Photography by Andrea Wilson
AUSTIN, TEXAS, APR. 18 – A fire most likely caused by a lithium battery in the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha garage last night at the Circuit of The Americas has left the team scrambling to fix the damage, though Yamaha’s managing director Linn Jarvis says the team will be ready to roll when practice starts tomorrow morning.
Fortunately, the Yamaha M1s didn’t suffer any damage and the majority of the work involves clean up as the fire sprinkler system in the garages put out the fire, but left everything soaked.
“When our team arrived here this morning and opened the garage door, and we’d gotten already the news from the circuit that there was an incident in the garage, and there was a smell of smoke immediately when we opened the door,” Jarvis said. “We feared for the worst and it has been pretty bad because the Tech 3 garage had this fire incident most likely caused by a battery. They are suffering even worse than we are, but the two Yamaha garages and [Stefan] Bradl and [Karel] Abraham are all under water. That’s the problem now – everything is soaked, everything is drenched. The good side of that is that I think if we hadn’t been here at this circuit with these excellent conditions, we would have lost six bikes. That would have been another story so my thanks go to the circuit, the people that helped us, and also to the fire services because their help during the incident and, frankly, their help now is exemplary.”
Jarvis said the big worry is getting everything dried out before corrosion sets in.
“No damage to anybody, no damage to the actual bikes,” he said. “We’ve lost computers, TV screens, monitors, servers… all our crates are full of water so that means all the gears are full of water, all the spare parts. It’s an issue; it’s a big issue. We will be able to race this weekend, we’re confident of that. But we are going to have to take everything to pieces basically and dry everything to make sure we don’t have corrosion issues and stuff like that.”