NTS: taking on the Moto2 big guns in 2018
Japanese engineering firm NTS will take on the big guns of Moto2 next season when rider Steve Odendaal goes up against the likes of Miguel Oliveira and Sam Lowes.
From small beginnings, NTS have raced in the Spanish CEV series and now feel ready to move on to the global stage to compete with Kalex, Suter and KTM in the middleweight division.
BSN sat down with the team’s Jin Sasaki to ask him what he thinks he is playing at?
BSN: How did this all begin?
JS: NTS had an opportunity to discuss a future partnership with Steven Odendaal after the last round of CEV Repsol 2016. NTS explained that this is an on-going development project and will be happy to have the 2016 champion to push the project forward.
Can you tell us why you’ve decided to move into Moto2 this season?
Taking a step in CEV Repsol, before going into the Grand Prix, was inevitable and crucial in terms of R&D. There are seven races for Moto2, which is not too much and not too small to evaluate the output, as well as the fact that the level of competition is second to that of the WGP’s.
What is different about the frame you’ve designed?
There are theories and thoughts in chassis manufacturing, and they all differ. I would say that because NTS is not a motorcycle racing chassis manufacturer, but in fact, we are precise metal processing company serving in Aerospace, high-end motorsports, marine and medical equipment, our goal is to achieve very precise and digital manufacturing to ensure the performance of each of the NTS bikes would be absolutely the same, not only statically but also dynamically. To achieve this, we fully machine the main frame as well as the swingarm for more precision and stability.
Can you tell us about the thinking and manufacturing processes?
Mentioned above, but let me add a spice. NTS Chassis is designed and are carefully studied academically which include analysis and studies such as, for example, CAD/CAE, CFD, and all sorts of engineering measuring and data comparison of all kinds to target higher stability, agility, top speed and safety.
What is the timescale of the project in Moto2?
Three years in Grand Prix from 2018 to start with. We will consider how the options will turn out for further projects.
Do you have any plans for other European series?
No we don’t.
How long has it taken you to get to this stage?
NTS started building our own Moto2 chassis in 2015. This is our third year total, second year in CEV.
What is it you like about Steven as a rider?
Steven is an experienced rider who can push to the bike to 100 per cent regardless of the condition of the track. This is crucial to understanding the behaviour of the bike with different parts and set-up to compare and understand the progress. If a rider was unstable, meaning that if a rider was not capable of pushing himself and the bike to the limits each time he or she rides, the standard of the data will vary from time to time and the team will never be able to compare the data correctly.
This may sound simple, but giving 100 per cent constantly as an athlete is not so easy. There are fast riders out there, who may be just as fast as Steven, but being fast is not always enough. NTS think that Steven is a good race rider as well as an R&D rider.