Gordon Hatch MotoGP correspondent
Japanese manufacturer grounds all RC213V machines for engine checks
Honda riders missed the second day of testing today at the Sepang International Circuit due to engine checks, which were needed after Dani Pedrosa’s bike stopped unexpectedly on track yesterday, and carried on into the second day of testing at the Malaysian track.
Despite finishing first and second on the timing sheets on day one with reigning World Champion Casey Stoner on top and Pedrosa close behind, the Japanese manufacturer took no chances after Pedrosa’s problem and called a halt to the factory riders’ second testing day and also informed satellite riders Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) that they would not be on track due to the engine checks.
During the day Honda issued a press release, which stated that the manufacturer took immediate action following the engine failure. “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,” the statement reads.
Pedrosa tested a number of different components on his bike on day one including engine tests and speaking after he experienced the problem on track the Spanish rider said, “On my last run, I had a small issue, I saw a red light on the dashboard, so I took the clutch and stopped. We have to analyze now what it was.”
Testing continues at Sepang until 6pm local time today and also tomorrow from 10am until 6pm. The track is starting to dry out following rain this afternoon and many of the riders will be hoping for some more dry track time to prepare their machines with only one more test to go at Jerez before the season gets underway on 8th April at Qatar.