A leaking garage has been blamed for a fire in the pitlane ahead of this weekend’s Japanese MotoGP event in Motegi, north of Tokyo.
The fire broke out in the garage of Moto2 team Marc VDS Racing, whose mechanics had already left for the night.
Mechanics from the Suzuki MotoGP team – who are in the garage next door – rushed to remove the bikes and other equipment before extinguishing the blaze.
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As the Marc VDS squad returned to the track, the Suzuki mechanics then stayed back to help them clean up and rebuild the garage.
In a statement released on Twitter, the team confirmed the rain caused a short in a charger.
“After extinguishing the fire in the garage, proper inspections showed the fire started when some rain water entered the garage, and got onto the floor, where it caused a short cut in a charger,” the statement reads.
“That in turn let off some sparks, which then quickly grew into a fire.
“Fortunately, due to the amazing job done by all the paddock people that were there, the circuit security and circuit firemen, damages were thankfully kept to a minimum.
“The team wants to publicly thank the work and huge help provided by all out paddock colleagues with a special mention to the Suzuki team who worked with us to clean and rebuild the garage as if it was their own.
“With all our team members safe and the garage rebuilt, we are ready to start the Japanese Grand Prix.”
The only other piece of equipment destroyed in the blaze was a rear shock absorber.
Moto2 practice starts on Friday afternoon.
Doubt remains over the weather on Sunday, as an offshore rain depression strengthens. It is expected to intensify into a typhoon and could make landfall in the area on Sunday morning.
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