Mike Stevens | Apr 21, 2009
Photo by Frank Cesco.

MotoGP’s 800cc capacity bikes are now officially faster than their 990cc predecessors after Dani Pedrosa broke the top speed record with a reading of 338.6km/h.

The previous record was held by Italy’s Max Biaggi, who in 2004, was clocked going down Qatar’s one kilometre main straight at 334.4km/h on his Honda.

However, what makes Pedrosa’s record all the more remarkable is that it was achieved without qualifying tyres, which have been banned from qualifying sessions this year.

motogp_casey-stoner_02
Photo by jpeder55.

Pedrosa though wasn’t the only rider to break Biaggi’s mark, with three other riders showing record pace.

Ducati satellite rider Mika Kallio hit 338.0km/h, Casey Stoner was recorded at 337.2km/h on a factory bike, while the Yamaha of Jorge Lorenzo flew down the straight at 337.0km/h.

Signs of this new ‘era’ for the sport were evident last year when then Ducati rider Marco Melandri equalled Biaggi’s mark at Lohail, while team mate Stoner wasn’t far behind.

Organisers introduced the restricted capacity machines to bike racing’s premier category to reduce top speeds and improve rider safety as a result.

But over the last three years, the tech heads working behind the scenes at the major outfits have worked extensively on developing the bikes, returning the sport to its previous benchmark with top speeds jumping by a rather substantial 14km/h.

A similar scenario occurred in Formula One this year, as the FIA revamped technical regulations to slow down the cars and increase overtaking only for this year’s class to lap as quickly as last year.

[via Hell For Leather magazine]

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