It appears Yamaha took this to heart, and to achieve such delivery, engineers borrowed from Valentino Rossi's YZR-M1 MotoGP racer. The liquid-cooled, 16-valve, 998cc inline-Four gets a new "crossplane," or 90-degree, crankshaft. This crank phasing results in a staggered firing order—270, 180, 90 and 180 degrees. The usual 180-degree crank stops and then accelerates all four pistons every 180 degrees, with the two inner and two outer pistons rising and falling in pairs. This creates large inertial energy pulses spaced evenly, every 180 degrees. But just as the uneven firing sequence of a V-Twin engine helps a flat-track racebike have better traction exiting corners on dirt, so too does the unevenness of the crossplane crank help the M1/R1 rear wheel maintain better traction when accelerating off a turn on a paved surface. Although the 90-degree design doesn't increase torque, the better sense of traction it offers the rider can give the R1 an edge in the Open-class wars.