Engine failure sidelines Honda quartet in Sepang

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An engine failure experienced by Dani Pedrosa on the opening day of MotoGP testing in Sepang yesterday forced HRC to prevent all four of its riders from participating on a rain-hit second day in Malaysia.

Pedrosa, reigning world champion Casey Stoner and satellite duo Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl all endured a frustrating day after the failed engine was hurriedly air freighted back to Japan for analysis.

Pedrosa had suffered the engine problem on his final run on the first day and he said: “I was in the back straight and then the bike had some problem. I had the red light so this means you have to stop. Then I take the clutch. Now they are checking.”

HRC flew the broken engine back to Japan on a flight from Kuala Lumpur last night (Tuesday).

By the time engineers had opened up the engine and carried out a detailed investigation on the failure this morrning, heavy rain had started to fall on the Sepang circuit and a decision was taken for the quartet to return to action tomorrow for the final day.

A HRC statement said: “Due to an engine failure on Dani Pedrosa’s RC213V machine yesterday, HRC sent the engine to Japan for analysis.

“The feedback after the investigation was positive, however it arrived after lunch when the Sepang circuit was drenched by heavy rain, so unfortunately the Repsol Honda riders were unable to take to the track.

“Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa will return back on track tomorrow and resume their testing programme.”

Earlier this morning before the investigation results had been communicated back to Honda staff in Sepang, Stoner told MCN: “They found a technical problem with Dani’s bike yesterday and they were just going over things to make sure it is all good before we go back out on track.”

Reigning Moto2 world champion Bradl told MCN: “Unfortunately it was not possible to ride today and I think you know we had some problems.”

And Gresini Honda rider Bautista said: “I don’t know the reason but obvious they wanted to be sure with the engine. Today was obviously a big disappointment because the first day was really positive and I was making progress in adapting my style to suit the Honda and the 1000cc bike.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt