The bike, which will be available as a CRT replacement to teams, tested at the Motegi Circuit with a Japanese test rider.
The bikes specifications have not yet been revealed but it will run on Showa suspension. At present only Alvaro Bautista uses the Japanese suspension in the premier class. HRC also confirmed that the bike will be available to teams by the end of 2013 so it is likely that an announcement with definitive specifications will be made at one of the summer races. It is highly unlikely that the bike will incorporate the much vaulted seamless shift gearbox that the factory prototypes have used in recent seasons.
Speaking after the test Shuhei Nakamoto said:
“Development of the model is currently a little behind schedule but the test results showed more than what we had expected, in particular, with its running performance,” said the vice president of HRC. “We can’t announce its name or the specification at this stage but we will have an opportunity of announcing the details in the not too distant future.”
Times were not released from the test but it has been speculated that the bikes will be considerably faster than CRTs and someone in the region of one second per lap slower than the factory prototypes but they will enjoy significant advantages.
The fuel restriction of 20 litres for prototypes will remain but the HRC production bike will have an extra 4 litres as well as 12 engines to last the season.