MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley’s blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Back to the future: the story of second-hand MotoGP bikes
On Sunday Franco Morbidelli proved that an old motorcycle can sometimes be better than a new motorcycle. And he’s not the first to do that
There’s been so much talk about Yamaha’s 2019 and 2020 YZR-M1s in recent weeks that this may be a good time to look into the joys of second-hand MotoGP bikes.
Fabio Quartararo, Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales can’t revert to 2019 M1s due to MotoGP engine regulations but you can be sure they would if they could, because the 2019 M1 chassis seems to be better balanced than the 2020 version.
Factories never like to admit that their new motorcycle – the result of months of hard work and god-knows-how-much investment – is worse than the old motorcycle, but sometimes it happens. Quite often in fact.
Usually factories try to hide the truth and sometimes they get away with it, because the differences between this year’s and last year’s engines or chassis may be invisible to pit-lane sleuths.
Other times there’s no way they can hide what’s going on.
Most famously Honda reverted to its three-cylinder NS500 during the first season of its four-cylinder NSR500, the machine that went on to become the most successful MotoGP bike of all time.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley’s blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.