The Health of Lorenzo's Engine?
by staff
Friday, March 28, 2014

Jorge Lorenzo may have bigger problems than the loss of 25 points at Qatar.
image by Marco Guidetti
Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo left Qatar with zero championship points this season, unlike 2013 when he got on the plane leaving the Arabic monarchy with the winner's share of world championship points. That's bad enough news, but could it be even worse?

Lorenzo crashed early in the GP, losing the front and tumbling into the gravel. His M1 clearly suffered major damage in the fall--the sub-frame split from the bike and the fuel "tank" assembly separated from the frame.

As Lorenzo walked away from the crash, the rear wheel was not moving on the M1 and its assumed the engine had stopped running. However the severe impacts the motorcycle took in the gravel trap and the fact that the fuel cell and sub-frame separated from the bike have ignited growing concern that the M1 engine may have ingested some foreign objects while it cartwheeled in the rocks. Or, maybe the "tip-over" system, where the engine stops when the M1 goes on its side, worked.

It's presumed that the engine was flown to Japan after the race where it will be inspected by Yamaha. With sealed engine cases because of their "factory" designation in MotoGP, Yamaha is somewhat limited on how much "inspection" they can perform on a questionable engine. It might be put on a dyno for a short run to see if the horsepower is in the acceptable range. Also, they can delve information from the M1's ECU system, or from an external system connected to the dyno, via, for example, exhaust gas analyzers or having the engine oil analyzed.

Lorenzo left Qatar down 25 points--devastating enough--but if he is down 25 and loses one of his five engines, the first round of the MotoGP championship could be termed a full-on disaster for the former two time MotoGP champion.


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