BMP-ELF-99 CONTINUE IMPROVEMENTS AHEAD OF LE MANS RACE The BMP-ELF-99 Racing Team fielded a full complement of four riders at this week's two day test at Le Mans where, once again, the new privateer squad proved competitive against their ...
BMP-ELF-99 CONTINUE IMPROVEMENTS AHEAD OF LE MANS RACE
The BMP-ELF-99 Racing Team fielded a full complement of four riders at this week's two day test at Le Mans where, once again, the new privateer squad proved competitive against their factory-backed Endurance World Championship rivals.
Matthieu Lagrive and Damian Cudlin, who gave the BMP-ELF-99 Honda CBR1000 it's first outing two weeks ago, were joined at this week's test by third rider, Werner Daemen, and the team's nominated reserve rider for the 24-Hour Moto at Le Mans, Marc Fissette.
The focus of the two-day test for all four riders was on refining the set-up of the BMP-ELF-99 Honda CBR1000 in race trim, complete with a full fuel load of 24 litres in the specially modified endurance tank.
As a new team in the Endurance World Championship, the BMP-ELF-99 equipe needed maximum track time to perfect the set-up of their CBR1000. Unfortunately the test was hampered by typical Le Mans weather, which saw bright sunshine followed by persistent rain showers on both of the two test days, reducing the amount of dry track time available to the team.
"The weather certainly wasn't kind to us," explained Team Principal, Michael Bartholemy. "I know it's the same for everyone, but when you're a new team with a brand new bike, dry testing time is more critical than it is for some of the teams who've been running the same bike for the last few years. Put simply, we need as much dry track time as we can get if we're to make up ground on our factory-backed rivals."
Despite the frequent rain related interruptions, the team managed to evaluate a number of workable set-up options on the bike, as well as identifying a clear direction for development ahead of the team's next test at Le Mans, which will take place the week before the 24-hour race.
"As a privateer team we have to work everything out for ourselves, without any assistance from Honda. This extends the development process considerably, but I'm happy with what we've achieved during these two days at Le Mans. Pascal Hérisson and his team have put together a fantastic package, but we needed some help to speed up the development and set-up process and to bring us to the same level as the factory-backed teams."
This help came in the form of experienced MotoGP engineers, Pete Benson and Andrea Oleari. Benson was Nicky Hayden's HRC Crew Chief during the American's World Championship winning season, while Oleari was formerly the data engineer with the multiple World Championship winning Aspar Martinez team. Both engineers now work for the Marc VDS Racing Team in the new Moto2 Grand Prix series.
"Andrea installed on our bike the same 2D data acquisition system used extensively in MotoGP, which allowed us to assess very quickly the effect that set-up changes had on the bike. Pete is one of the most experienced engineers in the MotoGP paddock and, through analysing the captured data and comparing that with the feedback from all four riders, he was able to quickly identify where we could make the biggest improvements in terms of set-up. We will make the necessary changes to the bike ahead of the third and final Le Mans test, where I'm confident we will see further improvements in our lap time with all four riders," concluded Bartholemy.