It is no secret that Nicky Hayden and other Honda Open Class MotoGP riders have complained about a lack of horsepower this year, but that should change rather dramatically in 2015. Honda Racing boss Shuhei Nakamoto has confirmed in a published interview that “this year’s Factory engine specification we will give for Open class machine next season.”
Honda Open bikes (the RCV1000R) could actually have more horsepower than Marquez and Pedrosa enjoy this season because they can be tuned to take advantage of the additional fuel capacity permitted for each race (20% more fuel than the Factory Repsol bikes). They will also benefit from the availability of a softer rear tire.
Of course, the Repsol Factory engines themselves will be upgraded for 2015, and the Open bikes may not get the seamless transmission the Repsol riders utilize. Open bikes also must use the spec ECU available from Dorna. Nevertheless, this should be a huge improvement over the current Open machine, on which highly skilled riders such as Hayden and Scott Redding struggle to place mid-pack, and never see the front. Hayden, of course, is currently on the sidelines after his latest wrist surgery, but hopes to be healthy next year.