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Casey Stoner, Honda talk Suzuka 8 Hours accident

“I was heading towards the wall so I decided to lay it over and hit the barrier” - Casey Stoner.
Updated after statement from Honda confirms Casey Stoner's throttle was stuck '26 degrees open' during accident at Suzuka.

Retired double MotoGP champion Casey Stoner's first motorcycle race since Valencia 2012 came to a dramatic conclusion in Sunday's Suzuka 8 Hours.

The Australian took over the #634 Honda from team-mate Takumi Takahashi just before the end of the first hour, moving into the lead when Yamaha's Katsuyuki Nakasuga pitted soon after.

But disaster struck on the fast, curved approach to the hairpin when Stoner ran onto the grass and fell from his CBR1000RR, sending rider and bike somersaulting.

Stoner tweeted that a stuck throttle caused the incident - which dramatically ended the Musashi team's hopes of a third straight Suzuka victory - and that he suffered shoulder and leg fractures. A revving engine could also be heard in the TV footage.

On Sunday night, Honda issued the following statement:

'The team had to wait until the end of the race for the bike to be returned so they could exam what caused the accident. Together with HRC staff, the team checked the machine, and confirmed from the data that the throttle was 26 degrees open before the crash. It wasn't clear why this happened and now the bike will be sent to HRC for a full inspection.'

Stoner was then quoted as follows:

“I am really disappointed that the Suzuka 8 hours has ended like this. We have done a lot of work over the last few weeks to get accustomed to the bike and the track and work towards a setting that made all of us quite comfortable. We really felt that the race and everything had gone as we planned so far, we were very relaxed and comfortable and making sure we saved the tyres and the fuel to stretch the stint as long as we could.

“Unfortunately, we experienced some mechanical trouble as I was going through the corner leading up to the hairpin.

“In this corner I did not have enough time to pull the clutch and have another go at the turn as I came in with too much speed, I picked the bike up to try to slow down more but I was heading towards the wall so I decided to lay it over and hit the barrier but unfortunately, they were a lot harder than they looked and we came out of it with a broken bone in the ankle and broken scapular [shoulder blade].

“Big thanks to everybody in the team, especially my team mates Michael van der Mark and Takumi Takahashi. They have done a fantastic job over these weeks and this weekend especially. And I would just like to thank the team for how much effort everybody has put in. Their professionalism was outstanding and I really enjoyed working with them. I am very sorry that we could not achieve the strong result I believe we could have.”

WSBK star Michael van der Mark, who had been due to ride the #634 bike after Stoner, added: “Today was disappointing race. I think we had a strong pace compared to other teams. So good result had must have been possible. Things happen in racing. Casey was really unlucky with the crash. I hope he will be in fit soon.”

The Factory Yamaha team of Bradley Smith, Pol Espargaro and Katsuyuki Nakasuga went on to win the race

Tagged as: Honda , Casey Stoner , Suzuka

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July 27, 2015 3:37 AM

I have been following this sport for 53 years.I have never ever seen the sort of disrespect towards any rider as shown by some Crash readers toward Casey. If he gives honest feedback on the machine he is whinging whilst Rossi is providing excellent feedback. He comments on a dangerous move by Rossi and all of a sudden he can't handle the pressure? He passed Rossi just as much on the corners as the straight but it was only the power of the Duke that let him win the championship. He blames the team when he looses when in fact he never has, once, at all, ever. He retired because he was getting beaten when in fact he was winning easy when he announced his decision. He faked his sickness even though DeCosta as well as Australian doctors all confirmed his illness. He deserved to crash and break bones because he decided to retire after being overseas since the age of 16 and wanted a normal life with his new daughter? The real fans of the sport appreciate who he is and what he achieved.


July 26, 2015 3:31 PM

The real racers commentating at the time picked up the throttle bouncing off the limiter immediately. They also picked up the fact he was squeezing the clutch for all it was worth. He jumps on a bike unfamiliar to him. Laps more than a second faster than the usual pilots. Was riding to a schedule and not pushing. All the experts I have listed to or read say it was a mechanical issue. Keyboard jockies on Crash say other wise. I know who I trust.

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