BMW, Ducati, Yamaha and Kawasaki all had new items on show during the latest testing
The 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season is just three weeks away from firing into life and the testing season has given everyone plenty of food for thought. Up and down the pitlane, various technical upgrades have been spotted, so we’ve decided to put them all in one place as we recap all of the big headlines from the Misano test at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” in Italy.
DUCATI: swingarms and fuel tanks
Starting with the factory team, Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was back on the ‘new’ swingarm – one that the team previously trialled with Scott Redding in the 2021 Catalunya test. Bautista first used it at Portimao and liked it at Misano, a totally different track to where he debuted it. It was the same for Rinaldi – who was coming off the back of a rib injury following a preseason training accident – as the Italian got to grips with the new swingarm and fuel tank. The fuel tank is seemingly designed to allow more rider movement on the bike, giving the riders the space they need on the bike to get the bike into the corners, whereas the swingarm is for rear grip. Elsewhere, Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) was with a Spark exhaust, whereas the team used Akrapovic in 2021, the same as the factory team. At Motocorsa Racing Ducati, Axel Bassani’s test debut saw him with a new seat, as well as the same swingarm that the factory team were using.
BMW: electronics, chassis configuration and their 2022 engine
BMW’s first test in the public eye was always going to draw attention and speculation; whilst the outside of the bike looked similar to the 2021 model, there’s plenty of change internally. Starting with what BMW Motorrad’s Motorsport Director Marc Bongers has hailed as the “biggest improvement”, the team can now use their engine to 100% of its capabilities, as last year, they had to keep it dialled back. Then, there’s the chassis configurations for each rider, which now allow more flexibility, as well as the electronics which have likewise been improved; BMW are the only manufacturer who use their own in-house electronics system. For a full look at the BMW tech,
YAMAHA: braking and electronics, chassis evolution and clutch
Not the biggest amount of innovations from Yamaha, just, as ever, incremental improvements that will eventually lead to big gains. Garrett Gerloff continued adapting to the latest-spec Brembo brakes, something he opted against in 2021. He was also using the new Yamaha electronics, which Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) said were an “incredible step” back at the Aragon test. For more on the Yamaha electronics, including words from Razgatlioglu, his crew chief Phil Marron and team principal Paul Denning, At the Gil Motor Sport Yamaha camp, Christophe Ponsson continued to get to grips with the new chassis, something that is a priority during his testing season, whilst also testing a new clutch. Both the old and new chassis were back-to-back tested on day one, along with the clutch, so Ponsson’s understanding of where the improvements have been made are clear.
KAWASAKI: Puccetti the sole attendee as they get used to Öhlins
With no other Kawasaki’s on track, Manuel Puccetti’s Kawasaki Puccetti Racing outfit continued their preseason testing programme and continued adapting to Öhlins suspension, having previously been with Showa, in alignment with the factory team of Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes. Öhlins technicians were in the box for a large portion of the day, as the team try to make the most of this technical switch ahead of the 2022 season commencing.