Competitive racing is one of the main testing grounds for Repsol Technology Lab specialists
More durable tyres
One of the things that immediately comes to mind when talking about motorsports are tyres. While it would be mad to use competition tyres on a regular vehicle, manufacturers do in fact come up with improvements stemming from the research conducted at the World Championship. The tyre’s performance during a race is analysed to come up with compounds that are more durable and have better grip.
The result is a longer-lasting tyre without compromising on grip, with optimised treads for driving in the rain. Another clear improvement is the range of asymmetrical treads for touring bikes, designed to increase the lifespan of tyres on vehicles used for long cross-country trips. A lot of these innovations, however, are not readily visible as they are inside the tyres. Inside you can see the new compounds and the most sophisticated manufacturing processes that are used.
The best materials
It is no secret that MotoGP is the testing ground for the most advanced materials. The first thing that comes to mind is carbon fibre, although it is actually too expensive to be used in regular motorbikes. This does not stop some bikers from adding carbon fibre to their rims to give them a personal touch.
Magnesium and titanium are used in specific pieces that can be found in high-performance motorbikes, but this could become more widespread in the future. The material that has been most developed thanks to competitive racing is aluminium. Widely used and alloyed for use in races, it can be found in an endless amount of components in all kinds of vehicles, including rims, suspension links, bodywork parts ,etc.
Electronics for the smartest motorbikes
Data collection and how electronics can be adapted to offer the very best in performance and safety has been a small obsession in the world of MotoGP in recent years. All of the information gathered is now being brought to the market, and many motorbike models now have alternative engine maps.
The use of inertial or gyroscopic platforms and other sensors allows manufacturers to build bikes that intelligently adapt to an endless array of conditions. Some of these improvements are limited to sports and high-end motorbikes, but they are being gradually introduced into more and more models. Electronic screens aren’t far behind those used in racing either, offering more precise and specific data.
More efficient engines
The engines used in competitive motorsports are known for their efficiency and power requirements. In order to offer the highest power within the limitations of the competition, teams have extensively explored the mechanics. The goal is to achieve the highest performance possible without compromising the durability of the mechanical components subjected to high workloads.
This means that in competitive racing these parts are put under extreme conditions to identify the best materials and how to make them better resist friction and wear. Injection systems have also been analysed in great detail and have been optimised for better performance and reduced consumption in commercial models.
Lubricants for enhanced protection
There is a world of difference between the engine oil of a MotoGP bike and a regular commercial motorbike. Nevertheless, competitive racing is one of the main testing grounds for lubricant specialists from the Repsol Technology Lab. The oil used in the Honda RC213V driven by Márquez and Lorenzo is a unique product that has been specially adapted to the bike’s engine and developed to achieve the highest power without compromising on wear.
This does not mean that it does not share some additives with the oils in the Repsol range. An additive tested in competition as a friction modifier would need an estimated four or five years before being introduced onto the market.
In MotoGP we work with advanced engines that give Repsol an extraordinary head start in developing lubricants for the most cutting-edge technology. Engine oil is not subject to any specifications, which means that all kinds of new technologies for formulation and additive processes can be used , such as nanoparticles. This is made possible thanks to our long-standing commitment to the world of motorsports and the continued collaboration of the Repsol-Honda Team.