Cal Crutchlow's frightening fall early into the season opener at Qatar revealed the precise nature with which MotoGP electronics operate, as he believes the moment he turned his bike off at the close of the sighting lap was to blame.
The Englishman fell seven laps into the 2016 season when his electronics package malfunctioned, causing the bike to not recognise its exact position on the track. It resulted in a heart-stopping fall as Crutchlow approached turn four 60kph faster than normal.
After some time to reflect on the cause of the incident, the LCR Honda rider revealed there was an issue with data 'going into the system'.
“We knew immediately one hour after the race what the problem was. We can't say it will or will not happen again. There was not a problem with the system, it was more a problem that was going into the system. So a code or something like that. We just need to make sure that it doesn't happen again. Not one person is to blame. There is a team of staff looking after this.
“I will tell you one thing. Dani, Marc, Jack and Tito, everyone that was on a Honda had the same code. It could happen to any of the guys and that's it. It's a learning process. At the moment with our bike, with our engine, it's a learning process. Unfortunately this was the end result in Qatar and we were just unfortunate. Otherwise we'll try something else this weekend.”
Asked why his machine malfunctioned when those of the other Honda-mounted riders hadn't encountered the same problem, Crutchlow explained that it came from where he stopped his bike at the close of his sighting lap.
“We all had the same code in but I switched the bike off some metres after them. Going to the sighting lap, when we switched the bike off we switched it off after them and the bike thought it was in a different sector. You could say it was my fault for turning it off.”
While it is believed factory Repsol riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa were aided in Qatar by new parts which tamed the aggressive nature of Honda's 2016 RC213V, Crutchlow isn't expecting any new upgrades in Argentina.
“Beefy [Christophe Bourguignon], my crew chief, said we need to test some things with my race map. I said I don't want a race map from Qatar, I can tell you that again. We have the same bike. Nothing different.
“Obviously we're evolving with everyone else. If the factory team finds a little something with the electronics we will be fed that information but we have no new parts, nothing to look forward to, or nothing new that you would normally look forward to. Honestly we know our bike worked here last year but we were on Bridgestones, not Michelins. We have nothing new but I'm happy enough with what we've got.”