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Under Pressure From Spanish Fans And Race Officials, Simoncelli Admits He Was “Wrong”

With reports that Marco Simoncelli has received numerous threats from Spanish fans of Dani Pedrosa in advance of this weekend’s Spanish round of the MotoGP series, confirmed by Simoncelli’s team manager, and having been summoned to appear before the race directors to explain the accident with Pedrosa at Le Mans, Simoncelli has issued a statement admitting he was “wrong” and will try to be more cautious in the future.

While some of his competitors clearly consider Simoncelli a “bull in a china shop”, at times, it is the expensive china owned by his own employer, Honda Racing (he is with a satellite team, but competes aboard a factory Honda), that he knocked down and injured at Le Mans, after nearly causing another Honda asset, Casey Stoner, to crash earlier in the year during the opening lap of a race. Regardless of the outcome of his meeting with race officials this weekend, you should expect that Simoncelli will be monitored closely for aggressive riding the remainder of the year not only by race officials, but by Honda, as well.

35 Comments

  1. Wilson R says:

    Sounds like MotoGP is getting more exciting so I might start watching it again. I like the saying “Racing is rubbing”. It makes for a much better spectator sport.

    • Bomber says:

      Simoncelli has a few new fans !!!!!!!!!! I’m one for sure !!!!!!!!

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Sounds like MotoGP is getting more exciting so I might start watching it again”

      if you “valued” motorcyling, you would’ve never stopped watching…

  2. Boone says:

    I’ve held a professional road racing license and from my point of view, Simoncelli passed on the OUTSIDE (a gutsy move) and was past Pedrosa. There was still room – Simoncelli didn’t chop him to the curb but left enough. Pedrosa either touched the front brake, causing his bike to stand up or spooked himself for some reason, picking his bike up.

    There was no contact prior to this. Simoncelli was by. Pedrosa screwed up and went down.

    I’ve asked a number of my friends who roadraced and they feel the same.

    • Ruefus says:

      Yep. There was room for a bike to fit. Barely, and not really. As has been stated, Dani likely was not aware of Marco’s presence until he came into his peripheral vision. Y’know “look through the corner”?

      By that time, it was already too late. Dani was on the inside line, which means he’d have to run wider off the apex. Marco took the outside, which means his exit off the apex would be shallower. You cannot pass on the outside, have the crossing of lines essentially at the apex and expect good things to happen.

      Either wait for the next corner, or get it done well before apex. Marco did not make a good decision.

    • Steve says:

      I saw the replay again this weekend… from the camera angle, it looked like Pedrosa stood the bike up which caused the fall. It looked like if he had stayed on his line, hugging the inside of the curve, Simoncelli would have made the pass without Perdrosa falling…. Pedrosa might have hit the brakes which stood the bike up causing the fall…

      Of course, we’ll never know… Pedrosa is not the type person to implicate himself…

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Simoncelli would have made the pass without Perdrosa falling”

        well that or he would’ve scuttled both himself and simo potentially making it 2 riders taking “life-flight” to the nearest trauma center. has anyone here NOT watched the Catalunya Moto2 race…?

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I’ve held a professional road racing license and from my point of view, Simoncelli passed on the OUTSIDE (a gutsy move) and was past Pedrosa.”

      i’ve not only held a race license, but for more than a decade, have marshalled everything from lowest of track days, to club races, to the daytona 200, to the pinnacle of WSBK. the only thing i haven’t done is MotoGP (yet). over this same decade i have watched nearly every CANSBK, IOM, AMA, WSBK, and MotoGP event (250′s and 125′s inclusive and the odd BSB race). simo’s OUTSIDE pass attempt on that particular left-hander was one of the worst displays of judgement i’ve seen in 10 years.

      dani was on the inside and infront of marco for not 1… not 2… but for all 3 brake markers. repeat… ALL 3 BRAKE MARKERS…!!! (check the tape) by strategically placing himself where he did, dani had effectively NEUTRALIZED simo’s use of that line (fair play this and #58 didn’t want to take the hint).

      marco didn’t make the pass attempt until AT/AFTER the 3rd marker. at that point they were basically neck and neck and in the turn (a dummy move). since he was on the ouside of a near 90 degree bend (by definition travelling thru an arc of greater distance), the combined laws of physics, and geometry all DEMAND that he (simo) not just be faster…? but EXPONENTIALLY faster in order to safely place himself in front of dani without risk of “boxing out” his line leaving him no escape path. the simple fact that dani out accelerated him from garage vert and was in front of and in his field of view for a whopping 3 brake markers was his first clue that he was NOWHERE NEAR fast enough to make that move work. simo’s a great racer, but i’ll bet dollars to donuts in school math was one of his least favorite subjects.

      re: “I’ve asked a number of my friends who roadraced and they feel the same.”

      with all due respect, you and all your friends are wrong… and until such time you adjust your thinking to be on the correct side of this incident…? you pose not only a safety risk to other riders…? but a safety risk to yourselves. now this may seem harsh, but the families of Tomizawa, Lenz, Gette, and Jones wouldn’t have me be anything less. if i err…? then i choose to do so in their favor.

