Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Marc Marquez vs Dani Pedrosa

There has been a lot of talk following the Aragon MotoGP which saw Dani Pedrosa highside and crash out of second position whilst chasing Jorge Lorenzo.

However the talk is not necessarily about the crash itself but rather the cause of the crash. As we all know MotoGP machines are highly specialized racing motorcycles that are not even for sale. Currently the best MotoGP bikes have to be the Honda's and the Yamaha's, sadly Ducati are not yet up to speed.

These bikes have an array of sensors and pickups that all send information to an ECU which calculates various parameters and makes adjustments where possible.

What happened at Aragon is interesting because when Marc Marquez appeared to have out-braked himself and ran wide, he accidentally bumped the rear swingarm of Dani Pedrosa, there was light contact but Dani was able to keep his racing line.

However as soon as Dani exited the corner and opened the throttle, the bike flipped him off in an instant highside.

It appears that in the contact with Marc Marquz, a rear wheel speed pick up sensor cable was severed, as can be seen in the picture below. Without this sensor the bikes brain cannot run the traction control setting. Some have suggested that the bike should go into an automatic setting where 100% traction control is applied when the sensor is faulty, however the Repsol Honda did the opposite and the bikes ECU disengaged traction control completely.

So it appears that the contact between Marc and Dani had no effect at first but in fact it caused the nasty highside experienced by Dani Pedrosa.

Some MotoGP machines such as the Ducati have two rear wheel speed sensor pickups however the Honda only has one, and as can be seen by the picture, the cable is fairly exposed.

Honda have mentioned that they will re-look the design, however that doesn't help Dani who is now more than likely out of the 2013 championship.

Who is to blame? Well its quite hard to direct blame to anyone in this matter, but in all fairness Marc Marquez does push the limits and gets awfully close to those in front of him, if I were Dani I would be fuming, if I were Marc I would only commit to pass when there is a realistic opportunity.

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