Cal Crutchlow's Critical Feedback on Yamaha's 2024 MotoGP Engine
Published: 5th October 2023
Cal Crutchlow gives an insight on Yamaha’s 2024 engine. The Briton doesn’t think the M1 needs more power.
Cal Crutchlow wrapped up the Motegi weekend in 13th place after facing challenges, including serving long lap penalties in both Saturday and Sunday races due to track limits and an incorrect bike swap.
Despite these setbacks, Crutchlow’s primary focus during the weekend was data gathering, although he had to compromise by using suboptimal parts, notably a large fairing that disrupted the bike’s handling.
Crutchlow, while acknowledging the necessity of data collection, expressed his difficulties with the bike’s downforce and weight, stating, “But the bike’s difficult to ride with this much downforce. The bike is so heavy. I have probably better acceleration now, but everywhere else you lose.”
He emphasized that acceleration remained Yamaha’s top priority for the 2024 season. However, within the Yamaha team, there was a divergence of opinions on the solution. While Fabio Quartararo, the star rider, advocated for more power, Crutchlow believed a smoother engine character was crucial.
“We don’t need more power. We need a smoother engine,” Crutchlow stressed, explaining that other manufacturers were using significantly fewer Newton meters of torque on corner exits, resulting in smoother acceleration.
Crutchlow’s preference was for the bike’s characteristics to resemble those of the 2019 model, allowing for faster corner exits, as opposed to the current situation where the bike tends to spin.
Crutchlow had foreseen these issues, having tested the 2023 engine the previous year. Despite the possibility of fixing the problems with electronics, he pointed out that increasing electronic intervention could lead to slower speeds due to increased wheel spin.
In his pursuit of solutions, Crutchlow experimented with longer exhausts that were rejected by other riders. While these exhausts marginally improved power delivery, Crutchlow found them ‘too quiet’.
Meanwhile, Quartararo’s experience with the 2024 M1 engine at the Misano test was underwhelming, prompting Yamaha to plan further upgrades for the Valencia post-race test.
Looking ahead to the 2024 season, Yamaha faces the challenge of a limited presence on the grid, with only two bikes, including new signing Alex Rins, joining Quartararo at the Monster team.
The team’s ability to address Crutchlow’s concerns will play a significant role in their performance in the upcoming season.