Yamaha WorldSBK boss reveals details of secret electronics test
Part of the development programme instigated by the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK team last season involved a secret test in conjunction with Japanese engineers and a Japanese Superbike spec machine at Portimao.
With very different and some say more advanced electronics on the Japanese R1, much was learned by all, according to team manager Paul Denning.
He spoke at the current Portimao WorldSBK tests of how that experience has, and hopefully will, help Yamaha make the next step up in WorldSBK competitiveness this season.
BSN: How much of the new 2018 bike is based on your experiences of doing that under the radar test last year at Portimao, with the Japanese bike and different electronics and things?
PD: “That was a really useful exercise in terms of deepening the understanding of the Yamaha Europe engineers, and the Yamaha Japan Superbike engineers, of what the strong point of the World Superbike where and the strong points of what the Japanese Superbike were.
“We were not just component testing, there was a complete machine. So in terms of depth of relationship and depth of understanding, that has helped quite considerably. But in terms of the bike that will run in Phillip Island, it is not like there is something bright and shiny that has been bolted onto our bike from the Japanese bike.
“It is more setting direction considerations, and how the electronics are setup etc. More sharing of calibration ideas and base setting ideas. That has definitely had an influence on the direction of our bike for this year.”
BSN: Alex Lowes also mentioned at Jerez that there may be something coming that should help him by maybe as much as 20 per cent in his corner entry style. But it was not quite ready then. Is it here at the Portimao test?
PD: “No, but there is quite a nice programme of continual development, both for the end of March in Thailand and then after the first two European races. We hope to test at the end of April, for some more developments there. It is impossible to say what percentage it will help the bike because we are pretty close to the ultimate pace now.
“The gap has become less, and especially in the November test. That is as close as we have come to the reference bike and rider, which are of course Jonathan and the Kawasaki. But as you close that gap very much it becomes a law of diminishing returns. You are not going to take big steps.
“It is very much refinement and not so much looking for too much new stuff, but making sure what we have got is adjusted as well as it can be to give the riders as much confidence as we can to allow them to perform at top level.”