This weekend marks the first Japanese GP organized by MotoGP since before the COVID-19 pandemic that enveloped the world in 2019.
But the Moto2 Marc VDS team’s preparations for round 16 of the 2022 season this weekend were disrupted when a fire broke out in their garage Thursday night in Motegi.
The pit box, located in Garage 12 between Suzuki and Aprilia in Motegi Lane, caught fire when one of the Mark VDS bikes’ starting motors caught fire.
The rapid intervention of the firefighters in the department brought the fire under control immediately.
As a result, none of the team’s motorcycles were damaged in the fire, nor any of its crew members.
The Marc VDS team says the fire was caused by rain seeping through its garage roof, causing a supercharger to short one of the bike’s starter motors.
A statement from the team thanked everyone in the field who helped control the fire, while also stressing that the physical damage was “minimized.”
“After extinguishing the fire in the garage, proper inspections showed that the fire started when some rainwater got into the garage, and it fell to the floor where it caused a short in the charger.
This in turn set off some sparks, which then quickly turned into fire.
“Fortunately, due to the incredible work of all the circuit personnel who were there, circuit security and circuit firefighters, the damage was kept to a minimum.
“The Elf Marc VDS Team would like to publicly thank the tremendous work and assistance of all of our colleagues at the circuit, with a special mention to the Suzuki Motorcycle Team who worked with us to clean and rebuild the garage as if it were their own.
“With all our team members safe and the garage rebuilding, we’re ready to start the Japanese Grand Prix tomorrow.”
Fire in Marc VDS garage
Photography: Oriol Puigdemont
This is not the first time that a motorbike motorcycle fire has been involved in a fire accident.
At the 2018 Malaysian Grand Prix, a Suzuki Motorcycle caught fire while heating outside the team’s parking box in Sepang.
And in 2019, the start of the MotoE World Cup had to be postponed when a massive fire destroyed Energica’s entire fleet of electric bikes during pre-season testing in Jerez.
Last year, the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit – host of the Argentine Grand Prix – was badly damaged by a massive fire.
Suzuki crew chief Joanne Mir Frankie Karchide – who will join Gresini Racing next season as Fabio Di Giannantonio engineer – tweeted about the Marc VDS crash at Motegi: “Good to see everyone doing well.
“Our sons from Suzuki did a great job avoiding an absolute disaster. Good job we were working late!”
Practice for the 2022 Japanese GP begins tomorrow, although there will only be one session per class after MotoGP organizers chose to change Friday’s schedule to allow for the complex logistical situation of moving the entire circuit from Aragon last weekend to Motegi.