Abraham's Cardion AB Team Reject Blame For Pedrosa Start Fiasco

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
Manager Chief Mechanic

 

Comments

I'm glad the team released this statement about what went wrong. Seems their displeasure with Ducati this season just keeps seeping to the surface. I feel very sad for Pedrosa, but I agree with Cardion that it is not their fault for Pedrosa's misfortune.

Total votes: 74

HRC can't seriously be blaming Cardion for their own lack of preparation in this sort of situation. The rest of the teams as well as the other HRC bike all handled it correctly without any problems. It is unfortunate for the series and Pedrosa but sometimes that is the way goes.

Total votes: 72

I agree that HRC have no-one to blame but themselves for the troubled position they ended up in (besides the pedrosa crash obv). The tyre warmer got stuck which evidently required removing the bike from the grid in order to rectify, as the 1 minute warning had been given, and no work can be undertaken on a bike on the grid beyond that warning.

However, I do have a 'but'. If you read the article carefully you will note that Karel experienced the exact same issue - that prompted him to raise his hand, bringing about the aborted start - of his bike stalling once put into 1st while stationary, on the SIGHTING lap. This is the initial lap all riders take leaving the pits, before gridding up and waiting a good 20 minutes or so before race start. On top of that, Cardion had experienced the exact same problem already during practice. They then had at least 20 minutes before the warm up lap to determine the chances of it happening again. IE. Start the bike, engage the clutch, put in first, repeat. And unless their mechanics are completely incompetent, they HAD to realize the chances were reasonably high. Yet they jeopardized not only the smooth start of the race, but other riders safety (the borked start could have been ALOT messier) by just sending him out anyway.

So yeah, Honda can't blame Cardion AB for their stuff up, but Cardion themselves ought to feel at least a little ashamed for THEIR actions.

rant over :)

Total votes: 72

"However, I do have a 'but'. If you read the article carefully you will note that Karel experienced the exact same issue - that prompted him to raise his hand, bringing about the aborted start - of his bike stalling once put into 1st while stationary, on the SIGHTING lap."

No, if you do read carefully, you see that the _defect_ ocurred _during_ the sighting lap - meaning it worked when going out on the sighting lap but broke during it.
Stalling on the start is rather the symptom of the defect than being the actual defect itself.

This it the portion of the statement I refer to:
"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."

Total votes: 55

I never said he experienced the problem BEFORE the sighting lap. I said ON the sighting lap. Exactly the same as DURING, just a different word. I rarely post, especially in a negative context. I think and choose my words very carefully in order to make my point. Nothing more, nothing less. So I don't appreciate people twisting my words for their own purpose.

Obviously most people don't agree with me, which is fine. It's a free world. I stand by my argument however. Cardion were well aware of this problem during practice, long before even the sighting lap. And then again after the sighting lap. That is my actual point.

Choosing to argue semantics to make your point, really isn't making a point.

Total votes: 58

My respect for KA has grown steadily this and last season (qualifying in law whilst riding a full season on a MGP bike is pretty impressive as well) and the clear factual nature of this statement makes the team look good too - let's hope there are more Eastern European riders and teams like this on the way up.

Total votes: 66

Interesting they claim brake fluid caused his race crash...didn't he fall from the chain side of the bike?

Total votes: 72

Not their fault at all. Sad reaction from Honda.

Total votes: 66

Dani HEAVILY & REPEATEDLY applies his 'STICKY' carbon front brake on the run down the grid to his start position. any coincidence that perhaps they were hot enough & the pressure in the hydraulic lines high enough to allow them to 'stick' whilst awaiting the restart? the tire warmers merely confusing the matter, as it was said the front wheel was stuck until it was off the paddock stand?

just seems reasonable to me, as my mountain bike's (yeah i KNOW this is a stretch) front brake pads tend to grab after repeated hard applications at the start of a ride (to check they are in good order) & then rub the discs.

sometimes simple, basic issues can affect even high tech, mega dollar solutions, because physics is physics!?!

:)

Total votes: 65

that could confirm the report on one site ( can't remember which one ) that said the tyre warmer had stuck to the disc. It's not possible for a disc caliper to stick on and then the bike is rideable minutes later without a component change.

Total votes: 51

I'll hop on the mountain bike comparison band wagon (though I too acknowledge it's a stretch) and say that I have had a hot pad 'stick' to a hot rotor and prevent the calliper from retracting, thus causing the wheel to jam. If there's any chance that's what happened to Pedrosa, or as also suggested above if it was a tyre warmer sticking to the hot disc, I'd at least have an answer to the as far as I'm aware officially unanswered question of how Pedrosa's wheel "locked" in the first place.

Total votes: 68

I'd be interested to know when Honda have laid the blame with Karel, I've certainly not seen anything and I think its pretty poor from David to imply they have, I would hope he will clear it up.

Total votes: 57

Completely concur. I have seen nothing in English from either HRC or Dani that points any fingers at the Cardion AB team; simply comments outlining the events from the initial warm up to Dani being hit (where they identified problems with Karels' bike as the cause for a re-start).

Dave, is there something in Spanish out there that we are missing?

Total votes: 72

Hey, regardless of what Dean over at Superbikeplanet says, some of us U.S. fans really have gotten over the whole Pedrosa/Hayden thing. For Christ's sake, it was six years ago, ultimately it didn't cost Hayden the title, and given the number of broken bones, contusions and other injuries that Dani's suffered since. I'd say he'd already paid any karma bill he owed - with interest and penalties - prior to Misano.

I think gloating over the misfortune of others is just sick.

Total votes: 78

Here's a thought rather than blaming Cardion maybe they should be thanking them. Suppose Pedrosa's wheel had locked up coming down the straight at wide open throttle. The events that occurred may have saved Pedrosa's life. Just my 2 cents

Total votes: 74

Guys, it's a manually operated hydraulic brake system, they don't just 'lock up'. If any of you picture Pedrosa flying down the front straight and suddenly flying over the bars then you have the wrong idea.

The brakes fusing themselves together doesn't work either. It takes months of heat in a controlled environment to create the carbon-carbon bond that you see in brake pads and rotors, sitting on the grid after a single warm up lap isn't going to do anything to them.

Total votes: 70

Please stick it to us as to why it stuck.

Total votes: 73

I think it's quite sad that Dani Pedrosa always seems to need someone to blame for his misfortunes, often when they are of his own making. A big part of what happened at Misano was down to failures within the Repsol Team so to blame another team is childish and short sighted. When Lorenzo was taken out by Bautista although he was obviously upset his response was much more dignified. Pedrosa seems to forget that this has only leveled the 'bad luck' playing field.
-This is the same sort of attitude that occurred in the incident with Simoncelli last year. It horrified me to hear the vitriol coming out of Pedrosa's mouth afterwards, about an incident in which Simoncelli made the corner and Pedrosa didn't (despite being on the inside), indicating that he went in much too hot and out of control.
-In the tributes after Simoncelli was tragically killed I watched Pedrosa squirm when asked what he thought of him and from that point on lost all respect for him. I sincerely hope that Lorenzo wins the championship this year as he's had to work a lot harder for it and would be a much more worthy Champion.

Total votes: 77