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GP Week : Issue 27
250 wars: Simoncelli brands Barbera “a criminal” MARCO Simoncelli, points leader in the 250 class title battle, has attacked rival Hector Barbera in an astonishing war of words, in the wake of the pair’s frequent clashes and collisions at last Sunday’s San Marino GP. At one point, one of Barbera’s moves put both of them off the track, while Simoncelli crashed out after yet another attack by the Spaniard on the final lap, remounting for a disconsolate sixth while Barbera was third. Earlier in the race, a clash between Barbera and leader Mattia Pasini put the latter out of the race, and left him fuming, although a planned protest by his Polaris World Aprilia team was scotched before it got under way. “I don’t think Barbera is a rider – he seems to be nothing more than a criminal,” the Metis Gilera rider told Pressmen as the row simmered on. “I think either he doesn’t realise what he is doing, or worse still he is aware of it, and is a jerk,”he said. Simoncelli joined Pasini in calling for sanction against the Spaniard – especially since he was given a verbal warning after he’d knocked Barbera off on the run to the flag at the Italian GP at Mugello earlier in the year. But race direction member Claude Danis repeated that Barbera had no case to answer, at least in the clash with Pasini, where extra camera angles had shown him clearly in front: “We have seen at many tracks that Barbera often takes a completely different corner line to the other riders,” said Danis. “When this happens, it is sometimes inevitable that riders clash.”