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GP Week : Issue 174
MARQUEZ TECH CHEAT ALLEGATIONS “NOT AN ISSUE” Moto2 champ’s team accused; investigation at Valencia MotoGP Race Direction is to make a special investigation of Moto2 World Champion Marc Marquez’s Suter machine at Valencia later this week, in response to accusations that the Spanish rider achieved his superiority by cheating. The allegations were published last week in German magazine and website Speedweek, accusing the CatalunyaCaixa team of “manipulating the control unit of the ECU” . Suspicion had been growing throughout the season, states the report, as Marquez dominated the production-based Moto2 class with consistent displays of astonishing speed. An unnamed engineer is quoted, explaining how the supplied ECU was fooled into avoiding the momentary loss of power at upward gear-changes, and was then able to reset itself to avoid detection. “Normally the engine will lean out on each shift, because the automatic (quick-shifter) switch cuts the ignition for a split second.” This also interrupted the fuel supply, giving a blip in the power. Race director Mike Webb, just back from Australia, was yet to see a full translation of the allegations, but promised there would be a full investigation at next weekend’s Valencia GP. “We take care to look at (these aspects) all the time, but if somebody says something is wrong, we have to investigate,” he said. But Webb’s early research had pointed towards the unlikelihood of the test-evading modification: “We have specifically got a channel receptor on the data recorder to let us know if somebody is changing the software on the move, and so far we’ve not seen any of that.” “Our technical guys and also the HRC guys are just laughing about this,” he continued. “It’s not an issue. It can’t happen. They know the shifting system that bike is using, the wiring diagram and the way the ECU works. They’re quite happy with it, there’s no problem with it as far as the ECU goes. “It is already checked all of the time as a matter of course, but in the light of the report I will obviously take it further and look a lot closer, so see if there is any sort of a loophole,” said Webb. Quick-shift systems were free. “It is an external part, and deliberately not included in the regulations. The manner of cutting the engine during up-shifts was not specified, Webb continued. “They can choose to make the ECU responds with ignition cuts, fuel cuts, or whatever ... and how they go about that is up to them. we have no problem, and HRC are very confident that what has been alleged is simply not possible. “At the moment it looks like a storm in a teacup, but I won’t have hard information until I get to Valencia,” he said. MOTOGP >>> NEWS 12 GPWEEK.com // 12 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: