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

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Rags to Riches: Honda Open Class MotoGP Bikes Get Marquez’ Engine Next Year

081514top-i

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.

14 Comments

  1. GKS says:

    The same scenario exists in Formula 1 auto racing. Manufacturers such as Mercedes and Ferrari selling engines to teams other than their own supported teams. Naturally with the same result, the factory teams are at the front with the rest of the teams seemingly “grid fillers”.
    I believe that anyone who expects a manufacturer to sell to a private team the same spec engine as the factory team uses is dreaming. This will only happen in a single manufacturer spec class (like Moto2).

  2. Norm G. says:

    re: “this year’s Factory engine specification we will give for Open class machine next season.”

    iirc correctly this exact statement was made (nearly verbatim) more than a decade ago, by whoever was the HRC director at the time…?

    only difference was context. the items then “up for bid” were the 500cc 2-smoke satellite bikes of West/Pons riders Loris Capirossi and Alex Barros.

    again, if you’ve been around long enough, you’ve WILL have seen this movie.

  3. Karlsbad says:

    Dorna Sucks !!, Oh but hey listen all you open class riders you can have more fuel that you don’t need and a softer tire so at least at the beginning of the race you might look competitive. Believe me I am under no illusion that an OC bike will ever win a championship but hey it would be nice to at least see them on the podium more than once in a blue moon.

  4. Dave says:

    The most economic way to fix is to mandate that the factories make their bikes available at a reasonable cost to whoever wants to participate in the class and do away with the “factory” and “open” designations.

    Currently,I cannot figure out why anyone would pay to go racing with the promise that they’ll never win.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “The most economic way to fix is to mandate that the factories make their bikes available at a reasonable cost to whoever wants to participate in the class”

      good luck with that. consumers (with talent to create f#@ckall) trying to dictate to skilled PRODUCERS what things should cost is EXACTLY the problem that’s just occurred with Ezpelata and Honda. we’ve seen this movie.

      re: “I cannot figure out why anyone would pay to go racing with the promise that they’ll never win.”

      the sobering reality is, they’re not there to win, never have been. they’re there to earn a living. they’re really just actors cast in supporting roles no different than for yes, a TV show or Broadway musical.

      I think it was seedy boxing promoter Don King who said this (not sure), but unless the CHAMP has “challengers”…? there’s no Pay-Per-View Millions for anyone…!

  5. Silver says:

    I’m sure Honda has something up their sleeve. Not a chance open class bikes will be finishing in front of the factory ones.

  6. Norm G. says:

    re: “I find hard to believe open bikes will became competitive in the near future.”

    correct, you shouldn’t believe. the only thing the man has said is that “factory engines would be made available”. it’s important we resist the urge to read more than what’s there.

    breaking news…! Gresini (Bautista) and LCR (Bradl) currently run factory engines. yeah, they’re called “satellite bikes”.

    so no way on GOD’S GREEN is Honda/Nakamoto allowing anybody to “buy” and own their factory kit which is what they (Dorna) set forth as the original intent of the OC. Honda were the only ones to build to that brief, and they got screwed. ask Suppo and he’ll tell you the same.

    re: “be given that percentage of displacement advantage, a la ducati on superbike”

    trust me, it’s better if we don’t go there.

    • Brian says:

      Thanks for this post. Exactly what I thought but also thanks for a post I didn’t have to read twice! Cheers

  7. Norm G. says:

    right then, can we safely drop this “charade” of an OC now…? the class effectively doesn’t exist and thanks to 11th hour rule changes, never did.

  8. xlayn says:

    I find hard to believe open bikes will became competitive in the near future.
    My most “economic” thought about how to improve the situation is to calculate the percentage of time they are behind as a group from the top 5 aliens and be given that percentage of displacement advantage, a la ducati on superbike…