Finding the best Engine: wo weeks are left in the season opener at LIC, these three days of testing will mean a lot specifically for the teams without engine concessions. These year ‘’frozen engine’’ rule will apply on the impressive Suzuki Ecstar Team. After reentering the premier class, last year was one of the best years in regards of podiums and points for the Hamamatsu factory. Scoring back to back podiums and some wild performances by both of its riders - Team Suzuki scored enough podium points last year which ultimately resulted in their concessions.
Other teams to be without engines concessions are the big three: Ducati, Honda and Yamaha, the former two were quite impressed with their engine last season and even in the testing their engines look solid to be not their point of focus but for later one i.e. Yamaha engines was a hindrance for their shot at championship and resulted in a winless season for ‘The Doctor’.
But after the three days of Sepang testing two weeks ago, there were some relieved faces at Yamaha camp as they tested different engines during Jerez testing and then mainly focus on modified one engine during Sepang tests.
This what Rossi had to say about Engine choice after Sepang tests.
"We only have one engine because Yamaha has decided this and we are happy,"
"The engine is more or less decided, there are not too many doubts. The first day was quite positive because I have a good feeling with the bike from the beginning, and that also looks like [the case] with the used tyre, that is our weak point and we are not so bad.’’
Rossi’s teammate Vinales showed signs of positivity about the engine after the Sepang tests.
“It’s very similar [to what he tested at the end of last year]. Honestly, compared to the race, it's quite similar. The good thing is that I was doing the lap times with the medium, which I couldn't use during the race. So that's a positive thing.
Next big mystery after the engines will be to sort out, the best Aero-Fairings after the ban on front wing at the end 2017 season, teams like Ducati and Honda were quite focused on finding the best aero fairings which can be confused with front wings, but as a reminder the fairings are modified front wings with the them going out of the bike scale and no sharp edges.
Reminding everyone about the fairing rules this year: there can be only two fairings can be used on the bike - one to be decided before the season opener and other can be decided mid-season. Both of the fairings after getting fixed on the bike(homologation) and raced on cannot be changed afterwards. Rules for their legality have been stricken as well, each fairing will have to pass through homologation test, a device especially made to check these new aero firings for their rule abidance.
Fairings will be main point of concern for the Mission winnow Ducati as Danilo Petrucci crashed at Turn 5 in Sepang on those fairing. So, they will have to find the best match before the season opener in two weeks.
Other area of focus for the teams will be normal chassis parts, exhaust and oil tank which help a lot in comfort for the rider, cornering speed and corner exiting speed.
We saw Dovizioso and Alex Rins experimenting with new chassis – we might see more chassis updates from both Ducati and Suzuki this time around as well. Honda was seen testing new exhaust ‘a salad box’ design typical to Desmosedicis