Hi Steve. Before we start, what’s your role within the Monster Energy tech3 team?
I’m the gearbox mechanic on Johan Zarco’s bike. So my main focus is looking after the gearbox, but during the race weekend I help out on pretty much anything.
Let’s start with the basics – can you tell us all about Zarco’s bike. How different is it to a regular Yamaha Sportsbike?
Actually there is hardly any similarity at all – I mean they’ve both got two wheels but that’s pretty much where the similarity ends. These Moto GP bikes are one-of-a-kind, hand-built machines. There are only four riders in the world that have access to the bikes, so they are pretty unique. And each individual bike is also very different. We are one step “below” the blue Yamaha team next-door, but even Zarco’s bike is different than Syahrin’s. So they’re all totally unique.
What engine do they run?
It’s a very specific M1 engine that is specifically developed for this bike and this championship. It’s a 1000cc in-line four cylinder engine mated to a seamless six speed gearbox. They don’t tell us the specific output numbers and they vary from setup to setup, but power should be around 250-260 bhp. Combine that with a wet weight of 175kg (160kg dry) and that’s a pretty good power-to-weight ratio. A Moto GP bike will easily out-accelerate a formula one car.