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COTA is a Horsepower Track Favoring Ducati and Honda

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If you saw Round 1 of the MotoGP championship held in Qatar a couple of weeks ago, you realize that Ducati has a horsepower advantage over Yamaha. High speed tracks favor Ducati, and to some extent Honda, as well.  Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso finished on the podium at COTA last year. He and his teammate Andrea Iannone are aboard a much improved Ducati this year. Having finished second and third in Qatar, a Ducati win at COTA this weekend is not out of the question.

Unfortunately, rain is predicted for the weekend in Austin where the track is located, which can always lead to some odd results, during both qualifying and the race. If the race is dry, Ducati may have the upper hand with Yamaha since, unlike Qatar, COTA has two very high speed straightaways.

With only one factory Honda to contend with (Dani Pedrosa’s replacement is not expected to compete for the podium), this might be Ducati’s best chance to take its first win in the post-Stoner era. Stay tuned for race coverage on MD.

33 Comments

  1. GKS says:

    Interesting, that at the end of the race, it was the front tire which proved to be Rossi’s downfall. Yamaha went into the race stating that there would be tire problems and that proved to be true. Rossi used up his front attempting to reel in Marquez and then was unable to hold off Dovi.

  2. Bart says:

    So, its MM on the pole with a new outright MotoGp lap record, done on his “B” bike without his preferred rear tire. This after leaving his defunct “A” bike leaning against the wall and skipping back to the pits for his backup bike. Amazing performance!

    Ducati 2nd position, also amazing.

  3. Martin says:

    I would think that rain would bring the lower horsepower bikes into play, as no one can take full advantage of their mechanical advantages. It might turn out like Ben Spies victory years ago, where he was the last man “standing”. I always thought Hayden was a good wet rider, but he didn’t show it Friday. Finally, is that graphic accurate for motorcycles? Turn 18 shows 176mph?

    • MGNorge says:

      “Turn 18 shows 176mph?” Just looking at Turn 10, leading into T11 and it’s labeled as 179 mph. Looks to be a long sweeper all the way through from T16.

  4. Ron H says:

    A few years ago Lorenzo focused on honing his wet weather skills and if I remember correctly he’s become very good at riding in the rain. It’ll be interesting because all of them haven’t had enough time on their new bikes, let alone in the rain. Rain sure brings out their riding talents.

    • bikerrandy says:

      That’s assuming everything else on their bikes is spot on. These days the bikes are so complicated that can’t be assumed any more.

      • Dave says:

        Rain caused Lorenzo’s broken collarbone and cost him the championship 2 years ago.

        • mickey says:

          It’s conceivable that rain cost Pedrosa the championship last year. He stayed out another lap after Marquez crashed, rather than switching to his rain tire equipped bike, and ended up crashing himself. IIRC Lorenzo won that one. Can’t remember which race it was though.

  5. xLaYN says:

    Inverse question…
    How much fuel on average do machines have on the tank at the end of the race?

    • Fivespeed302 says:

      My guess is that it would be top secret info.

      • xLaYN says:

        imagine your last lap with 500cc of fuel in your tank, under acceleration, braking you need to keep somehow the fuel close to the pump similar to the dry sump solutions for oil.

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: How much fuel on average do machines have on the tank at the end of the race?

      A: just enough.

      • xLaYN says:

        Agree, the thing is that the amount of gas is set, you can only play with your engine and ecu but the amount of air per stroke on a given situation (assuming very similar machines) would be very similar.
        This implies:
        -They have to squeeze every possible mm of air/gas every possible time
        -Ducati could have and under tuned machine, highly tuned could mean with the ECU managed by Dorna to run out of fuel

  6. mickey says:

    Looks like Dovi was fastest in FP-1, Marquez fastest in FP-2

  7. Curly says:

    Dog on the track! Texas

  8. Vrooom says:

    I’ll go out on a limb and say Dovi, Rossi, Marquez, Lorenzo, Ianone. Marquez has been untouchable here, but Dovi and Rossi are both great on wet tracks.

  9. Curly says:

    Rain, the great equalizer. Rossi to win again?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      It is hard to bet against any of the front runners, really. They are all good in the rain. I am going with Marquez on this one though.

  10. GKS says:

    It would be hard to bet against MM making it 3 for 3 at COTA.

  11. Jeremy in TX says:

    I would have liked to have seen how the Ducatis performed on a dry, horsepower track, but I have to admit the rain may well equalize things and make for some great racing. Hopefully, there will be no major get-offs.

  12. mickey says:

    As experienced last week when the Ducatis were clearly rocketships, sometimes even superior speed can not overcome experience, skill , cunning, and desire.

  13. TexinOhio says:

    My question is: If the “Old Duc’s” were only really good in the rain. Will these “New Duc’s” that handle so well in the dry, stink in the wet?

  14. jonnyblaze says:

    I think Ducati was given more fuel in the first race. Let’s see them compete with Honda and Yamaha with equal fuel volume.

    • bikerrandy says:

      After the Qatar race I read Ducati was not concerned with having less fuel for now on. Also if it rains during the race fuel capacity will not be an issue for sure. Only tire traction & rider competence will matter.

      • TimC says:

        Hmmm… This is just off the cuff, but if it’s a rain race would you bet against Rossi?

        I don’t actually know…I’m not as familiar with who is particularly good in the rain on bikes….

      • Brian says:

        Even after “losing” the 24 liter allowance, I believe there’s still a fuel disparity. They still have 22 liters, as opposed to 20 for Yamaha/Honda. Whether that makes a difference in power output, I don’t know…but it certainly can’t hurt. And I don’t think that last two liters can be taken away this year, even if they start winning races.

        Rossi complained a bit about that the other day.

        • Dave says:

          I thought Ducati had been running on 20l despite the concession.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I’ve heard a lot of people say that same thing, but it apparently isn’t true. When I read up on it, Ducati said they are not concerned about going from 24 to 22 liters because they managed to finish the race on “less than 22 liters”. That probably means 21.99999 liters.