MotoGP, how many engines are left? Specially protected Honda LCR

from Marc Seriau/ paddock-gp

The general rule states that MotoGP riders have 7 engines available for 2022. A situation that has changed quantitatively over the years, from 7 to 6, up to 5 engines for 18 GPs to limit costs. Then going up from 5 to 7 approved engines in 2021 due to the increase in the number of Grand Prix races. This year there was even an 8th engine before the cancellation of Finland, which will only be used from the 19th race, but it is no longer necessary.

All producers are affected, with the exception of Aprilia, which in this area still benefits from the concession scheme until the end of the year. By 2022, 9 engines will be homologated for each of its RS-GPs, in a system that has allowed up to 12, for example in 2016!

Developments also took place with regard to the penalties for exceeding the number of activated engines. Since 2009, instead of a ten point penalty for that driver, the driver using an additional engine “The race starts from the pitlane 5 seconds after the green light comes on”. It’s much less serious …

20 Grands Prix, 7 or 9 engines, where are we?

First of all, it must be said that the rule is well executed or that the houses adapt well to it. We have never seen anyone lose a title due to lack of engines … Even Yamaha, which struggled in 2020 due to the two valve manufacturers, managed to “empty” its engines to ensure the required life (2600 kilometers). This year, the focus is on Honda, or more precisely on the LCR team, where both the Takaaki Nakagami and Alex Márquez have three engines discontinued after 11 of the 20 rounds of the World Championship. All the other competitors have only pulled one (9 pilots) or not at all (13 pilots).

Whether it is a crash or the fact that they have reached the end of their mileage is still unknown … Nothing obliges a team to assemble an engine before the end of the season. Therefore, LCR could have contented itself with storing them in the back box until the end of the year. Conversely, removing an engine allows it to open, which is necessary in the event of a crash to examine it. There is therefore suspicion of some breach in the LCR.

Takaaki Nakagami

His first two engines (# 1 and # 2) were withdrawn after the Jerez Grand Prix, after each having played 3 races and between 11 and 13 sessions. Nothing unusual and no particular accident that could have caused the destruction of an engine. We can therefore assume that we have decided to open the engines to check their wear. It will be remembered that the Honda 2022 engine is a very promising “new concept”, according to the statements at the beginning of the season …

Introduced in France, the 3rd engine (# 4) was removed before the Assen warm-up. It’s not about the crash in Barcelona, ​​but about the bad accident in Q2 and then in the race in Germany. However, the latter was used in FP1, FP2 and FP3 in Assen, so it is difficult to think that it has suffered any damage. With only 2 races, but 21 sessions under our belt, we have without a doubt reached the mileage limits. We therefore follow with interest if his twin brother (# 3), with already 3 races and 23 sessions, will follow the same path …

Alex Márquez

The speech began even earlier. Its first engine (# 1) was withdrawn in Austin after only 1 race and 17 sessions. There we may think that there was a problem, mainly because it does not correspond to the opening of a new engine. The Spanish rider therefore had only one bike to cope with the warm-up and the race: no margin of error!

Then we continue at the same pace as our teammate, with a retirement (# 3) after Jerez and a retirement in the Netherlands (# 2), although the retirement of # 3, after only 1 race and 9 sessions, is quite interesting.

Overall, it can only be said that either the LCR team is very unlucky, or else they act as a real test rental for Honda. The two official RC213Vs do not seem to have any particular problems, although a mix of the two is possible. As well as the fact that these are the medium-term consequences of the fall of Nakagami (6) and Márquez (12).

Enough engines to end the season?

There are 9 GPs left to end the season. Takaaki Nakagami has 3 new engines and an engine with 3 races for good. Slightly cross-border at the current pace, but in the good sense of the border.
The situation is different for Alex Márquez, who has only 2 new engines left, 1 (# 4) inaugurated in Jerez with 3 races and 26 sessions, therefore well run according to LCR standards, and 1 (# 5) introduced in Italy with 2 matches and 13 sessions on the results sheet. If there’s a driver in danger in this field, it’s Alex Márquez.

Who, on the other hand, is doing well?

There is not just one, instead we are talking about some good students, starting with the Aprilia riders. At the moment, they have actually not used more engines than their rivals, despite having 2 more to set up: 5 engines in use and only 1 retired for Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales. Beware of the opportunities it offers in the second half of the season, with potentially 4 new and more powerful engines! For the record, the most “economical” is Raúl Fernández, with only 3 engines introduced and 0 withdrawn.

The use of 2022 MotoGP engines after Assen

  • Aleix Espargaró – Aprilia – engines used 5/9 (concessions) – 1 retired
  • Maverick Viñales – Aprilia – engines used 5/9 (concessions) – 1 retired
  • Raúl Fernández – KTM – engines used 3/7 – 0 retired
  • Joan Mir – Suzuki – engines used 4/7 – 0 retired
  • Alex Rins – Suzuki – engines used 4/7 – 0 retired
  • Pol Espargaró – Honda – engines used 4/7 – 1 retired
  • Marc Márquez / Stefan Bradl – Honda engines used 4/7 – 1 retired
  • Brad Binder – KTM – engines used 4/7 – 1 retired
  • Remy Gardner – KTM – engines used 4/7 – 1 retired
  • Miguel Oliveira – KTM – engines used 4/7 – 1 retired
  • Johann Zarco – Ducati – engines used 5/7 – 0 retired
  • Luca Marini – Ducati – engines used 5/7 – 0 retired
  • Jack Miller – Ducati – engines used 5/7 – 0 retired
  • Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati – engines used 5/7 – 0 retired
  • Marco Bezzecchi – Ducati – engines used 5/7 – 0 retired
  • Jorge Martín – Ducati – engines used 5/7 – 0 retired
  • Andrea Dovizioso – Yamaha – engines used 5/7 – 0 retired
  • Fabio Quartararo – Yamaha – engines used 5/7 – 0 retired
  • Franco Morbidelli – Yamaha – engines used 5/7 – 0 retired
  • Darryn Binder – Yamaha – engines used 5/7 – 0 retired
  • Fabio Di Giannantonio – Ducati – engines used 5/7 – 1 retired
  • Enea Bastianini – Ducati – engines used 5/7 – 1 retired
  • Takaaki Nakagami – Honda – engines used 5/7 – 3 retired
  • Alex Márquez – Honda – engines used 5/7 – 3 retired

Photo: motogp.com

The original article on Paddock-GP

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