'Fuel control problem' stopped Sete.
SUNDAY 28TH AUGUST 2005
Following Sete Gibernau's agonising retirement just two corners away from a safe second place in Sunday's Czech Republic Grand Prix, the Catalan's Movistar Honda team have revealed that it was 'a problem with the electronic fuel control system' that caused his RCV to grind to a halt.
Gibernau and eventual race winner Valentino Rossi shared the lead of Sunday's 22 lap thriller roughly equally - and were never more than 0.5secs apart - but they would enter the final series of corners with Rossi a vital few tenths ahead.
It looked enough to secure Rossi victory, but the Italian's triumph was far from guaranteed... until Sete's bike bobbled at the bottom of the hill and then stopped completely just two corners from the flag with 'fuel starvation'.
Afterwards, Gibernau - who has dropped from third to fifth in the world championship standings - revealed that the first symptoms of the fuel management problem had emerged as early as the opening laps.
"Another negative day after a weekend in which we have done a great job during qualifying," said a downbeat Gibernau on Sunday evening. "This morning we had a good rhythm in the warm up with some low 1min 58secs, a pace I knew would allow me to fight for the win.
"In the race I wasn't able to set the same pace and that was the main problem," revealed Sete, whose best race lap was a 1min 58.8secs. "And, in the first three laps, I first noticed the fuel problem that eventually prevented me from finishing the race, which topped it off.
"I'm really disappointed because once again I gave it everything I had and it's a shame to end the race in this way," concluded Gibernau.
"Unfortunately Sete had a problem, which was bad luck for him because he deserved to be on the podium," offered race winner Rossi.
Gibernau will remain at Brno for two days of tests, where he is expected to ride a 'new' RCV, before heading off for the five 'flyaway' races outside Europe.
Gibernau, Czech MotoGP Race, 2005