Wednesday, February 28, 2007

WSBK Bikes More Powerful Than MotoGP 800's?

An article on the Speed TV website by Denis Noyes suggests that the cut in MotoGP engine size to 800cc has left the World Superbike 1000cc machines as the most powerful circuit racing bikes.
800cc MotoGP bikes are said to be producing an estimated 200 to 210bhp from their highly strung, specially designed engines. However, the production-based engines of the big Japanese 4-cylinder bikes in WSBK, particularly the Honda Fireblades, are said to produce 220bhp.
This is an interesting figure, as the World Superbikes are highly-tuned versions of the roadbikes that any Joe Sixpack can buy at his local dealership. The WSBK rules mean that 4-cylinder bikes are allowed strictly limited changes, while teams running 2-cylinder bikes (namely Ducatis) may tinker with more of the engine internals.
In MotoGP, the Hondas are struggling with straight-line speed, and probably down on power to some extent, while the Ducatis produce huge amounts of power, savagely enough to scare the life out of even the craziest little Italian, Loris Capirossi.
In WSBK, the Hondas are utter bullets in a straight line, as shown by James Toseland at Qatar, while the V-twin Ducatis are struggling.
Of course, the lap times in WSBK are limited by the Pirelli control tyres, while MotoGP has a full-blown tyre war. This, along with the fact that the Grand Prix bikes are nearly 20kg lighter, means that the MotoGP bikes are still a couple of seconds quicker around the same track.

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