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Honda: Only a setback can stop Lorenzo

21 September 2012

HRC executive vice president Shuhei Nakamoto doubts that Dani Pedrosa can win the 2012 MotoGP title - unless Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo suffers 'some kind of setback' in the remaining five rounds.

Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa plummeted from 13 to 38 points behind Lorenzo after a disastrous series of events at Misano last Sunday, which culminated in Pedrosa being taken out on the opening lap.

Pedrosa had already been demoted from pole to last on the grid after problems with his front wheel/tyre warmer just before the restart, required after technical troubles for Karel Abraham halted the planned race start.

“It was bad luck every step of the way, from mechanical trouble to getting hit by Barbera, and it certainly makes [Dani's] chance of taking the championship a lot slimmer,” said Nakamoto.

“I doubt if Dani can take the title now unless Jorge also suffers some kind of setback, but as we've just seen, anything can happen in these races and nothing is certain until the very end.

“We certainly aren't going to stop doing our very best to win every race. We want that title.”

Nakamoto added that the reason why the front wheel had locked on the restart grid is still unknown.

“Yes, it was [chaos] as Dani said. Under the rules, tyre warmers wouldn't be allowed for a restart. But then the Ducati team started fitting their warmers, and so everyone else just followed.

“The procedures for the start were very unclear, and everything was in chaos. Then the one minute warning came and we found our front wheel was locked and wouldn't move.

“We still don't know what caused that - the data tells us that brake pressure was OK and there was no physical problem with the brakes. We checked the disk and the pad, but nothing wrong there either.

“No problem with the tyre warmer, and there seemed to be no damage anywhere. Perhaps there was some tyre shredding and that was jamming the wheel?

“Whatever it was, the wheel freed itself as we were moving the bike off the grid, and we haven't been able to recreate this problem. Naturally, we really don't want this to happen again, so we'll be making a very serious effort to find out what caused it.”

Like Pedrosa, Lorenzo has also suffered one DNF so far this year, when he was knocked down at Assen.

In other Honda related news, a speech by Honda Motor Co. president and CEO Takanobu Ito on Friday made reference to a new 'super sports bike' that is to use MotoGP technology.

“Since its market introduction in 1987, the RC30 (VFR750R) super sports bike has been loved by a large number of fans,” said Ito.

“With a goal to create a new history, passionate Honda engineers have gotten together and have begun development of a new super sports bike to which new technologies from MotoGP machines will be applied.”


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