Honda in crisis
Team pull Guy Martin out of NW200 after Mcguinness crash as TT uncertainty grows DAYS TO GO
John Mcguinness’ crash meant that it was a North West 200 to forget for Honda Racing with the squad withdrawing from action after the 23-time TT winner crashed on Thursday.
Initially the Louth-based outfit only pulled Mcguinness’ team-mate Guy Martin out of Thursday’s Superstock race, but once they were unable to establish the cause of Mcguinness’ crash they erred on the side of caution and also withdrew from Saturday’s Superbike and remaining Superstock races on safety grounds.
The issue for Honda is that, after the high-speed crash, Mcguinness reported to the team that he felt the engine didn’t shut off when he rolled off the throttle going into Primrose Hill. The team were able to check the bike for mechanical problems – and found none – but they have so far been unable to gain access to the ECU and datalogger to review the data from the time of the crash.
“While we got the bike back after John’s crash, we have been unable to get into the ECU and the datalogger to get the information as it’s taken a bit of a hit,” explained Jonny Twelvetrees, the man replacing Neil Tuxworth at the helm of the factory Honda outfit.
“That means we don’t know exactly what happened to the bike. John said the throttle stuck, or the engine didn’t cut off and we have no way of looking into that until we can get the bike back into the workshop.
“The bike is actually in quite good condition. Mechanically everything on it is as it should be other than the impact areas. All sensors and controls are working as they should, so we need to get the data to understand [what happened].”
Technical gremlins persist
If the reason for the crash is a technical malfunction, it won’t be the first to have blighted the squad. Mcguinness’ recent crash at the Castle Combe test is also understood to have been a technical issue. Following that crash the team established the cause of the problem was a wheel speed sensor fault, but are currently convinced the NW200 crash wasn’t a repeat of that failure.
“We looked into that problem and worked with Japan on it,” Twelvetrees explained. “It was put down to being a sensor problem and has been rectified and we’ve made massive counter measures for the problem John had the first time he came off at Castle Combe.
“That was a physical problem and we’ve checked all of that this time around and it’s okay.”
No problems for Guy
When asked if Guy had experienced any of the issues with power not shutting off that John had encountered, Twelvetrees responded: “No, he’s raced at Tandragree, Cookstown and Scarborough and didn’t experience it there. We didn’t have it during the 24 hours of Le Mans either, so this is why we are desperate to find out.
“All we’ve got at the moment is John’s statement in terms of what he felt. Equally, he said before he knew it he was on the ground and it all happened very quickly. Of course, with a statement like that we are really nervous and want to see exactly what has gone on so we can get to work in fixing the problem.”
‘We don’t know what happened... John said the throttle stuck’ JONNY TWELVETREES, HONDA RACING