Honda in cri­sis

Team pull Guy Martin out of NW200 af­ter Mcguin­ness crash as TT un­cer­tainty grows DAYS TO GO

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Oli Rushby BSB Re­porter

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

Af­ter a tor­rid NW200 for Honda, Guy’s TT is also now in doubt Guy Martin on the Fire­blade in prac­tice, be­fore Honda with­drew Prob­lems have dogged the team all the way through test­ing

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