Bradley Smith (38) and Cal Crutchlow (35) of Monster Yamaha Tech 3 still plan to be ready for Round 2 at the Circuit of the Americas, despite a recent garage fire.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team would like to thank the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) and local Austin Fire Department staff for their immediate action after a small fire broke out inside Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith’s pit garage overnight.
One of the electric starters used to start the Team’s Yamaha YZR-M1 machinery caught fire, but thanks to the high standards of safety and fire prevention at the new COTA track, a sprinkler system was immediately activated and prevented any serious damage.
Computer equipment was damaged but despite the disruption to preparations for the inaugural Circuit of the Americas race, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is not anticipating the fire incident causing any problems to its participation in this weekend’s much anticipated first race in Texas.
Team staff will now commence a thorough investigation into the cause of the fire and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team would also like to place on record its appreciation to the management and staff at Yamaha for its cooperation in helping the French-based squad be as best prepared as possible for the weekend.
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“Unfortunately there was a small incident inside the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 garage overnight. The process of starting a MotoGP machine requires an electric starter and overnight they are left on charge.
“This is standard procedure and something we have been doing ever since the introduction of the four-stroke era. Unfortunately in the night one of the batteries caught fire. We have suffered quite a lot of damage and of course it is not ideal preparations but thankfully the fire prevention measures undertaken by the Circuit of the Americas and the assistance of the local Fire Department were invaluable in limiting the damage. The sprinkler system was immediately activated and fire crews on scene promptly and I am grateful for that. We will be conducting a thorough investigation to find out why this issue occurred and take the necessary steps to ensure it is not repeated in the future. I would like to apologise to the Yamaha Factory Team, LCR Honda and Cardion AB too, as the sprinkler system was also activated inside their pit area as well. But it could have been much worse and with the fantastic support of Yamaha and others in the close-knit MotoGP community, I am confident we can participate in this weekend’s race without any additional problems.”