So, Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner re-ignited their ‘war’ at Jerez when Valentino Rossi made an inside pass on Stoner, lost the front, and took them both out.
Rossi managed to re-join the race, while Casey Stoner was forced to retire. Rossi approached Stoner post race to apologise and Stoner responded with some sarcastic remarks about Rossi’s shoulder and told him that his “ambition outweighed his talent”. Excellent stuff – a good bit of ‘handbags’ at the start of the season is all good fun.
Here is what both riders had to say after the race on the official statements that were released:
Valentino Rossi (Ducati MotoGP Team) 5th
“Today in the wet we had a great chance for me to make my first podium with Ducati, or even to get my first win. I felt good, both with the bike and my shoulder, because I could brake where I wanted to rather than where I’m forced to in the dry, since I still don’t have the necessary strength. The bike is very fast in the wet. I was advancing really well, and I’m sorry to have made that mistake and thrown away such an opportunity. While braking for the first corner, I entered a bit long, and although I tried to stay to the inside, I lost the front and couldn’t stay up. I’m sorry, because I also took out Stoner, and I certainly didn’t want to do that. I apologized to him, and I’m truly sorry; it was a mistake. It’s a shame because we really could have gotten some satisfaction, but we’ll keep trying. We’re still not so fast in the dry, but we’re working hard. Anyway today’s fifth place gave us eleven points that are very important in the championship.”
Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: DNF
“We made a good start to the race and the bike felt good for the first few laps, then the tyres seemed to move a little so we tried to conserve them in case it rained again. I really wanted the chance to fight the Spanish riders here in a dry race, so it was disappointing for me that that it was wet. However, we were competitive here in the wet and dry and this is very important for us – at a track that hasn’t been that great for me in the past. After so much hard work, I hate to have a race like this because the team did a great job all weekend and now we go home empty handed. With the accident, I heard Valentino arriving and I wasn’t worried about anyone passing me at that point in the race so I gave him plenty of room. It was a racing incident and there’s not much we can do, what is more frustrating is the reaction of the stewards and their assistance for Valentino and not for me, it was unbelievable. I want to just get to the next race now in Estoril, where I’m sure we can be competitive again.”
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