After the chaos at the start of Sunday's MotoGP race at Misano, it was inevitable that the hunt would be opened for someone to pin the blame on. With so much at stake, especially for Dani Pedrosa and the Repsol Honda team, the finger of blame was bound to get pointed at everyone.
One person who appears to have come under attack from some quarters is Karel Abraham. The Cardion AB rider was the original cause of the first start being called off, when his bike stalled on the grid after the starting lights had already been illuminated. This caused Race Direction to immediately step in and show flashing orange lights, in accordance with the FIM rules, but this happens so incredibly rarely that it caught everyone off guard. In the ensuing panic, Dani Pedrosa's machine had problems with the front wheel, causing the Spaniard to be rolled off the grid, thereby forfeiting the pole position and being forced to start from the back of the grid.
In response to the accusations, Abraham's team issued a press release today explaining the mechanical problem which caused Abraham to raise his hand, which in turn caused the start to be canceled. They state explicitly that Abraham acted exactly as demanded by the rules, to avoid danger to everyone on the grid. Cardion AB also made it very clear that they cannot be held responsible for the problems which Pedrosa's team suffered at the restart, saying explicitly in the statement: "Our team dealt with the situation in full compliance with MotoGP regulations. It is not our fault that the new situation resulted in chaos and the unintentional breach of the applicable regulations by HRC."
The full statement put out by the Cardion AB team is shown below:
Statement of the Cardion AB Motoracing team regarding GP Aperol di San Marino e Riviera di Rimini
18 September 2012
We would like to clarify the speculations that have been spreading with regard to an unusual situation which occurred before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix on Sunday, 16 September, and which affect the reputation of the Cardion AB Motoracing team.
The start of the MotoGP class was postponed due to technical difficulties experienced by our rider Karel Abraham with his Ducati Desmosedici GP12 motorcycle. They were attributed to a faulty clutch piston seal and the resulting hydraulic fluid leak. It was a defect of a brand new part which had been preventively replaced on Saturday evening, as the same problem had occurred with our spare bike.
Unfortunately, the defect occurred during the sighting lap after the level of the fluid had dropped below the critical level and the clutch became inoperative. Consequently, our rider’s engine stalled after he had shifted into first gear before the start into the warm-up lap. Having been given a push by marshals, he made the warm-up lap during which the defect was not apparent. It occurred again when he shifted into first gear and the engine stalled again. Pursuant to the applicable MotoGP rules, Karel raised his hand to notify the race direction and the starting procedure was halted right before the start.
Karel could in no way detect the cause of the defect during the sighting lap and the warm-up lap. Nor could he avoid or defer it. Similarly, Cardion AB Motoracing mechanics could not have expected having to deal during one weekend with two identical malfunctioning parts delivered by Ducati Corse.
We regret the fact that the HRC team had technical difficulties with Dani Pedrosa’s bike as a result of the restart. However, there is no direct correlation between our team’s difficulties with the Ducati motorcycle and this unpleasant situation which resulted in the loss of the pole position and the subsequent collision between Dani Pedrosa and Hector Barbera. Hence, the Cardion AB Motoracing team bears no factual or moral responsibility for the incident. Our team dealt with the situation in full compliance with MotoGP regulations. It is not our fault that the new situation resulted in chaos and the unintentional breach of the applicable regulations by HRC.
Our team and our mechanics did their best to prepare the bike for the race. By coincidence, we had technical difficulties with two identical parts during one weekend; it would be misleading to blame Karel Abraham, as the rider, or Cardion AB Motoracing mechanics.
Our team too lost the chance to collect world championship points in Misano due to these technical problems, since we had to use a spare bike and start from the pit lane. In addition, due to a malfunctioning rear brake, hydraulic brake fluid leaked onto the rear wheel, causing Karel to fall.
We wish Dani Pedrosa the best in the upcoming races and we hope that from now on the battle for the title will continue on the track without so many technical aspects.
|Karel Abraham, Sr.||Marco Grana|