Although Jorge Lorenzo managed to win the British GP two weekends ago, the Yamaha Factory Racing rider and defending MotoGP World Champion still trails championship leader Marc Marquez by 37 points with only six rounds remaining in the 2013 MotoGP season. With pressure mounting from not only the championship perspective but also Lorenzo and teammate Valentino Rossi to give them anything possible to help in their quest to keep the title out of Honda’s hands, Yamaha had brought over their new prototype seamless transmissions for additional testing at the official Misano post-race test on Monday. At least that was the original plan; that since has been scrapped, with both Yamaha riders slated to use the new transmission during the race weekend in an attempt to stem the Honda/Marquez tide.
Honda has been using its seamless-shift gearbox technology since 2011 (check out our revealing story on the gearbox’s inner construction here, where we managed to find the patent), and Ducati has also installed a unit of its own since last year. But Yamaha was slow to jump on the seamless transmission bandwagon, probably for several reasons, not the least of which include that it would have to be different than the Honda and Ducati systems because of patent infringement.
Lorenzo and Rossi had already tested the seamless transmission during the two-day test at Brno in early August, and were reportedly pleased with its performance. Not wanting to risk a mechanical failure that could ruin Lorenzo’s chances of retaining his title, Yamaha continued further testing and was originally planning to introduce the gearbox into the racebikes at the Aragon, Spain, round. But continued pressure from the riders and the title chase have forced Yamaha to move the timetable forward.
Lorenzo and Rossi both confirmed that the gearbox will be running in their racebikes this weekend. “It [seamless transmission] will be here for the weekend. We can say that,” said Lorenzo at the Misano pre-race press conference this morning. “We will try the new gearbox from tomorrow and we are so happy,” concurred Rossi. “For sure it is important, it is very good for the rider and a big help. Misano is a track on which you use the gearbox a lot, so we hope that will be a good advantage when fighting with the Hondas.”
Yamaha MotoGP boss Lin Jarvis also revealed that the seamless transmission will be in use at Misano. “And now we introduce the new gearbox we have been waiting for, so it’s a very exciting weekend.
“[The transmission timetable was brought forward] with the pressure from these two! (points at Lorenzo and Rossi) But if it’s ready for Monday, it’s ready for now. We have a deficit to Honda and need to do everything we can to challenge them over these next six races.”