MotoGP Engine Usage After Mugello

Posted on 4 Jun, 2015 by Scott Jones
Aprilia RS-GP engine 2015

For details on the engine allotments for the three types of premier class entires, see this page.

After the first six rounds of the 2015 MotoGP season, the engine use reports from IRTA are showing some pretty interesting information. For example, six riders have used only two engines so far, and together they represent three different engine makers. One team is showing signs of a clear engine use strategy that is mirrored by its satellite team. One new factory team has withdrawn more engines than the other new factory team has opened so far this season!

Factory Teams (5 engines)

Movistar Yamaha – Rossi has raced #1 three times and #2 twice. At Mugello he opened #3 and raced it.

Lorenzo ‘s engine use mirrors Rossi’s almost to the session. Each raced #1 at Losail, #2 at CotA, #2 at Rio Hondo, #1 at Jerez, #1 at Le Mans. Each opened #3 for FP3 at Mugello and then raced #3.

Including the races, FP and QP sessions, there have been only seven instances of 42 sessions where Lorenzo used a different engine number for that session. The remaining 35 sessions were the same on the data sheets for Rossi vs Lorenzo engine use. Coincidence? Or part of Yamaha’s use strategy? Only those inside Yamaha know for sure.

Tech 3 Yamaha – Bradley Smith’s engine use is remarkably similar to that of Rossi and Lorenzo. He also opened #3 for FP3 at Mugello and then raced that engine. Previously his race engine use matches Rossi’s and Lorenzo’s except for Losail, where he raced #2 instead of #1. There is more variety of engine use during FP and QP sessions for Smith as he has more sessions were he used both bikes instead of only one, as Rossi and Lorenzo did during comparable sessions.

Pol Espargaro started out on the same plan as Rossi and Lorenzo, but deviated by opening #3 at Jerez and then racing #2. Pol then raced #3 at Le Mans and again at Mugello, so he’s a bit early to the 3 Opened Yamaha Engines Club, and thus he has more miles on his #3 engine than Smith, Rossi or Lorenzo.

All four of the Factory Yamaha riders have two unopened engines.

Repsol Honda – Though still not listed as Withdrawn From Allocation on the official sheet (and perhaps it never will be), engine #2 in Marquez’ set of five was damaged at CotA, as he admitted to MotoMatters. This engine saw very limited use for a lump expected to last one fifth of an 18-round season. The doomed #2 was used for FP3, FP4, Q2, W-Up (shared duty with #1), and the race at Losail, then at CotA FP1, FP2 (shared duty with #1), FP3 (shared duty with #1), FP4 (shared duty with #1) before it failed in Q2, forcing Marquez to park the bike against the pit wall and sprint back to his box for his second bike. Considering that some Honda engines, such as Crutchlow’s #2 and Pedrosa’s #1, have raced FIVE times with shared Practice and Qualifying use and are still going, Marquez’ #2 was quite unusual.

His engine #3 was placed into use for the CotA warm up, then raced in Argentina. #1 returned to race service at Jerez, then #3 raced at Le Mans and Mugello. Engines #4 and #5 have not yet been opened, but again, it appears that #2 is out for good and that Marquez is down to four engines for the rest of the season.

Pedrosa’s allotment, used by Hiro Aoyama at CotA, Rio Hondo and Jerez, saw only engine #1 used in races until Mugello, where #2 was raced for the first time. Pedrosa has two engines unopened as #3 was opened and used in the Warm Up (shared duty with #2) at Muggello. #3 is at the very beginning of its use with only the shared Mugello Warm-up so far, and #2 has only raced once.

LCR Honda – Crutchlow’s engine use closely mirrors Pedrosa’s, except Crutchlow has yet to open a third engine. He raced #2 in each of the first five rounds, then raced #1 at Mugello. He still has three unopened engines.

Marc VDS Honda – Redding also has three unopened engines, having raced #1 three times and #2 three times.

So of the factory Hondas, Marquez and Pedrosa both have two unopened engines, while Redding and Crutchlow have three.

On the next page, Factory Option Teams’ engine use:

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