The reason why Nakagami disqualified could be the reason for the lack of top speed
I translated this article from "Why in the world Nakagami disqualified at Qatar Moto2 race? (by Saito, Haruko for Autoby magazine)".
The 2014 season opened last week at Qatar Losail circuit.
At the Moto2 race, Takaaki Nakagami, who moved to Idemitsu Honda Team Asia this year, finished 2nd place after a battle to the last lap.
This result must have encouraged the team without no podium since their start last year, but Nakagami was disqualified after the post-race inspection.
Starting from the front row, Nakagami got the hole shot and lead the race until he passed by Tito Rabat (Marc VDS). And Nakagami chased Rabat to the last lap, almost clinching the top of the podium. So many of his fans are very disappointed to know he was disqualified.
The MotoGP official site explains that "misunderstanding of the regulation was the reason" but why the team misunderstood?
We asked the team director, Tady Okada, who's been collaborating us (the Japanese motorcycle magazine "Autoby") for years in the article of "Long Run Lab", when he came back from Qatar.
The reason of the disqualification is the conflict with the the breach FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations 18.104.22.168.10. (Airbox: Only the standard airbox supplied by the official Supplier (including air filter and secondary injectors) may be used.
More precisely, the illegal part was NOT the air box but the air filter. The regulation only allows the paper filter of production HONDA CBR600RR but the team used the foam air filter of HRC kit-part.
The regulation has been effective since 2013 when the team entered the Moto2 but they didn't recognized it at all.
This misinterpretation is partly because of the figure supplied from IRTA, which
1. stating "Replaced to Race Kit"
2. using the figure of HRC parts list
3. with no part number
That's the reason, Okada said.
He told us, "We got no point last year so no inspection for us, that's why we have been misinterpreting using the HRC kit air filter. We'd never thought we were using banned part…"
That was very unfortunate but the team have found some blight side.
Last year they couldn't find the solution for the lack of top speed but the air filter which other teams don't use might be one of the reason. (The standard air filter might be better for the standard engine.)
So from the next race at COTA on, they might be able to improve the top speed. Don't be disappointed very much and wait for the Americas GP!
The team promise not to make any more mistakes and to continue working.
Okada said, "We apologize to the fans. The lost 20 points is not small but we continue working hard to compensate this mistake and smile at the last race of the season!"
Next race will be on April 13th at COTA.
I hope they will get the good result and make us happy!