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Air filter the culprit in Nakagami disqualification

Air filter the culprit in Nakagami disqualification

IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia’s Takaaki Nakagami was disqualified from his second place in the Moto2™ race in Qatar last weekend due to the use of a sponge-type air filter instead of a paper one.

The team has stated that it felt it was within the regulations as it purchased the so-called Race Kit directly from HRC (official supplier), though IRTA has ruled it was not the standard air filter that usually comes with the Moto2 standard CBR600RR engine.

The team has accepted its penalty, though is calling on greater clarity within the rules, so that the team, and others on the grid, are 100% clear on what the regulations are. As part of this, it has suggested listing part’s numbers.

The sponge type air filter is designed to give improved airflow over the standard type into the engine, which could potentially boost performance.

The rules, as they are written now, state:

10) Airbox: Only the standard airbox supplied by the official Supplier (including air filter and secondary injectors) may be used. No modifications, alterations or additions to this airbox are allowed, except as described in Art. below.

11) To ensure correct performance the official Supplier does not recommend any change to the airbox. However at the risk of the team, the following changes are allowed:

 a) The intake ducts, ahead of the air filter, may be changed to suit individual chassis designs.

 b) The resonance chambers and the top of the airbox (airbox lid) may be replaced or modified, provided that the total airbox volume, from the filter back, is no larger than the original. Refer to Diagram 4 in the Appendix.

If such a modified cover is fitted, the original air temperature sensor must be fitted on this cover in a position equivalent to the original position, and may not be horizontally closer to the secondary injectors than the original position. Refer to Diagram 5 in the Appendix.

 c) A catch-tank may be fitted in the engine breather between the cam cover and airbox. The catch tank is solely for the purpose of collecting engine fluids, no other functions (such as pressure modification) are permitted and breather connections may only be directly between the cam cover, catch tank and airbox. The catch tank and connections must be visible for inspection at all times (that is, not permanently built into the chassis or other parts).

Moto2, 2014, COMMERCIAL BANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Takaaki Nakagami, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia

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