In a mishap, the Suzuki GSX-RR MotoGP machine belonging to Alex Rins was destroyed in a pit lane fire ahead of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix. The incident occurred at the Sepang International Circuit when the mechanics were warming the bike in the Suzuki Ecstar pits this afternoon. The bike caught fire after the fuel overflow pipe accidentally sprayed fuel onto the hot exhaust when the team was doing their customary post-built start-up earlier today. Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident, but the bike was severely damaged in the fire.
The incident though will have little effect on Alex Rins over the weekend with the team having enough time to re-build a new bike for the Suzuki Ecstar rider. That said, it will be busy night for the mechanics as they build the bike once again overnight. The main concern though will be if the engine has been damaged in the fire. Nevertheless, Rins still has one of his nine powerplants up for use with only two races remaining.
MotoGP bikes catching fire hasn’t happened for the first time. A similar fire incident happened at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in 2013 when one of the electric starters used to start the Team’s Yamaha YZR-M1 machinery caught fire. Thankfully, the sprinkler system was immediately activated and preventd any serious damage.
MotoGP tracks and the teams as well, are prepared to handle such issues with fire extinguishing systems, and paramedics always on standby.
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