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Thursday, March 01, 2012

Nakamoto: Safety the most important thing


On Thursday lunchtime at Sepang, HRC executive vice president Shuhei Nakamoto gave a few more details regarding the engine problem suffered by Dani Pedrosa at the end of day one of this week's test.

The problem, which saw Pedrosa shut down his RC213V's engine after a red warning light appeared along the back straight, resulted in all four Honda riders missing out on day two while further checks were carried out in Japan.

“On day one Dani's engine had a problem. We sent this engine back to Japan and it arrived yesterday morning, but we needed time to do the custom clearance so it arrived at HRC at lunchtime,” explained Nakamoto.

“We stopped testing because we didn't know exactly what had happened inside the engine and if an engine blows up it is dangerous for the riders. Safety is the most important thing for us.

“Now we understood what happened. The engine has no problem at all. We could have started again yesterday afternoon, but it rained.”

Nakamoto emphasised that Honda did not need to reduce the performance of its new 1000cc V4 engines or make any significant changes in order to continue testing.

“After the checks we have not had to modify the engines or change the performance,” he stated. “We only changed a little the engine management system data.”

As of 2pm, Honda's reigning world champion Casey Stoner is fastest, with team-mate Pedrosa third. The top Yamaha of Jorge Lorenzo separates the Repsol riders.

World Superbikes winner MSMW2012