situation where the dog has to wait 120 degrees to engage the gear.

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  6. Jim says:

    Exciting stuff. “Are you ready to rumble?”

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  7. Sam says:

    Can the seamless gearbox technology be applied to road bikes with marginal cost increase? I think that would eliminate the need for quickshifter.

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  8. stinkywheels says:

    I’m glad to hear he’s stronger, the bikes are getting equal(er). Too bad it’s still a 2 brand race, but that’s all we get to hear about. I’d sure like to hear about the AMA Superbike, Outdoor MX. I’ve not and will not upgrade my cable package to get these other series.

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  9. Norm G. says:

    re: “Now We Shall See…”

    …someone scatter an engine as BIG BLUE tries to make the final powerplant in their allocation last 6 races.

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    • Tim says:

      Such a stupid rule. That’s one they need to do away with.

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      • Dave says:

        It’s an important rule. The ability of Honda and Yamaha to outspend everyone else nearly killed motoGP for good. The need more of that kind of thing if they ever hope to revive it to the point where more sponsors want back in.

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      • Norm G. says:

        wouldn’t be so bad if it both jay and ross didn’t have their #4 engines yanked prematurely. all teams (well ‘cept Suzuki) have been able to make a full season. however comma (everything after but), all the confidence the yamaha engineers had back in june about being able to finish the season with 5 engines (1 less than what Honda and Ducati have at their disposal) was based on the assumption that nothing about prior year’s force/load data was going to change…? unfortunately, the gearbox has been brought forward at the behest of the riders, not the boffins. OOOPS.

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    • Dirck Edge says:

      Apparently, Jorge and Valentino each have two engines left (counting the engines they are currently using … they have one spare each). The new gearbox fits the existing cases).

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  10. fivespeed302 says:

    I wish Moto GP had better TV coverage. I can’t wait to hear about the new gearbox’s performance on the track.

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    • Nomadak says:

      I encourage you to subscribe to MotoGP.com

      I assure you, you will never want to watch another race any other way.

      Interviews, all of practice in each session, qualifying, and the race LIVE as they occur, plus you can watch them as many times as you like. On bike views (for the whole race). You get to select different view formats.

      Past historical races, rider/tuner interviews, pre-race conferences, testing, podium coverage and after race interviews. Off season coverage;all of this is part of the package.

      It can seem a bit pricey for a first time purchase but after 3 seasons now, I find it a bargain.

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      • motobell says:

        agree.. motogp.com is by far the best sports coverage of any kind.. not just best motogp coverage. if every sports I watch did this level of coverage I will drop satellite TV. Brilliant.

        Just watched FP1 & FP2 the audio from onboard rossi/jorge doesn’t seem that different to before to me…i believe that they will be more competitive this weekend.

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  11. Tim says:

    The championship is decided unless Marquez crashes out, and misses out on points in at least one race. Still, I’m anxious to see how Lorenzo and Rossi do with this equalizing technology.

    I’m betting on a convincing win by Lorenzo, assuming he stays upright.

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  12. bikerrandy says:

    Since these racers are only tenths of a race lap seconds apart, that add up over the length of the race between a winner and an also ran…I accept what Lorenzo says here.

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  13. mickey says:

    Not sure I buy the tire lasting longer as both Honda and Ducati riders complain of loss of tire grip in later stages of the race as much as anyone else, but the rest I’ll give ya.

    And props to Norm G who talked about Honda having this magic gearbox a couple of years ago before anyone else was talking about it.

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    • abanta says:

      That might be because they can race harder therefore the loss of grip toward the end.

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    • Dave says:

      Despite Honda’s advantage of the gearbox, Lorenzo has been very competitive without it. As the article title says, “now we shall see..”.

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    • Norm G. says:

      re: “And props to Norm G who talked about Honda having this magic gearbox a couple of years ago before anyone else was talking about it.”

      thank you sir. :) (creaking sound from an old spinal cord heard as Norm G. takes a bow)

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      • mickey says:

        Believe in giving credit where it is due Norm. Some of your conspiracy theories about the Spanish drive me crazy, but you were absoluetly spot on with your assessment of the advantage this transmission gave to the Hondas.

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        • Dave says:

          re: “you were absoluetly spot on with your assessment of the advantage this transmission gave to the Hondas. ”

          Do you think? I didn’t really see the ‘box as making much of a difference for Honda. Aside from Jorge’s crash, he seemed to be on equal footing everywhere the Yamaha was expected to be prior to the gearbox release.

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          • mickey says:

            Well both Yamaha riders praised the trans once they got it, for being easier on the rider. It might not have made Lorenzo any appreciably. faster ( by their estimate 1/10 to 2/10 per lap), but it made his job of going fast easier. An advantage held previously only by factory Honda riders.

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