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MOTOGP NEWS 

Austin MotoGP: Tech 3 Yamaha suffers pit fire

Cal CrutchlowThe Tech 3 MotoGP team says it is ready to compete in the Grand Prix of the Americas this weekend despite a fire in its garage overnight.

One of the electric starters to start the bikes up caught fire inside Cal Crutchlow's and Bradley Smith's pit garage at Austin.

The track's sprinkler system was immediately activated and prevented any serious damage.

Tech 3 said computer equipment was damaged as a result, but insisted it will not cause any problems for this weekend's race.

"Unfortunately in the night one of the batteries caught fire," said team boss Herve Poncharal.

"We have suffered quite a lot of damage and of course it is not ideal preparations but thankfully the fire prevention measures undertaken by the Circuit of the Americas and the assistance of the local fire department were invaluable in limiting the damage.

"We will be conducting a thorough investigation to find out why this issue occurred and take the necessary steps to ensure it is not repeated in the future."

Poncharal also apologised to the Yamaha, LCR and Cardion teams as the sprinkler system was also activated inside their pit areas.

Yamaha team boss Massimo Meregalli said the disruption for his squad would not be as bad as it first feared.

"The first impression we had when we arrived was really bad but fortunately it doesn't look as bad as we initially thought," he said.

"We will now have to disassemble the bikes and dry them, clean them and rebuild them again. For sure it could have been a lot worse."

Practice starts at 9.55am local time on Friday.

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