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GP Week : Issue 114
Marco Simoncelli, accused of dangerous riding before the race by Jorge Lorenzo, did his case no good at all at Estoril. The towering Italian could hardly have handed his enemies more ammunition, without even completing half a lap. His short afternoon began with a good star t from the middle of the front row. Through the first corner he was behind Lorenzo and Pedrosa and one place ahead of Stoner. Directly into a left kink, and he was sideways, almost taking Stoner down as he recovered. Turn 3 went okay, but on the way into the next corner and his tall frame was looping through the air in a massive high-sider. Luckily, he crashed alone. With everyone still packed up close it could have been so different. After his spat with Lorenzo in the pre -race Press conference (see separate news story), his devil-may- care attitude won him support from those watching. But Lorenzo remained furious, giving Spanish pressmen a list of riders who were unhappy with his barging tactics. “ The only one who doesn’t criticise is his friend Rossi,” said Jorge. Simoncelli has been warned before by Race Direction when he was in the 250 class, although not yet actually disqualified. A rear- end collision on the straight with Barbera was one controversial incident; the next year, also at Mugello, he clashed with Bautista and was again subject to close scrutiny. To some, it is simply proper motorcycle racing. To others, a risk too far. “I don’t give the other riders any presents,” he told me later that year, when I asked about his tactics. But he might find himself in trouble if he carries on this way. And having Rossi as a friend might not be enough to save him. Dangerous is as dangerous does I don’t give the other riders any presents “ MOTOGP estoril >> 27