MotoGP: Cardion AB Says Point the Blame Elsewhere

09/18/2012 @ 3:49 pm, by David Emmett23 COMMENTS

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 after the jump.

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

Source: Cardion AB; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

  • TheFrog

    As it rarely but, some times happens, this is a very unfortunate accident between two very courteous and respectful riders who both deserve the best.

    I wish Dani the title this year because he deserves it and I wish Karel some podiums in years to come.

    All the best Gentlemen.

  • J W

    I remeber when Dani took out Hayden in I think 2005, like Rossi has said in times past: “These are the races”

    And to some degree there is poetic justice here.

    I too wanted to see Dani run close to the end of the championship, this is too bad but he has to deal with it like all racers do.

  • Rider

    Was he penalized for delay of the start or removing the bike from the grid? Either way, silly stuff over a stuck tire warmer. Anincident was likely with a factory prototype starting behind the crt’s, while in a dice for the championship.

  • Damo

    Upsetting that anyone would place the blame on arguably the nicest guy on the grid.

  • @Damo: “Upsetting that anyone would place the blame on arguably the nicest guy on the grid.”

    In a judgment-/punishment-oriented culture, people love to point the finger. The significant aspect for me wasn’t that Karel had difficulty on the grid, but that there was confusion over what the lights meant. It’s stunning that there’d be confusion at this level of competition. One would rightly assume that the participants would be more than adequately aware of the regulations. Apparently not.

  • Gritboy

    That’s racing. Sh*t happens.

  • Calisdad

    All Dani had to do was raise his hand like Karel did. A situation made worse by putting a tire warmer on a wheel that was so hot it melted the warmer.

    Dani unravelled. Squandered an advantage given to him weeks ago by Bautista’s taking out of JLo. So now he’s confronted with a point disadvantage after having finished the same amount of races as Jorge and he wants to point fingers where they don’t belong. Grow up Dani Boy. A championship is not won or lost in one race.

  • anti

    Calisdad, you hit the nail on the head there.

    Additionally he may have made good points if he had not try to regain first place within one lap. It’s not playstation and he wasn’t surrounded by the usual aliens who know how to handle their machines, a bit of patience would have kept him close…

    As much as I’d be happy to see Pedrosa win or battle for the crown this year. He just illustrated that he’s not a champion yet. Good entertainment though.

  • I think that every thing that needs to be said has been said. I’m just bewildered as to how any body can say that Karel had anything to do with Dani’s misfortunes. way i see it when you come to the grid you bring your best game or go home in tears.

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  • Joey Wilson

    This is the Big Time: You got to know the rules. Cardion did not hang the tire warmers, lock up DP’s front wheel, or supposedly kick in the pit lane limiter and forget to switch it off as the Chinese Fire Drill came to an end.

    I’m always amazed that HRC, the tip of the sword for Honda’s motorcycle world, winner of more races and championships than any other, can so often at the drop of the hat act just like a spoiled child. I’m a big HRC fan, like Nakamoto-san, and am very mindful of the many great machines and riders that they’ve made legend over the years. Despite their oft-intimated mantra that it’s the machine and not the rider, it sure SOUNDS like a rider has his shorts in a wad to me.

    In the meantime, Johnny Rea scored a Top-10 first time out, QUITE the achievement.

    Don’t you wonder if Stoner got a laugh out of this?

  • @Calisdad & anti: It seems you guys may not have seen what happened. Dani didn’t need to put up his hand; his woes began when his bike had to be wheeled off the grid due to a locked wheel/stuck tire warmer. His crew wheeled him back onto the grid (infraction) and he ended up failing to catch up to the pace car due to his bike being put on the pit limiter by one of his crew members. Finally, he was cleared out by Barbera missing a braking point and taking out Pedrosa’s rear wheel. None of this was any of Dani’s doing.

    Nothing in there whatsoever showed that Dani unraveled. As for him not being a champion yet, I guess we’ll just have to ignore his existing 3 world championships in the 125 and 250 classes, eh? Yeah, that’s convenient. :)

  • 76

    As per the actual FIM rules Pedrosa simply could not raise his hand and everything suddenly resets as in Abrahams case. Abraham situation happened after the warmup lap on the grid ready to start. The problem with pedrosa is the bike had a problem and it left the grid before the warmup lap (the second one after reset) he became ineligible to lineup in his original position (pole). The racer has only the option to start from the back of the grid at that point. Him raising his hand would have done nothing other than possibly get him DQ’d. The warmup lap was to be run and the bike was not ready, period, raising your hand before the warmup lap means nothing other than your bikes not ready, get it off the grid.

