1 year ago

RideFast Dec 2019

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PADDOCK NEWS Brought to you by “Not professional riding, but professional acting in the paddock, what I did, how was our history, how was the history of Avintia, how is the history of the people involved. Listen to both stories and take whatever you want out of it. I’m telling you how I feel it. I think I’m telling you the facts. That what it is,” he told Gorali. Racing Life Although he is a trained lawyer, racing is the only life he has known since he was very young, Abraham said. “When I was fifteen, I started,” he said. “So it’s been fifteen years that I was around, living between the tracks in motorhomes, traveling all the time in a car and planes and everything. So it’s kind of the life that I’m used to.” “So we will see what will be happening. Now, I honestly have no idea. The speed, adrenaline… I need adrenaline. So the speed and adrenaline, people around, I’m sure I’m going to miss it. Maybe not in the first week. That’s more disappointment and anger, but you get hungry. That’s the time you will see. I don’t know yet.” What made Abraham most angry was the way the whole situation had been handled. Having his contract torn up at the end of the year, with no opportunity to go anywhere else, had been a body blow. “I understand that Johann Zarco might be a good guy to ride a bike,” he said. “I understand that. But this is not how you treat a person.” “This is not how you do business either. If we have a contract and the contract is there and everything is ready and the season is over, and right now they know if they kick me out, which they did, I have no chance of finding a place now. Basically no chance in Moto2. MotoGP, absolutely not. Superbike also, not a good place, at least. So basically what they did, they just screwed me. It’s just, I’m done.” If the Avintia team had told him earlier, he might have been able to find something else, Abraham said. “If they told me in the middle of season, we could have done something. Or, they could also approach me in Valencia and say, ‘Karel, look. We’ve got Zarco. This is the deal. He will bring a lot more money than you,’ or whatever is the deal. I don’t know. ‘What are we going to do about it?’” “Then I can say, okay, it’s bad, but maybe I was not so happy this year. Let’s talk about it and let’s do it the normal way. That’s how you do it. But you cannot have the contract and basically after Valencia it’s called the beginning of next season, right? So I was already testing 2019 bikes, and then they say, ‘Okay, stay home.’” Fired Crew Chief Abraham was not the only victim of this approach, he told Tammy Gorali. “Basically two weeks before they did it to me, they did it to my crew chief. I didn’t know about it. Ducati didn’t know about it. Nobody knew about it.” “He came to Malaysia and they told him, ‘Next year you’re not working here.’ He said, ‘Are you serious? Because now all the crew chiefs in Moto2, MotoGP, and Moto3 are taken. So I need to stay home next year.’ They cut him off. When you leave for one year, it’s really difficult to come back.” Abraham could not see a future for himself in any of the other classes, he told Gorali. “Don’t take me wrong – Moto2 and Superbikes are amazing races. It’s great. But I have gone through it. I went to MotoGP. I left MotoGP. I desperately wanted to make some good results. I already said it before. I don’t want to make a step back.” He did not want to disparage either Moto2 or World Superbikes, Abraham insisted. “I don’t say it’s a step back like it’s bad. No. It’s great racing. But I already was there, and I would be coming back. This is something that I don’t want to do.” “It’s absolutely clear for me. I said there is only one condition under which I will do it, because I’m thirty-years-old. It’s not old, but for racing it’s not young. So going Moto2 or Superbikes, I would go if they gave me a really fast bike, and if they give me a good salary.” So Karel Abraham is to sit along the sidelines at Jerez, while the Reale Avintia team tests. Tito Rabat will be on one bike, while the Avintia squad’s MotoE rider Eric Granado will be on the second bike for the Jerez test, as a reward for winning races in MotoE for the team. MotoGP to limit wing flex in 2020. As part of the expanding wing regulations for the 2020 MotoGP season, a new ‘flex test’ will be introduced to strengthen the ban on active aerodynamics. The current technical regulations simply state ‘moving aerodynamic devices are prohibited’. This clearly prevents any obvious form of active aerodynamics, such as mechanical wing movement controlled by an external power supply. But nothing is perfectly rigid and, like a tree blowing in the wind, every part of a motorcycle moves or flexes to a certain degree when out on track. Such ‘aeroelasticity’ of the bodywork can be exploited by crafting parts that deliberately flex more than necessary, or change shape in an advantageous way, depending on the speed of the motorcycle. For example, since the main purpose of the wings is to reduce wheelies, a clever design would hold the wings at maximum downforce until the bike reaches a speed where wheelies are no longer a factor. From that point on, the downforce created by the wings is not needed and they turn from being a benefit into a disadvantage, due to the drag they create hurting ultimate top speed. Therefore if, when exposed to the greater load generated at higher speeds, parts of the wing ‘pod’ sections that hang off the bike were designed to bend into a slightly more streamlined position, drag would be lowered and top speed increase. So it’s active but, if there are no specific flex limits, passes as accidental. Such minor gains would probably have been dismissed in the past, but in an era where the top ten is often covered by less than one-second a lap, any advantage must now be considered. The flex test forms part of a beefed-up range of 2020 aerodynamic rules, which also includes more precise dimensions for the wing sections and introduction of Aero Body restrictions (one update per season) for all non-mechanical bodywork, including the infamous swingarm ‘tyre cooler’. Meanwhile, a recent announcement from the Grand Prix Commission revealed that in future teams will be able to remove wings from their bikes at Phillip Island, something that would currently mean breaking the Aero Body/Homologation rules (unless one of a rider’s two fairings allowed for the season was already wingless). The move implies that the wing sections are thought to have had an adverse effect on safety in the kind of extreme gusty crosswinds that forced the postponement of qualifying at last month’s Australian MotoGP, after Miguel Oliveira was blown off the circuit. 22 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019