Honda Confirms Throttle Malfunction at Suzuka, Bradl No Longer with Forward Racing

Casey Stoner at the Suzuka 8 hour, 2015 1 photo
Photo: Honda
Honda Racing Corporation confirms Casey Stoner's story at Suzuka. Upon inspection of the crashed bike by HRC engineers, they confirmed that Casey Stoner's throttle remained open despite the fact that the rider tried to close it when approaching the Hairpin turn.
The throttle used on the Endurance bike differs from the stock one Honda puts in the road-legal CBR1000RR version. However, it looks like the race-spec one malfunctioned, and Honda could track the issue to the throttle cable.

Official HRC sources mention that this is the first time when Honda encounters this problem. A new throttle will be designed for the Endurance races, hopefully with fail-safe features that could reduce the risk of a crash.

We remind you that Casey Stoner crashed at high speed in the Hairpin corner at the Suzuka circuit in Japan during the Suzuka 8 Hour endurance race. The Australian rider was forced to lay the bike down as his throttle remained open at 26 degrees through the turn.

He and his bike smashed through the barriers and the MotoGP Legend suffered a fractured scapula/ shoulder blade and a broken tibia in the ankle area. "HRC would like to apologize to Casey Stoner and thank him for the effort he made in attending the Suzuka 8 Hour event," a Honda press release adds.

Stefan Bradl is now an independent MotoGP pilot looking for a ride at Indianapolis

Stefan Bradl made use of the clauses in his one-year contract with the Swiss team Forward Racing and he is now a free rider. We reported yesterday about the financial troubles Forward Racing is passing through after the arrest of its manager Giovanni Cuzari.

Arrested in Switzerland upon his return from the German GP, Cuzari faces serious allegations of tax evasion, bribery and money laundering, and all his accounts have been frozen. This leaves Forward Racing with no money to travel to Indianapolis for the 9 August US round, and also puts the team's presence at the Czech GP in Brno in question.

Almost 100 percent rehabilitated, Bradl is looking for a new ride

The German pilot, 25, is almost back to full physical form after breaking a scaphoid bone at Assen. He understands that simply waiting for Cuzari's problems to be solved is not at all the best thing to do as a rider. Knowing that he will be back at 90 or 100 percent at Indianapolis, Bradl preferred to become free of any binds with a team, and therefore, free to choose a new one.

All eyes turn to Aprilia for the moment. Aprilia Racing Gresini is a full-factory outfit, and this makes it a great choice. Even more, Aprilia sacked Marco Melandri and employs BSB rider Michael Laverty on a race-by-race basis.

For Indianapolis, Laverty seems to be available, so Aprilia is expected to make the final call in this matter. The oldest of the Laverty brothers will not be available for all of the MotoGP races, as some of the British Superbike rounds prevent this, so having Bradl signed for the second half of the season woul certainly feel reassuring.

Even more, Bradl has extensive experience with factory machines, and this could help Aprilia in the development process of their 2016 prototype. The IRTA and Dorna Sports offer full support for the German rider and will not put any obstacles in his way if he files on official request to the racing bodies to acknowledge his new contract with another team.

Meanwhile, an official response is expected from Aprilia. Last-minute news indicate that Giovanni Cuzari's business partner and Chief Financial Officer at his company Media Action, Mario Rezzi, has also been led out of his villa in Paradiso/Switzerland. According to speedweek, the police had him cuffed.
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