Former World Superbike Team, FB Corse, looks to be poised to enter the MotoGP Championship series for 2010 with race bike that uses a proprietary chassis and a 3-cylinder motor that was originally designed for BMW’s MotoGP effort.
The motor was designed by Mauro Forghieri, of the Oral Engineering Group, who was an engineer from Ferrari’s Formula One program. Forghieri has also designed engines for the likes of Bugatti and Lamborghini. If rumors are correct, this three-cylinder motor is the same one that BMW had hoped to campaign, before scraping their plans to join MotoGP.
The motor is unique in MotoGP as it will be the only inline triple raced in the series. Because of the fewer number of cylinder, it is expected to make around 200hp-210hp, or 10% than the other bikes on the grid. However with the power disadvantage, comes a weight advantage, as FIM regulations allow for a three-cylinder motorcycle to weigh 15lbs less than a four-cylinder configuration.
The power difference is also a lesser concern because FB foresees that the new motor restrictions (6 for the whole season) will cause the high-strung motors of 2009 to be replaced with more reliable counterparts for 2010. With more reliability comes less power, and that could tip the balance of power (if you’ll allow the pun) in FB’s favor, who would then have a motorcycle that makes just as much power as the rest of the field, but also weighs 15lbs less.
With an all Italian design team, it seems almost certain that we can expect an Italian piloting the FB come 2010. So far early rumors point to Ducati Pramac man, and former FB WSS rider, Niccolo Canepa, but, names like Alex de Angelis, and even James Toseland have been also whispered in the paddock as possibilities.
While the team has a laundry list of technical and non-technical hurdles to overcome, one thing is for certain: Dorna and the FIM will be pleased to see another season start with 18 motorcycles on the grid. Also, new blood in the MotoGP series is always a good thing, hopefully FB Corse will be able to put up some good results in their first year. Thanks for the tip Alison!
Technical Specifications of the Fb Corse MotoGP Motorcycle:
- 4-stroke, in-line three-cylinder
- Total Displacement: 797.99cc
- Bore: 90 mm
- Stroke 41.8 mm
- Compression ratio: 13.9:1
- Power: more than 150kW @ 18000 rpm
- Cylinder head with pneumatic valve system
- Electro-mechanically operated variable length intake trumpets
- Mechanical accelerator and drive by wire system
- Electro-hydraulic clutch
- Six-speed semi-automatic transmission
- Hydraulic pressure control: 200 bar
- Magneti Marelli engine management system
- Aluminum frame
- Tank capacity: 22 l
- Aluminum rear swingarm, with progressive suspension and Ohlins shock absorber
- Brembo brakes: front disc ø 320 mm MMC, rear ø 218 mm
- Wheels: front 16” x 3.6”, rear 16.5” x 6.25”
- Bridgestone tires
- Overall weight: 143 kg
- Carbon fibre bodywork
- Cx aerodynamic: 0.22, from wind tunnel measures, 0,27 with rider on-board.