Another distinction is that the variable ride height system’s acceleration-increasing impact, when combined with the Yamaha’s generally high apex speed (the YZR-M1 is designed as a corner-speed bike), impressed the ordinarily acceleration-rich Ducati men last weekend. Acceleration that occurs immediately after a corner counts for more than acceleration that occurs afterwards.
In Austria, Binder takes a chance and wins
Rev Limiters and the Viales Incident. Now we’ll look at Maverick Viales’ odd story. Yamaha found that he had purposefully raced the straights in fifth gear for the last three laps, sacrificing five seconds per lap and holding his engine against its rev limitation, after studying the data from last Sunday’s race. They responded by disqualifying him from the race for attempting to intentionally damage his engine, potentially endangering other riders. While we are conditioned to believe that slamming on the limiter is harmless entertainment (burnout artists do it all the time), there is more to it. Race engines have both a soft and a hard rev limit, according to an experienced crew chief. The soft limit, which reduces power to the point that it is noticeable, warns the rider, “Be careful, you’re pushing it,” whereas the hard limit cuts ignition, producing the distinctive machine-gun exhaust sound. The hard restriction is in place to safeguard the engine from valve bounce and other serious damage, but repeated use is still dangerous since the engine’s interrupted firing causes parts to oscillate abnormally, causing damage.
Other riders chimed in with generally sympathetic remarks, since they all suffer from constant anxiety, which pushes a significant percentage of them to seek counseling from sports psychologists. Burnout is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly. Viales’ case is unique in that, as we have seen, each time he performs admirably in practice (Cal Crutchlow was effusive in his appreciation for Viales’ abilities), he may be plagued by seemingly unrelated and unsolvable issues that limit him to bad results. Márquez’s thoughts on his weekend were polar opposites. “Today I raced with a very weary arm,” he remarked in one version. I was in pain during the warmup and had to get a painkilling shot as a result. It’s a curious phenomenon that I’m attempting to figure out with the help of my physiotherapist. I’m in agony at times, and I’m feeling horrible at others. Apart from that, I ran the marathon with an arm that was becoming increasingly weary as the race progressed. So, in addition to the bike, I need to work on my body.” “For me, having been in front competing with the best counts more than the crash that happened in the rain,” he said.
Racing is a complex form of gambling, thus tension and surprise are appealing to both participants and spectators. On a typical dry-race weekend, we observe practice, try to decipher the riders’ comments, and try to figure out how the dynamics of the moment will be resolved on Sunday afternoon. It can seem monotonous at times; riders like Marc Márquez and Mick Doohan have won numerous races. Other times, fate throws all odds out the window in order to watch how the participants handle the little opportunities available. Brad Binder took a chance last weekend and won.
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