May 10, 2006 One of the biggest problems facing motorsport is the engenuity of the engineers and the march of technology forever increasing speed and power, improving handling and aerodynamics and reducing laptimes. Formula One car racing reduced the capacity from 3.0 litres to 2.4 litres this year and already the lap times are trending back to last year’s. Next year the premier motorcycle racing MotoGP class will have the current 1000cc capacity limit reduced to 800cc and no doubt we’ll see a similar situation. Last week Ducati became the first of the teams to show its new 800cc powered prototype Desmosedici GP7 machine and already the signs are there that the lap time gap won’t be very large for very long. With a capacity of 800cc (81mm bore x 38.8mm stroke), Australian Motorcycle News is reporting that the new bike is already producing 169kW (226 bhp) compared to the current machine’s 190kW (255 bhp), a power drop of just 11 percent compared to a capacity drop of 20 percent. This has been achieved because the motor now spins to 18,200 rpm compared to the old 86mm x 42.6mm layout which redlined at 16,550 rpm. Whatsmore, the smaller motor will enable a much smaller bike with room to move the engine within the chassis to get the best balance for each circuit/rider – a smaller, more nimble and adaptable bike is expected to further reduce lap times so it’s not out of the question that by the time the 2007 season starts, times won’t have increased much.
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