Casey Stoner may have blown away the competition at Le Mans MotoGP, but the headlines will be dominated by the collision between Marco Simoncelli and Dani Pedrosa; an incident that ended with Pedrosa in the gravel with a broken collar-bone, and Simoncelli getting a ride-through penalty costing him a podium.
Unintentional as the collision was, Simoncelli will find himself, and his riding style under the magnifying glass once again.
Simoncelli felt it was a ‘racing incident’ and that his telemetry data backs up his assertion. He also claims that his ride-through penalty was the result of the recent complaints about his riding style. Here is what he had to say after the race:
Marco Simoncelli (5th)
“I am unhappy about what happened, because a result that was within my reach was denied and above all because of the fact that Pedrosa is hurt. In my opinion the incident went like this: Pedrosa was having a bit of difficulty –I had pulled alongside him and passed him on the previous three laps. When he passed me back I was not intentionally trying to resist, and my telemetry shows that I got on the brakes at the same point as on previous laps. I think that he had hit the brakes well before the corner, and I found myself on the outside of him and in front on the entry to the corner. I didn’t want to back off, so I left him with a metre between myself and the kerb in order to go in. I saw that it was tight, so I tried to adjust my position. That was when he touched my back wheel and went down. I repeat that I am unhappy about it, and I want to avoid any controversy regarding penalisation, but I believe that my ride through was a result of all the talk over the past few days. Now I have to focus on Barcelona.”
“I believe in the good intentions of our riders. This was a racing incident that could happen at any time, and in which Marco had passed Pedrosa. I think he was not responsible for causing the accident. We are obviously very displeased, above all with the fact that Dani is injured. It wasn’t intentional, and I think that all the controversy beforehand has fanned the flames of an unpleasant situation. Marco really deserved a podium and second place. Unfortunately, for various reasons it didn’t happen, but we will make that our goal for Barcelona. Aoyama did well and continues to pick up points and make progress.”
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