  3. vipkat says:

    give me a break, this was a racing incident, do we want to watch some grannies putting around a track? dani’s bones must be made of glass

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “do we want to watch some grannies putting around a track?”

      i’ll see your “grannies” and raise you a “fatality”. do we want entertainment at the expense of a rider’s life…?

      movies like the “running man” and 2008′s “death race” were just that… movies. it’s important for one to differentiate.

  4. bikerrandy says:

    Oh, I see, according to many here, the powers that be should make every racer’s bike/rider match the weight of Simo on his Honda. Give me a break! If Simo doesn’t like the odds he should find a different job. Life isn’t FAIR, Simo.

  5. phil says:

    Dirck Edge says:
    June 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm
    I think Bob has it right. More importantly, this is the consensus of the other riders, including Simoncelli’s good friend Valentino Rossi.

    Yeeees, but I recall Vale pulling the same stunt on Gibbers some seasons back. Only then Vale took the win from Gibbers and got celebrated for it.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I recall Vale pulling the same stunt on Gibbers some seasons back. Only then Vale took the win from Gibbers and got celebrated for it”

      apples V. oranges. to the initiated, outside passes and inside passes are different animals.

  6. Crusty says:

    I would like to know what makes 125 and 250s so great to watch. The clash of fairings the rub of tyres the push n shove. So with a bit of sucess in moto GP you forget how to race and become soft. Pull your pants up Pedrosa and learn how to race side by side.

  7. John says:

    C’mon guys, if you watch the move Marco makes on Dani in the preceding turn, you can see Marco makes a clean pass, only to get out accelerated down the next straightway, thus requiring him to make a herculean outbraking manuever around the outside of Dani into the next corner. As a fan of GP racing for decades, this is the kind of riding that made guys like Kevin Schwantz famous in their era, and made me want to watch GP racing in the first place. Remember the battles between Biaggi and Rossi? Those guys were giving it hell, and it made for great racing that was worth watching.

    Marco has to ride more aggresively to counter the weight disadvantage he has against the little guys. Instead of being critical of Marco, why doesn’t the FIM initiate a “Total Minimum” weight with bike and rider? Then the little guys would have to ride just as hard as the bigger guys to stay at the front. I don’t think anybody should have said shit about his move. It was awesome. Dani could have backed off too, but he didn’t. It takes two riders to crash. It’s not like Marco hit him from behind. Marco didn’t crash, and even after having to accept a bullshit ride through penalty, he still finished fifth.

    Marco is a bad ass rider, and that’s that. Just ask someone who knows, like Kevin Schwantz.

  8. Fast One says:

    GO SIMONCELLI!!! Don’t cry just ride Dani, or buy a ticket and watch the race.

  9. blackcayman says:

    watch the on-board video from Dani’s view – he got the short end of the stick.

    • Bob says:

      Race direction has reviewed all the angles to determine Simo was at fault without question. They were viewing angles we don’t have available to us.

      • Norm G. says:

        who needs extra angles. what was showed was more than enough. forget race direction… forget all the outside opinions… the COMMENTATORS called it spot-on as we were friggin’ watching it…!

  10. mxs says:

    Is there really anyone who cares whether he admits to anything or not????

  11. Hot Dog says:

    Simo’s got a big set of chestnuts and he’s swinging them around. We could require everyone race like little girls or just let them take the gloves off and go at it. He’s hungry, he’ll learn, be afraid, very afraid. Go Simo!

  12. Bob says:

    I have no idea what race some of you were watching to not see the positions of the riders entering the turns. Watch it again. Even still, I wonder how many have ever raced that make these comments. Very easy to sit behind the computer and say therse guys are whiners and pussies and you want to see faring bashing. Ever done 100 mph and had bars or tires touch? I have, the end result wasn’t a good one for me and the other riders.

    Dani arrived at the turn first and on the inside line. The line belongs to Dani. Marco entered the turn just after Dani. This is where many people’s perspectives are messed up. Even though Marco entered the turn 2nd, Marco came in hotter and faster, allowing him to pass Dani just before the apex of the turn. For this reason, many people believe Marco was there first. Marco was simply overtaking Dani in the turn.

