Yamaha’s Motobot racer was built in a lab to be the fastest thing on a track on two wheels, but it might have bitten off a bit more than it bargained for when it looked to Movistar Yamaha’s seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi and said “I am Motobot. I was created to surpass you.” Well it might have been built for speed but apparently grew sass in the process. It then goes on to recite that this attempt at taking down Yamaha MotoGP's front man for almost three years. Unfortunately for Tron’s motor-mouthed cousin, Rossi proved why he is the GOAT slapping down a time almost thirty seconds ahead of MotoBot on the 3.2 kilometres Thunderhill Raceway Park. This may not be the Terminator but for a few of us riders, Rossi may well be the “chosen one”, doling out a devastating defeat for the bots for mankind.
The Motobot is a result of a Yamaha project, which uses a humanoid robot that can drive a mildly modified motorcycle, with no autonomous uses. At 99 pound, the carbon-fibre robot far surpasses the average rider, but luckily for us, our corner has no concerns about the power-to-weight difference that it might make. Unfortunately, moto-bot is a rigid being and can’t shift its weight on the bike as much as most MotoGP frontmen do.
It’s precise track-positioning sensors and robotic precision on throttle inputs, brakes clutch and steering might find it exactly where MotoBot needs to be on the track, but it's inability to change the way gravity acts on the motorcycle makes it quite slow.
Riders the likes of Rossi and crew are able to hang off the bike so far that most of their torso is on the tarmac while keeping the bike as far upright as possible. And that is good news for Rossi and the rest of the MotoGP community, who are safe from a robot motorcycle army, for now.