Karel Abraham quits Qatar race due to brake failure

Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing
Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing

Photo by: Hazrin Yeob Men Shah

Abraham, riding in 11th place between Hector Barbera and Valentino Rossi, suddenly left the track when his brakes stopped working. Later he returned to the race, but the problem kept coming back and he rode into the pits at the end of the next lap before withdrawing from the race.

Karel Abraham
“I feel really gutted about this - to lose a point because of technical failure is a real shame. We still don’t know what caused it, but basically my front brakes just stopped working. At the start it wasn’t too bad: the start itself certainly wasn’t the best ever, but I still managed to stay in touch with the group containing Rossi and Hayden. It was on the second lap that the brake problem first appeared – they just ‘went soft’. On the next lap, I pulled the lever back as far as it would go, but wasn’t getting maximum bite. For a while, I was hoping that ‘pumping’ the brakes might restore pressure, these sorts of problems do occur once in a blue moon. But the same thing happened again three times in five laps, once when I was going very fast – which forced me off the track – and I’m glad that things didn’t end a lot worse. I tried to change the brake settings to make them a bit stiffer, but this just gave me the opposite problem – they stiffened up completely. At that moment, it was better to pull out rather than risk taking a fall.”

Marco Grana, Chief Mechanic
“What happened today was a serious problem. What makes it really difficult is that we still can’t say what actually happened, because now everything works the way it should. The problem only came to light during race conditions. We know for a fact, however, that the problem does exist: it’s there in the telemetry data. The whole brake has now gone to back to the manufacturers – Brembo, and we’ll wait and see what they say. Frankly, at the moment I’m at a loss to know what it could’ve been. It’s a really unusual failure that you don’t come across very often. It’s a great pity, because if everything had been working, we would’ve been fighting for sixth place.”