Testing for the 2014 MotoGP championship series begins on Monday immediately after the conclusion of the final round of the 2013 series at Valencia. Nicky Hayden, among others, will swing his leg over the new Honda production racer, the RCV1000R, on Monday for the first time. Honda unveiled the new bike earlier today, and two machines will be on hand for the testing next week.
There will be some sharing involved during the testing, because three riders are already identified to ride the RCV1000R next year, including Hayden (Team Aspar), Karel Abraham (Cardion AB) and rookie Scott Redding (Gresini). Team Aspar is still looking to sign a teammate for Hayden, who will also campaign the production Honda racer in next year’s “Open class”.
Honda says the RCV1000R, which has been tested extensively by former champion Casey Stoner, has the same chassis as the full factory RC213V raced by Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. It features the same 90 degree v-4 engine architecture and makes “more than” 230 hp at 16,000 rpm. The Open machine does not have the pneumatic valves found in the factory bike, nor will it have a seamless gear box (also found on the factory bike).
The Open class bikes do have some advantages versus the factory bikes, however, including their ability to carry 20% more fuel during a race, and each rider is allowed 12 engines per year (versus 5 for factory riders).
It will be interesting to see how competitive the lap times are from the new machine next week.