A failure to operate the brake system on Josh Brookes’ HM Plant Honda caused the crash that took Sylvain Guintoli out of the British Superbike Championship, race director Stuart Higgs has revealed at Donington Park.
The exact cause of the problem remains unknown at present, according to Higgs’ press release after he talked to HM Plant team manager Havier Beltran and Jack Valentine, head of Guintoli’s Worx Crescent Suzuki team.
The crash – when the two machines collided on the approach to the Melbourne Hairpin on the sighting lap for the first of the day’s two BSB races – has left Guintoli with a broken fibia and tibia in his right leg. He will miss several BSB rounds.
MSVR statement updated: Donington Park – 25 May 2009
During the sighting lap period for British Superbike race 1, a collision occurred between riders #25, Josh Brookes and #50, Sylvain Guintoli, at the approach to the Melbourne Hairpin.
Following an inspection of machine #25 and an interview with the rider, it was concluded that an indeterminate brake system failure of machine #25 was the cause of the incident. Due to time restrictions for repairing the machine in preparation for the second BSB race, examination of on-board data from the machine was deferred until later in the day.
The data recorded by machine #25 was supplied by the team and has now been examined. It was found that:
The rider pumped the brake lever in the braking area on the approach to the Melbourne Hairpin.
The pressure developed in the braking system and the reduction in wheel speed on the approach to the corner was consistent with a lap at racing speed, up to the point where the rider pumped the brake lever.
The point at which the brakes were applied was consistent with a lap at racing speed.
The exact reason the rider pumped the brake is not known, but he stated that the brakes did not feel that they were working properly.
The Judicial Panel agreed that there was no evidence of mechanical failure; however, the difference in speed between #25 and the riders around him was incompatible with the end of a sighting lap.
Accordingly, a ban of one race has been applied to Josh Brookes, suspended for three British Superbike championship meetings. The team were informed of their right to appeal.
No appeal having been received, the penalty is confirmed.