Retired two-time MotoGP Champion Casey Stoner returned to the track this week to test Honda‘s RC213V racer as well as the company’s new RCV1000R production racer at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Japan. This was Stoner’s first test on the production racer after rain cut short a previous test session in August.
The weather again threatened to derail Honda’s testing plans, wiping out the first day of the two-day test but Stoner was able to finally able to put in some laps on the production racer and came away impressed. Honda did not release any official lap times but the manufacturer says Stoner produced average speeds worthy of the RC213V.
“It had a similar feeling to the [RC213V] but with a little less power and different feeling in engine braking,” says Stoner. “With some small modifications I believe this bike will be competitive and I look forward to the next test with it!”
The new production racer – the Gresini race team revealed it would be called the RCV1000R but Honda has yet to officially use that name – is based on the RC213V, but with some lower-spec components to keep costs low for privateer MotoGP race teams. Visually, the production racer looks similar to the RC213V (the production racer is the motorcycle in the pictures without the Repsol
Honda hasn’t revealed many technical details, but it’s believed the RCV1000R will not have the RC213V’s seamless gearbox or pneumatic valves. Teams competing with the production racer can be classified as non-factory entries, allowing them to use the spec MotoGP ECU software and four extra liters of fuel.