US MotoGP reaction: Sprocket failure costs Chaz Davies
A broken rear sprocket cost British rider Chaz Davies a points-scoring finish on his shock MotoGP debut in Laguna Seca.
Replacing injured German Alex Hofmann on the D’Antin Ducati, Davies was lying 15th and closing on Carlos Checa and Sylvain Guintoli when he felt a vibration from the rear tyre of his GP7.
He pulled into the pits where mechanics found a three-inch chunk of the rear sprocket had broken off.
Davies returned to the track three laps down to finish 16th and he said: “I’m sure I could have finished 11th or 12th because I was catching the guys in front of me quite quickly. But then going up to the Corkscrew I felt a pretty bad vibration from the rear tyre and it turned out the sprocket was broken. It must have been weak because initially I thought it might have been caused by a rock or something when I ran off at the Corkscrew on lap six.
"But that had nothing to do with it. I went back out and was doing my best laps so I could have easily finished in the points. The bike was unbelievable in the race. It stayed so consistent but it was very hard physically and my legs were cramping up a lot at the end. You can’t really just jump on these things without proper physical preparation. I’m glad I got the opportunity. It has been a wild weekend and I really hope I can get another chance at some point in the future.”