Takaaki Nakagami has conceded that Honda “needs to change many things” with its new aerodynamic update having struggled to make it work successfully during Friday practice at Silverstone.
Honda’s British GP aerodynamic update is the only major aero upgrade it is allowed for the whole year, and after being given to the marque’s test rider Stefan Bradl to trial in a recent test at Jerez the task of testing it on the race weekend was given to Nakagami while the factory squad’s riders Marc Marquez and Joan Mir focussed on finding a better base set-up for the RC213-V.
Nakagami admitted that he found it tough to get a handle on how much potential the new aero package has due to it changing the handling of the bike quite significantly, and while stating the update has some “good and bad areas”, he felt that the upgrade was “not magic.”
“As you can see from the outside there’s a massive difference (new Honda aero package), it looks brand new and it provides a lot more downforce,” began Nakagami.
“In some areas there’s quite positive feelings, we can use more torque and have less wheelie, but in some areas we still need to understand and adjust the bike balance.
“It’s really difficult to understand because the bike has a completely different feeling on the straights, under braking, mid corner and corner exit.
“Both sessions we tried back-to-back and the update is not magic, some areas are good and some are bad because I still couldn’t feel where the limit was.”
Nakagami added that the update introduced a “crazy amount of downforce on the front” of the bike, a new characteristic that the Japanese pilot reckons could take some time to understand and make work with the rest of the Honda package.
He also revealed that he will decide together with Honda whether to stick with the upgraded aero parts and gather more data or transfer back to the original configuration following Saturday morning FP2 test.
“Stefan (Bradl) did a couple of runs at Jerez with it and there were some positives – which is why we brought it here – but still they (Honda) need to crack the data and change many things, we’ve put it on and it’s not working well,” continued Nakagami.
“There is a crazy amount of downforce on the front, so we need to change many things and I don’t know how long it’ll take but it’s a big job.
“After the tomorrow morning session (FP2) we’ll decide which one to use (for the rest of weekend), HRC believe in keeping trying to use the aero package as do I because for the future it’s better to keep using it and improving it.”