Updated electronics but no carbon fibre for 2009 Yamaha M1
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Yamaha´s Masao Furusawa has given an insight into the key developments for the 2009 M1, but does not foresee a switch to carbon fibre frame any time soon.
Improving on the best bike of the season is always a tough task, and expectations are high for the 2009 Yamaha M1. The new prototype will make its first appearance on track at Valencia as part of Monday´s post-race test, following on from a postponed scheduled first run-out for 2008 MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi after his title win at Motegi.
Yamaha´s Executive Officer of Engineering Operations and one of the driving forces behind the development of the M1, Masao Furusawa pinpoints cornering speed –a problem mentioned by Rossi on numerous occasions- as one of the key focuses of next season´s bike.
`The first year of the 800cc bikes we missed something in the horsepower of the engine. This year we caught back up with the competitiveness,´ says the Japanese executive. `Next year we will be expecting a little bit more and also upgrading the sophisticated electronic system to get faster in cornering.
`We´ve changed a lot of things about the engine so far. Especially with the balance between the power and the fuel efficiency. That was a problem in the first year.´
MotoGP rivals Ducati have made clear that they will use a carbon fibre frame for their 2009 project, but Furusawa is unconvinced by the composite´s potential benefit for the Yamaha machine. He describes carbon fibre as `very nice material for reducing weight, but really hard to adjust. It´s not so flexible, and for this reason I don´t want to use it for the M1.´
Also open to flexibility is the time scale between the passing down of new developments to the Tech 3 Yamaha satellite outfit. This year Colin Edwards and James Toseland have received upgrades only a short time after factory riders Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, a setup that Furusawa would like to see continue next season with the unchanged lineups.
`There will be a little delay in the Tech 3 team getting the developments, but I would like to keep them on the same bike as the factory team,´ he comments.
Furusawa will accompany Shigeto Kitagawa (Senior Manager Technical Development) and Masahiko Nakajima (Fiat Yamaha Team Director and 2008 YZR-M1 Project Leader) in giving a presentation of the current MotoGP machine at the Valencia circuit on Friday.