Honda Racing Apologizes To Stoner For Suzuka Crash

HRC statement on the stuck throttle that forced Casey Stoner and MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO out of the Suzuka 8 Hour.

After two consecutive Suzuka 8 Hour victories in 2013 and 2014, team MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO began this year's race from third spot on the grid but was unable to convert this to win number three. After 24 laps, Takumi Takahashi entered the pits in 2nd position and two-time MotoGP Champion Casey Stoner took over the reigns. Stoner worked his way up to 1st position on his first lap after the switch, but unfortunately he crashed out at the Suzuka Hairpin and the race was over for the MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO team. (CLICK HERE for Stoner Crash Video and Suzuka 8 Hour results)

“I am really disappointed that the Suzuka 8 Hours has ended like this. I did not have enough time to engage the clutch and I came in with too much speed, I picked the bike up to try to slow down more but I was heading towards the wall so I decided to lay it over and hit the barrier but unfortunately, they were a lot harder than they looked and we came out of it with a broken bone in the ankle and broken scapular.” -Casey Stoner

Stoner was taken to the medical center where it was confirmed he had broken his right scapula (shoulder blade) and fractured his left ankle. The team had to wait until the end of the race for the bike to be returned so they could determine what caused the accident. Together with HRC staff, the team checked the machine and confirmed from the data that the throttle was 26 degrees open before the crash. It wasn’t clear why this happened and the bike was sent to HRC for a full inspection. HRC has issued the following communication of the findings along with an apology to Stoner:

Honda Racing Corporation has carried out a detailed analysis following the crash of Casey Stoner in last weekend’s Suzuka 8 Hour race.

Checking the throttle, which is a particular specification for Endurance HRC Factory bikes, and different from the standard throttle used on the Honda CBR1000RR road version, a malfunction was discovered related to the throttle cable.

This kind of problem hasn’t arisen before, however, HRC will cease using this throttle specification and will design a new one to be used for Endurance races.

HRC would like to apologize to Casey Stoner and thank him for the effort he made in attending the Suzuka 8 Hour event.