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A Software Error Caused the Failure of Valentino Rossi's Bike at Mugello

Yamaha and Valentino Rossi fans were utterly disappointed two weeks ago when they saw the motorcycle of the world's most popular rider go up in smoke, forcing him to abandon the race. Iwata's engineers found the culprit, and thankfully, it was a software error.
Rossi's bike dying in smoke at Mugello, 2016 1 photo
During the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, the engines of both Yamaha riders, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi blew up, JL99's in the morning, and VR46's during the race, unfortunately.

As Lorenzo's engine had way more miles on it than Rossi's Yamaha discarded the possibility that the Doctor's power plant died the same day. Kouji Tsuya, project leader for Yamaha MotoGP, says that even if they tried their best to find out what led to the demise of Lorenzo's engine, they could not have done it in time for the afternoon race.The worst-case scenario and the gloomiest suspicions led to a mechanical failure
While Yamaha was still investigating the two engines and everything revolved around suspicions that some parts were not as strong and reliable as they used to be, even though a blown engine was one of the most uncommon scenarios.

Rossi's crew chief Silvano Galbusera adds that Rossi told him that the last time an engine failed was way back in 2007, at Misano. The fear of one or more engine parts not being compliant with the demands of MotoGP racing loomed as a darkened menace over the Iwata pits, but things are clear now, and both Lorenzo and Rossi can rest assured such things will not happen anymore.

After carefully analyzing both engines, the engineers determined that a software malfunction caused both engines to overrev and be destroyed. Mr. Tsuya says that there were no changes made in the usual setup, and the entire blame lies with the spec software that didn't behave as expected.

Kouji Tsuya also says that the defect occurred when the bikes traveled at full speed over a certain section of the Mugello straight, with one of the bumps messing things up and causing the engine speed limiter to malfunction and wreck the power plant.

He adds that the setting was revised and the teams are relieved that the renowned mechanical resilience of Yamaha engines was not dented by the Mugello incident.

"Valentino‘s failure was caused by an accidental over rev in acceleration that occurred jumping over a crest with full throttle at the end of the straight. This failure was not in any way related to the mistake made by Valentino at the San Donato corner on the lap before.

There were no special mapping settings used for Mugello; we used the same precise mapping as always. We have now withdrawn both engines from the allocation for the season
," Tsuji declared.

"We have learnt from this incident and already modified the rev limiter setting, so it will be OK in Catalunya. As a precautionary measure, the other engines used by both Valentino and Jorge in Mugello will be used only for practice sessions, until their life cycles are completed.

We understand an electronic issue caused the failures in Mugello, therefore we do not need to intervene with our remaining engines that are not yet sealed. We still have enough engines for the remainder of the season. We have already devised a countermeasure, so we are confident that the failures in Mugello will not recur.

So, we can expect another epic MotoGP race this Sunday in Barcelona.


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