Valentino Rossi's Engine Blowout Cause Still a Mystery

Rossi's bike engulfed in smoke at Mugello, 2016 1 photo
Photo: capture
Yamaha has not discovered yet what caused the total engine failure in the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, but the main suspicions seem to indicate several parts that were not up to the very high specs of the power plant.
Last Sunday brought disappointment for both Yamaha and the fans of Valentino Rossi who gathered in record numbers at the circuit of Mugello to see him battle of the track. Eight laps into the race, Rossi missed a turn after having visible problems with his bike.

Rossi then tried to continue the race but seconds after the first trail of smoke was seen, his engine failed completely, with the blowout spewing a thick white smoke.

The nine-time world champion managed to get off the track and rode slowly his bike to an exit, before leaving it with the track marshals and hopping in the back seat of a scooter that brought him to the Yamaha garage.

Despite still wearing the helmet and having the visor closed almost all the way down, it was not that hard to see the utter disappointment of the Italian rider. Yamaha started out an internal investigation to find out what caused the engine to fail to such a degree, but Iwata's technicians still haven't found the culprit(s).

Silvano Galbusera, Rossi's chief engineer: "It's bad luck. We removed engines with twice the number of kilometers."

One of the first go-to people in Rossi's side of the Yamaha garage is Silvano Galbusera, his crew chief. But "Galbu" doesn't know any concluding detail about the mauled engine. He remembers that Rossi told him that the last engine that blew was at Misano in 2007. Galbusera also adds that engines that fail to such a degree are not a Yamaha tradition.

Lorenzo's engine met a similar fate during the morning session, but Silvano Galbusera says that it had significantly more kilometers than Rossi's. Even more, swapping Vale's engine before the race and sending the Italian to the grid with a brand new lump would have been even riskier.

He adds that no different settings were used in the engine for the Mugello race, and this makes everything all the more intriguing. Galbu suspects that some of the parts were not as qualitative as they should have been. "We are not are able to understand what happened yet. The engine will be fully analyzed," Rossi's crew chief adds.
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