Bautista and Lorenzo down in Turn 1 of the opening lap at the Assen TT ending Lorenzo’s outright lead in points.
Jorge Lorenzo launched a furious attack on compatriot Alvaro Bautista after his domination of the 2012 MotoGP world championship came to a crashing halt at Assen. Bidding for a fourth straight win for the first time in his career, Lorenzo didn’t even get to challenge beyond the first corner after he was wiped out by an out of control Bautista.
Bautista got his braking for the tight right-hander completely wrong and after losing the front while desperately trying to stop, his San Carlo Gresini Honda slammed into Lorenzo. The 2010 world champion was fortunate to walk away unscathed but he delivered a bitter attack on Bautista afterwards. Not only did he lose 25-points but the throttle on his damaged YZR-M1 stuck wide open and destroyed a brand new motor.
Lorenzo may now have to start a race later in the season from pitlane if he exceeds the permitted number of six engines in a season. Casey Stoner’s victory only rubbed salt into his wounds with the Australian’s third victory of the campaign hauling him level on points with the Spaniard.
Lorenzo was incensed with Bautista’s wild move but he also vented his frustration at the punishment issued by Race Direction. Bautista will have to start next Sunday’s German Grand Prix at Sachsenring from the back of the grid but Lorenzo felt the punishment wasn’t severe enough.
Lorenzo, who arrived in Assen brimming with confidence after successive victories in Le Mans, Catalunya and Silverstone, said: “Well it was a complete disaster, Alvaro’s move was crazy. I met him after the incident, he apologized and we shook hands but in my opinion this is not enough to justify the accident. When I made a mistake in Japan in 2005 I was penalized with a race. Race Direction told me that he will start from last position on the grid in Sachsenring but this is nothing. We hope that we will be lucky in the future that nothing will happen but if the riders are not penalized properly then they will continue to do crazy things like today. My leg is a big bruise, a big impact but nothing serious happened. Luckily for us we had a 25-point advantage or we would now be far behind. Now we are at zero with Casey so we begin again, the championship is long so let’s see what happens.”
Bautista admitted his error of judgement and was penalized by race officials for riding in an irresponsible manner.
Bautista Sorry for Lorenzo Collision
Bautista could not have been more apologetic after his reckless move at the first corner in the Dutch TT at Assen. Bautista was hauled before Race Direction and having been found guilty of riding in an irresponsible manner, he will be forced to start next Sunday’s German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring from the back of the grid. His Gresini squad appealed the sanction but the FIM Stewards confirmed the decision of the four-member Race Direction, led by Race Director Mike Webb.
Bautista admitted making a serious error of judgment and said: “Unfortunately, when I followed (Andrea) Dovizioso’s wheel I lost my braking point and hit the brakes far too late. I tried to slow the bike down, but lost grip on the front and lowsided. I am very disappointed, even more so because I took out Lorenzo in the process and that was the last thing that I wanted to happen. It was my fault that he crashed out and I apologize profusely to him for that. I hope that nothing similar ever happens again. I also apologize to my team, because they worked so hard this week, only to miss out on what could have been a great result due to this mistake.”
Team boss Gresini saw one of his riders involved in controversy for the second year in succession at Assen. A year ago Lorenzo was involved in a first lap incident with the late Marco Simoncelli and Gresini said: “It is a shame about the early crash. Alvaro really didn’t mean it. I am very unhappy, because the crash caught the world championship leader up in it. We are sad that it turned out this way and Alvaro has of course said that it was not intentional. He was trying to gain places but he lost his braking reference and hit the brakes too hard when the tires were not up to temperature. That meant that he lost grip and that he slid into Lorenzo.”