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Honda’s Shuhei Nakamoto Crawls Out of His Tent Long Enough to Offer Some MotoGP Insights

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Camping in South America as he closely observes Honda’s Factory effort at the Dakar Rally, HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto was cornered by a journalist who had some questions about Honda’s 2016 MotoGP effort.  You can see more details on the interview here, but we offer a couple of snippets.

Despite his disastrous 2015 campaign (involving six crashes and DNFs), Nakamoto says Marquez is still the fastest rider in MotoGP. The big problem with the Honda factory MotoGP bike last year was a “too aggressive” engine that caused problems with both handling and tire wear.

Perhaps the biggest concession by Nakamoto is that the 2016 bike, at least in early testing, has not overcome this power delivery problem, even though the power band has been moved downward. Take a look at the full interview for more.

 


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42 Comments

  1. Not a Pedrosa fan. Never forgave him and Sito for their antics in 2006.
    I am disappointed at the lack of American talent in Moto GP. Seems like the series is run entirely for the benefit of Spain. I was hoping the Noyes kid would end the drought, I hope he is on the mend. It will take a bit of time but maybe we can get the farm system going again here in the U.S. There is hope with MotoAmerica. Guess I’ll just have to console myself with WSB and the new Ten Kate Honda rider.

  2. BALOY BEACH says:

    Rossi will be on a mission

  3. Joe says:

    Rootin for the old man VR or the Suzuki kids.
    Danny’s a good boy too. It’d be cool to see him take it.

  4. bipedal says:

    Rossi will kick their butts in 2016

  5. Norm G. says:

    re: “Perhaps the biggest concession by Nakamoto is that the 2016 bike, at least in early testing, has not overcome this power delivery problem, even though the power band has been moved downward.”

    ok, so can we stop pretending like there’s some “magical barrier” that’s going to stop you from switching back to the 2014 spec engine that Marcus won 10 straight on. that kit was obviously “Engineered Gold”. this is racing, there are no consumers here trying to get “free lunch” off a 2014 leftover. if a part works…? you use it, just like I predicted you guys would do (and did) with the frame. you’re only focus is to take the “known good” and see how well it works with the 17 inch “disasters” and the new electrics.

    • Curly says:

      I thought that sounded a bit phony too. They will try to balance their engine softening detune with what they expect the other makers to increase but still come out on top. That he says they haven’t solved it yet is just a screen. They’ll be worried that Yamaha will fatten their motor up with those two extra liters of fuel and still be easier to ride than the Honda screamer. The new Michelin rears could solve the lack of grip problem the Hondas have had and they may have been trying to see if the 2015 engine tune would work with it.

  6. Dave Joy says:

    If this season is as exciting as last, I don’t care who wins! If the Suzuki’s are more competitive this year we should be in for some great close racing! Bring it on!

  7. CB says:

    Marquez still the fastest and most daring rider.
    Lorenzo buttery smooth and crazy fast on that yammy.
    Pedrosa a good blend of both but unless ts just right , not able to make it happen, usually. But always a threat if healthy.
    VR, the master cannot win on speed alone but that doesn’t always win races as we know. Not sure I’ll root for him that hard after last years antics.

    I’m excited about all the new changes and all things being equal, it could favor the person able to ride anything and that favors Marquez IMHO.

    Just can’t wait…. Iannone the dark horse??

    • Pablo says:

      Spot on summary CB. If Stoner gets some wild cards he should be in mix as well as a dark Horse.

    • Ron H. says:

      Fixed it for ya…

      Marquez still the fastest and most dangerous and immature rider.
      Lorenzo buttery smooth and crazy fast on that yammy.
      Pedrosa a good blend of both but unless ts just right , not able to make it happen, usually. But always a threat if healthy.
      VR, the master cannot win on speed alone but that doesn’t always win races as we know. Not sure I’ll root for him that hard after last years antics.

  8. GMan says:

    Looonnngggg shot but….. Iannone with Stoners behind the scenes help. Pipe dream but hey anything’s possible, cause hey, it’s racing.

    • Plenty of changes to suggest the new season will bring intrigue. No reason there won’t be a little bit of shuffling as the new kit is worked out.