  • Westward

    To put it simply, it’s Dani’s crews fault for thinking they could accomplish what twenty other crews were able to accomplish. Not to mention, they are suppose the be one of the most experienced teams in the paddock, short of Rossi’s crew…

  • Anon 1

    I re-checked Dani’s comment and he was not blamming Abraham. He did point the finger at the confusion after the restart. I believe that the Cardion AB statement is more for the fans than to Dani.
    It did look a bit confusing. The commentators didn’t knew what was happening, I saw the person holding the minutes board looking around to show the correct one and I guess that (some) teams were also not being given enough information. Who knows. This kind of things does not happen a lot (luckily) so a bit of confusion is normal. What is not normal is the team screwing up removing the tyre blankets. Bad luck happens a lot to Dani. Not looking pretty for the champioship thou!

  • Calisdad

    I’ve watched the video a dozen times and Hectors point about being cut off is a valid one. Dani passed him and just cut it too sharp. As noted, its all been said and at this point its a bit of a soap opera.

    To me the biggest news of the week is Ducati finally came to play with a new frame and swingarm and they worked. Vale reported they have more geometric combinations to aid in set up. Now we have to wonder if he would have stayed if they showed up a month ago.

  • @Calisdad – agree, that is the big news.

    If Rossi continues to be competitive this season, imagine next year when Yamaha should have 2-4 competitive teams, Ducati will have hopefully 2-4 competitive teams, against HRC’s teams.

    Plus, the new set of rookies could make things interesting and 2 new tracks?

  • Westward


    Talk about ambition outweighing the talent, Pedrosa pulled a similar move @ Le Mans last season, that ended with him on the ground. Pedrosa knew Simoncelli had the faster pace, yet still he broke later while on the inside of Marco, and did not expect the guy with a faster momentum to take the outside, only that time Pedrosa stood his bike up instead of keeping his lean angle and ended up clipping the back tyre of Simoncelli…

    These things happen as it did in 2006 when he was the culprit, by now you would think Pedrosa knows what racing looks like enough to not point blame…

  • SBPilot

    Calisdad I have been wondering the same thing since the race ended. If Ducati had brought that new swing arm and frame a month ago, and Rossi scored a 2nd place a month ago, would he have jumped ship?

    Now Ducati are saying they may even have another new frame by before Valencia! Updated coming out of the wazoo suddenly. I think everyone would still like to see Rossi at the tip on a Ducati (including myself). I don’t think any rider can get out of their contract though.

    It saddens me to see the Ducati finally performing well in the dry with Rossi signed with Yamaha.
    I have always been a Rossi fan but not always a Ducati fan, however recently after been invited to test a race spec 1098 and 749R, I think I’ve been converted.

  • DareN

    Hell will freeze over first before you hear an apology or admit a mistake from Sr. Puig and his minions. As for Pedrosa`s luck – karma is a bitch…And stop counting 125 / 250 as championshps – you don`t hear Moto GP champions EVER mentioning those. But if that is all you have…well. How many years has it been now for Pedrosa in the best team / with best equipment? I believe 6 and counting.

  • @Calisdad: “I’ve watched the video a dozen times and Hectors point about being cut off is a valid one.”

    What point is that, exactly? He took full responsibility for the incident (quoting from the Pramac press release):

    “It’s a shame. I was impatient to get back on the track, but my adventure finished too early to enjoy myself. Unfortunately, when I followed Dani’s wheel I lost my braking point and hit the brakes far too late. I tried to slow the bike down, but I lost grip on the front. I’m very disappointed, even more so because I took out Dani in the process and that was the last thing that I wanted to happen. It was my fault that he crashed out and I apologise profusely to him for that. I also apologise to my team that worked so hard this week. Now I have to wait another two weeks, but I will be ready for the Spanish round.”

    In my world, losing the front does not equal being cut off.

  • As published on the Soup:

    “First of all I want to apologize to Dani, who is fighting for the championship,” Barbera tweeted. “I’m very sorry, but it was a set of circumstances. He overtook Randy (de Puniet) and me under braking on the outside. I was parallel with Randy, and suddenly Dani dove for the corner.

    “Neither Randy or me had that line. I couldn’t go to the outside because Randy was there, and on the inside Dani has closed the gap. There was nothing I could do. It’s obvious that I wasn’t trying to pass him; that’s clear. It was just that I had Randy on the outside and Dani on the inside with a line that was tighter than ours.

    “I couldn’t avoid him. I can only say it’s a racing incident, and probably with the wrong rider. I’m very sorry for him, but it’s not his or my fault. It’s just a racing incident. A lot of coincidences together.”

  • I think I’d put more stock in the official Pramac release than a tweet that likely was posted earlier. Reason? Pramac has a lot more data with which to evaluate the situation than just the emotional statements of an unhappy rider. No disrespect against Hectic Hector intended (I’m disappointed that he’s lost his ride next season, as he was often the fastest Duc on the track this season).