The Cardion AB Motoracing team has issued a statement responding to speculation surrounding its involvement in the San Marino Grand Prix restart that ultimately led to a potentially critical moment in the 2012 MotoGP World Championship title race unfolding.
The Czech-based team endured a troubled weekend at Misano after its rider Karel Abraham was beset by technical issues on the Ducati GP12, not least at the beginning of the race when the machine stalled on the sighting lap and again at the outright start.
Prompting the race to be restarted, Dani Pedrosa subsequently suffered issues of his own, prompting him to be wheeled off the grid and forced into a back-of-the-grid start. Pedrosa was then eliminated by Hector Barbera in an accident on the opening lap as he attempted to work his way back up the order.
Handing Pedrosa's key rival Jorge Lorenzo a 38 point lead with five races remaining, Abraham has come under fire for causing the restart in the first place, but Cardion AB have moved to defend the youngster by releasing a statement that says unprecedented technical gremlins were solely to blame.
“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.