News 6 Jun 2016

Iannone penalised following Catalunya clash with Lorenzo

World champion calls for increased sanction from race direction.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone will be forced to start from the rear of the grid at Assen after taking out reigning MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo at Catalunya in Spain on Sunday.

Iannone was in sixth position on lap 17 when he made contact with the rear of Lorenzo’s Movistar Yamaha, forcing them both out of the race in dramatic fashion and prompting race direction’s penalisation.

“I am very sorry for what happened with Lorenzo because I was doing a good race with the limited grip I had,” Iannone reflected. “I was riding well and pushing hard, without making any errors, and had even managed to catch Jorge.

“As for the incident, I can only say that I could do nothing to avoid it. I braked at the same point as all the previous laps, but he was very slow at that moment and unfortunately I made contact with him and we both crashed. It might seem that I came in too fast and that I wanted to pass him, but that’s not the way it went and we got the confirmation of this by analysing data.”

Lorenzo was livid with the incident, frustrated with the lack of a major penalty handed out, especially in light of rider safety on a difficult weekend in the sport. He also reflected upon a penalty of his own over a decade ago.

“First of all, as I said yesterday, everything is secondary after what happened on Friday,” Lorenzo said. “About the race, it’s unbelievable that Iannone made this mistake again and when he did, instead of saying ‘sorry’, he asked me if I had an engine failure or something strange happening in this corner.

“I thought it was his fault, but he had this reaction and didn’t say sorry. There is always one rider that doesn’t understand the risks and that his actions can seriously injure the other riders.

“If race direction don’t give him a hard penalisation, like they did with me in 2005, these kinds of riders don’t understand that they have to change their mentality. That’s why I think starting the race from last position is not enough, because in five to seven laps he will be positioned at the front again due to his pace.”

Failing to scores sees Lorenzo slip to second in the championship table, Marc Marquez now 10 points ahead thanks to his second place. And with Valentino Rossi taking first, Lorenzo is now only 12 points in front of him.