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Will The New Electronics And Tires Favor Defending Champ Jorge Lorenzo?

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We talked extensively about the new tires and electronics all MotoGP teams will be required to run next year … Michelin tires and, essentially, a spec ECU and software. In theory, these changes, and the uncertainly that comes with them, might favor the smoothest riders. The smoothest rider of them all is defending champ Jorge Lorenzo.

At the unveiling of the 2016 Yamaha M1 yesterday, Lorenzo seemed to appreciate that he might have a leg-up on Marquez when he stated regarding the new tires and electronics that “the more technical and the more sensitive rider will have less problems than the more aggressive or less technical riders”. In other words, maybe we will see Marquez hit the deck more than once again in 2016.

All of the teams have to deal with the tire change (the rear Michelin is reportedly extremely good already, but the front needs work), but the biggest factory teams (Yamaha and Honda) are clearly moving backwards by abandoning their factory software and ECUs to work under the new rules. As 2016 testing gets underway at Sepang next month, we will have a better idea how the factories are coping, but the more “technical riders” (as Lorenzo describes them) may have the advantage this year.

 


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26 Comments

  1. Norm G. says:

    re: “maybe we will see Marquez hit the deck more than once again in 2016.”

    this is going to be an expensive year for ALL the manufacturers. they’ve already started racking up bills in testing. everybody seems to like the rear, but Michelin still have to sort the front. and keep in mind, the real story is going to be told over race distance and when they get to Phil’s Isle. everything everybody thinks they know is going to change 100 different times over the next 3 seasons. everything’s been built (and tuned) around the sidewall dynamics and contact patch afforded by 16-Fives. switching to 17″ hoops on a MotoGP bike is nothing short of EPIC.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “switching to 17″ hoops on a MotoGP bike is nothing short of EPIC.”

      I agree. Just changing tires is a major development undertaking for the teams. Changing wheel sizes too? Wow.

  2. ze says:

    Imo the tires will be a factor, the ECU not so much.
    It will depend on each one style but the stronger 4 will be at front anyway.

  3. daveA says:

    The advantage will go to the riders who can adapt to the changes; being smooth of not will have very little to do with it.

  4. Gutterslob says:

    Lorenzo is also the rider that depends on wheelie control the most, and at the last test he was complaining about the spec ECU’s lack of refinement in that category. Still early days though.

  5. Vrooom says:

    Will new electronics and tires favor Lorenzo? It all depends on what his manservant Marquez does.

  6. proheli says:

    I like the whole story except calling JL the Champ. I’m excited to for the next year, and with so many changes its going to be exciting, but most people I know don’t consider that JL won the WC last year. He did earn the most disgusting pig of the year award, along with MM and Dorna splitting 2nd and 3rd place.

    • pete says:

      Ummmmm…in my many years of GP watching, the *Champ* is the one at the end of the season with the most points. That man would be…ummmm…errrr Lorenzo! The disgusting pig award goes to…the sorest sorriest bad LOSER of all times…Valentino Rossi.

  7. Jeckyll says:

    Rossi had some comments recently indicating that he thought there may be a few more riders towards the front and things would be closer. But that Jorge, Marc, Dani and him were still going to be at the front.

    After all, the ‘aliens’ are still the ‘aliens’ even if they now have less electronic controls, with perhaps the occasional interloper.

    If Casey is entered in some wild card races (Phillip Island?!) it’ll be interesting to see what he can do.

  8. mickey says:

    So far from what I’ve read it is favoring the Ducati’s who currently use a similar software unit made by the same manufacturer. However, the rest of the boys have had a couple of months to let their software engineer whiz kids play with the units so I would expect things to get real interesting next month.

    • Ty says:

      Supposedly they (Ducati) have had more time on the tires as well.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I suspect that when the dust settles it will be factory Yamaha and Honda with the edge. Still, I’m hoping things will tighten up enough that we could sometimes hope to see a Ducati or satellite rider on the top podium from time to time. And dare I say Suzuki might even find its way to the podium a couple of times this year? Probably not, but I hope.

  9. Buckwheat says:

    But will the Michelin’s provide the edge grip so seemingly required by Lorenzo?

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: will the Michelin’s provide the edge grip so seemingly required by Lorenzo?

      (so seemingly needed by everybody)

      A: no.

  10. Duc Dynasty says:

    Down goes Marquez!

  11. notarollingroadblock says:

    JL’s smooth style may help but on the other hand he’s had trouble when conditions weren’t just right and was beaten by riders who were more versatile or rode better in traffic. Could be a good year for Rossi again?

  12. WJF says:

    Software?, we don’t need no stinking software…need a vintage year with everyone on 500cc bikes