Karel Abraham has explained the multitude of technical problems that caused him to halt the planned start of the San Marino MotoGP, switch bikes on the grid of the restart, then crash on lap one of the race.
The initial start was abandoned just as the red lights were about to go out after Abraham stalled due to a clutch problem - having already struggled to leave the grid for the sighting lap.
The Czech rider again struggled to get away for the restart sighting lap due to the same problem and, when he arrived back on the grid, was forced to switch to his spare bike.
Having then started from pit lane, Abraham highsided out on the opening lap due to fluid on his rear wheel.
“This is like a really bad dream,” he said. “It sounds unbelievable, but we had technical problems on both bikes today. I tried four times to leave the starting grid and the engine turned off four times.
“We found out there was a defect with the clutch. In the end I had to start the race with the second bike from the end of the pit lane.
“After the start it seemed that the bike was sliding on the left side. I thought it was due to the new tyres. In the first half of the first lap the rear brake stopped working properly and than came the highside and really heavy crash.
“The problem was with the small screw which holds the brake tube. The [fluid] from it dripped directly on the rear tyre. I must see doctors now as my right leg is aching. Then we´ll decide what to do.”
Marco Grana, Cardion AB chief mechanic, explained why they didn't suspect the clutch.
“We noticed the small problem with the ring on the clutch on Friday already and we replaced it immediately. We did it once more yesterday night just for safety reasons, so we didn´t realise the problems on the starting grid could be caused by this defect,” he said.
Of the fluid leak on the spare bike, he added: “On the second bike it was a problem with the small screw on the rear brake. It was pulled out a little bit and the [fluid] dripped directly on the tyre.
“I can't believe that something like that could happened to us, because the warm-up session was perfect this morning and both bikes were absolutely ok. We are happy that our rider is more or less ok and he can walk after the horrible crash.”
The restart was to have a big impact on the championship, with pole sitter Dani Pedrosa
suffering technical problems on the second grid, forcing him to start last.
The Repsol Honda rider was then brought down by Hector Barbera on the opening lap.
Abraham and Cardion are switching to Aprilia ART machinery for 2013.