    But Marco was on the outside line and Dani could not see him until Marco got into his peripheral vision. (You look through the turn, remember? No way Dani was looking behind him and to the outside to see where Marco was) This is where Marco made his mastake. He dove in directly on Dani’s line while Dani was still there. The laws of physics say that 2 objects can not occupy the same space at the same time. Many people believe Dani was in too hot because they saw him stand the bike up. He stood the bike up because he was trying to avoid being sideswiped by Marco. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late at that speed. The tires made contact. The contact would have been much worse if Dani hadn’t grabbed a handful of brake and both riders would be down.

    This was a clear case of Marco not just being overly aggressive, but not timing his move properly becase this could have been a direct collision with consequences far greater had Dani not reacted the way he did. He tried avoiding the collision the best he could for the milliseconds he had to react.

    This was all Marco’s wrong doing. And he was forced into this admission for political reasons. He still thinks what he did was ok. To me that means, he’s learned nothing from this other than now he’s under the watchful eye of race direction.

    • Dirck Edge says:

      I think Bob has it right. More importantly, this is the consensus of the other riders, including Simoncelli’s good friend Valentino Rossi.

    • Don S. says:

      Bob,
      I have raced professionally. When Dani was racing and his team mate was fighting for the #1 plate, he thought it was ok to dive under Nicky at 20 mph too fast to even come close to making the turn. He knocked him down almost ruining his chance to become champion. Earlier in the year he refused to share any information about race set ups i.e. suspension settings, etc. with his team mate. As it turned out he should have asked his team mate for those set ups seeing how Nicky was the one who won the #1 plate. In racing of any type, including Nascar, you don’t crash some one out of the race, especially!!! your own team mate. Dani thinks that was ok to knock his own team mate down but when the shoe is on the other foot he cries like the spoiled brat that he is. That is the height of hypocrisy!!!
      Don S.

      • Ruefus says:

        I haven’t seen one article extolling Dani’s cry-baby attitude.

        Only race direction, Vale and a legion of fans.

        The only one NOT bitching at Marco is Dani.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “I have raced professionally. When Dani was racing and his team mate was fighting for the #1 plate, he thought it was ok to dive under Nicky at 20 mph too fast to even come close to making the turn.”

        re: “He knocked him down almost ruining his chance to become champion.” “Dani thinks that was ok to knock his own team mate down”

        ummnn, everything after “BUT”…

        guess you failed to watch the very next round (valencia finale) where dani made good by moving over (denying himself at home) and allowed nicky thru to go on and take the championship. mistakes happen. it’s how you go on to CORRECT said mistake that counts. i’m no sociologist, but nearly 5 years have passed, dare i say there’s a chance you have not evolved passed the primitive human behavior of wanting to “throw stones”…?

  13. Glen says:

    Its probably easier to get “ahead” of someone going into a turn if you are not worrying about taking them out. Was Marco in front of Dani when he took him out? Yes. Does that make it a valid racing maneuver? No. I am not a Dani fan. But, even I felt sorry for the little guy. And I still hold him accountable for the bonehead move on Nicky in ’06. I’m glad Marco admitted it was a mistake (even thought he needed “encouragement” to do so). Now he can move on. He is obviously a fast guy. But, he’ll negate his talent if he continues to ride like he doesn’t care about taking people out.

  14. Steve says:

    Pedrosa is a primadonna (in my opinion)… he took Hayden out when they were team mates & Hayden was #1 so he clearly thinks it’s onlys not ok when it is done to him but ok when he does it. Pedrosa thinks all the other riders should just get out of his way… same thing his fellow countryman Jorge Lorenzo thinks. While Marco did bang bars with a few riders recently, I don’t believe this is a bad thing…. I like Simoncelli & look forward to seeing him blast thru the pack. If he can catch the front runners then they should be wary of him & either stay ahead or get out of the way….

    • Steve says:

      Right on man…. Pedrosa is an A&^%&(

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I like Simoncelli & look forward to seeing him blast thru the pack.”

      I like Simoncelli & look forward to seeing him blast thru the pack too… but NOT at the expense of safety. there’s a reason the mantra reads “safety 1st”… and not… “safety 2nd”.

  15. MGNorge says:

    Sometimes you cannot compete against public pressure.

  16. russ says:

    I agree that Dani was too hot and by the apex Simoncelli was in front. The criticism seems to be that Simoncelli cut Pedrosa’s line so close Dani had nowhere to go… i.e. his riding was TOO aggressive.

  17. goose says:

    I’ve watched that accident at the French GP many times. I can not understand why anyone would consider that Dani was ahead of Simoncelli. I like both riders, but Dani stuffed up. He was in to hot on the wrong line. Simoncelli then gets penalized for being ahead of him????

    As I see it. The only way Simoncelli caused the accident was by being forcing Dani to ride outside the envelope!

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I can not understand why anyone would consider that Dani was ahead of Simoncelli.”

      no worries, once upon a time i didn’t understand algebra…? and then someone (a teacher) explained it to me.