Any visitors to Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1’s team facilities and workshop in Lommel will have no doubt that they are watching a first-class racing operation in action.
The infrastructure and set-up in Belgium is designed for maximum efficiency and output; a natural situation for a factory crew which has been in contention for the title of the premier class of the FIM Motocross World Championship each year since the inception of MX1 in 2004 (taking the crown in 2007).
The quantity of spares, components and machinery stacked is just one of the consequences of a racing effort directly related to the Hamamatsu factory in Japan in every way aside from location. The lathes and tool benches surround other essential areas that help chisel the RM-Z450s into fettled race tools. One such utensil is the inertia chassis dyno. FI and Data technician Roy Matheson explains a bit more.
“The inertia chassis dyno measures horsepower and torque of the engine. It will run an engine from the bottom of the curve up to the very top rpm and measures the horsepower corresponding to how the engine picks up. We attach a full bike to the machine and change the rear wheel for a road tyre for best grip.
“We use it mainly for finding combinations and refining set-up. It is a chassis dyno, not an engine unit. We are able to assess the bike as a full package with all the engine parts together; such as FI setting, exhaust performance, throttle body, airbox, fuel etc. From there we can work on combinations.
“We do most of our set-up for the engine during pre-season,” Matheson – one of five technicians in the team – continues. “The riders generally don’t like to change too much once they have an engine characteristic they’re happy with. If we have any issues during the year, or we have any development parts that have come over early from Japan for pre-season testing for next year, then we go to the dyno and then to the track. We always finalise the setting at the track. It is never finished after being on the dyno.”
Despite the provisions and equipment at their finger tips and the endless march of technology, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 still relies on the age-old methods of ensuring the race bikes are in the best shape for riders Clement Desalle and Tanel Leok.
“We always finalise the setting at the track. It is never finished after being on the dyno. Suzuki’s policy is that they do most of the development in Japan. A chassis dyno is a big investment but it will never give you the exact, precise result that you want. You have to get out on the track and keep that in mind.”