Sunday, 15 May 2011

Pole Cat Loves A Good Cat Fight: Spaniards lash out at Simoncelli

After an enthralling French MotoGP, which saw Stoner take the top spot and Rossi secure his first podium win of the season, the most heated discussions centre around the decision by officials to penalise Marco Simoncelli for seemingly cutting up Dani Pedrosa.

The twenty-four year-old Italian, who was publicly attacked by World Championship titleholder Jorge Lorenzo for riding 'dangerously', attempted to overtake round the outside, while the two battled for 2nd place. In launching for the apex too early, he left Pedrosa with very little room to manoeuvre or pull up and the Repsol Honda went crashing out of the race on Lap 17.

Simoncelli was penalised with a ride-through, though still managed to finish fifth behind Lorenzo, leaving many believing he should have been blackflagged. Post-race, Pedrosa spoke of his disappointment. Having only just returned magnificiently to top form in Portugal a mere fortnight ago, after a titanium plate was removed from his left collarbone, the Spaniard has discovered he has now fractured his collarbone on the right side, which will undoubtedly impact his claims to the 2011 title.

While Simoncelli sympathised sincerely with Pedrosa's situation, he fervently claimed the manoeuvre was entirely fair, directing doubters to telemetry readings for evidence. The Italian, whose 'Sideshow Bob' styled hair do is as wild as his riding style, is receiving all kinds of debatably unwarranted negativity of late.

Displaying the talent, speed and aggression of a younger Lorenzo, it's surprising the frontrunner, who had a comparatively weak weekend, is finding Simoncelli such a threat. If Lorenzo continues to let Simoncelli get under his skin, he could find himself in a mental battle, fighting demons he's created himself. Though as a newly self-appointed spokesman, campaigning for more safety awareness in motorcycling, we may see the focus shift from his riding to more drama off the track than on it.

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