      I am curious, though, about this whole Stoner thing. What will his impact truly be? Can any current rider actually profit from his development input? He likely rides like no other rider (others suggest MM is a “comparable” though I doubt the two are identical in technique and approach to things). And why the heck is Stoner back in the game, anyway? It seems his brand ambassador and test rider role would be taking on all the hassle without the benefit of racing on Sunday, the only thing he said he truly enjoyed about MotoGP. In time, we shall see what it all means.

      I’m glad to have some things to look forward to, to take my mind off the last couple of races of 2015…

  9. Scotty says:

    I’d like someone new to win it.

    • Curly says:

      Me too. If Suzuki suddenly finds a big bag of horsepower in their race shop then Maverick Vinales could be a fast rising star that surprises everyone and becomes the next alien.

  10. BT says:

    Originally I did not like Danny, but after watching hitting the apex, I have a new found respect for him. MM is smug and arrogant, but no doubt he is fast.

  11. tmwalker69 says:

    I still enjoy all the years Danni boy has let down Honda after they turned their back on Nickey….

    • viktor92 says:

      Hayden was a good pilot and person, but never had the speed of Pedrosa. His 2006 championship was a stroke of luck, VR lost at least 2 wins by engine failures when he was leading easily.

      • JJ says:

        Honda never gave Nicky the same support every other factory Honda riders received. Nicky spent his entire time developing the bikes, trying all new parts every race weekend while Danni got to work on race set up.

        Hey Nicky, let’s try this new swing arm, clutch, shock setting, forks, etc. Even the bike size never was designed to fit him. Go back and look at some of the photos. Nicky looked like a bear on a tricycle. The bike was clearly designed and set up for Danni.

        All the while Nicky never complained, just went forward and did his job. Class act.

      • Pacer says:

        That’s racing. Bike, conditions (track/weather), and rider are all in the equation. Hayden was definitely good enough to have that ride, and a threat to win races. If you can win races you can win championships, though the odds may be less for some compared to others. At the end of the day Honda built a bike for Pedrosa and threw Hayden away. It is a crappy thing to do, and I was let down when Honda did it. Honda has shown that sort of character trait more than once. I don’t root for their success, maybe their rider, but not Honda.

        • Though most of us will never know the truth about each individual situation, this observer has seen many instances where a world-crushing rider has left the Honda fold. Something strange goes on there…

          • Dave says:

            Re: “many instances where a world-crushing rider has left the Honda fold. Something strange goes on there…”

            Honda is careful to never let the rider to become a bigger star than the bike.

      • Pigiron says:

        Riding the last two races with a broken collarbone was not luck, it was downright heroic. Nicky deserved his championship and rival Val thought so too.

  12. Ron H. says:

    Thanks to Marquez I won’t be following MotoGP. That is unless I hear he’s crashed out.

    • notarollingroadblock says:

      True fans won’t miss you.

    • Mick says:

      I turned my back on the whole works when the four stroke rules first came around. That was, more or less, thanks to Honda.

      I suppose when they finally get even more retrograde technology to promote, probably steam power, I might have a look just to see what the machines look like.

      • Curly says:

        Well if any of the half dozen or so “Revolutionary 2 Stroke Tecnologies” had ever proven itself to be economy feasible and able to control emissions then I’d be with you on not going to the 4 strokes. I’m sure not ready to watch a bunch of electrics race while they pipe fake engine sounds to the crowd either. Until that day comes I’m happy to watch the “Diesels”, as King Kenny calls them, wail around the track.

      • Ok, I get it, the two strokes were awesome from pretty much any angle, and were clearly pure race machines. But given that things change, didn’t the sound of the V-5 Honda going by give you the slightest tingle?

  13. mickey says:

    I hope the animosities of the racers and the fans from last season are forgotten as soon as the lights go out at Qatar.

  14. mickey says:

    i’m an anyone as long as it’s a good competitive season guy, but I too wish Pedrosa the best. He deserves a premier class title.

  15. Pacer says:

    I’m an “anybody but Marquez” guy. I wish Pedrobot the best.