BBC BLOGS - Matt Roberts

Archives for May 2011

Simoncelli in the firing line - again

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Matt Roberts | 09:34 UK time, Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Jorge Lorenzo: "If in the future nothing happens, it's not a problem. But if in the future something happens with you, it will be a problem."

Marco Simoncelli: "Okay, I will be arrested."

That exchange at Estoril has been the talk of MotoGP in recent weeks - and Simoncelli wasted little time in putting Lorenzo's prediction to the test with an ambitious manoeuvre at Le Mans that meant disaster for one of his rivals. Although Lorenzo, the current world champion, was not on the receiving end, Spanish compatriot Dani Pedrosa was - and his subsequent crash did spell an immediate problem for the overexuberant Simoncelli.

The Italian may not have been arrested but a ride-through penalty seemed like an excessive response to the collision with Pedrosa, a knee-jerk reaction from Race Direction that has polarised opinion and caused a furore that will rumble on until the paddock reconvenes at the Catalunya circuit in a little over a fortnight's time.

While there is a school of thought that Pedrosa could have done more to prevent his own downfall, there is no denying Simoncelli was at fault. Indeed, at a time when the former 250cc world champion has been under fire from his contemporaries for his aggressive riding, even his most vocal ally, compatriot Valentino Rossi, admitted that: "This time, Simoncelli was too hard."

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MotoGP's latest rivalry whets the appetite

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Matt Roberts | 21:20 UK time, Thursday, 5 May 2011

The Estoril press room took a collective intake of breath.

Shocked journalists scribbled furiously to catch their exact words as two of the most famous names in motorsport aired their dirty linen.

It was a rivalry that had simmered for years - on the track and off it - and not for the first time it was about to boil over.

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