Saturday, July 16, 2011

MotoGP Germany: Stoner disappointed with race direction decision

Stoner on the hard tyres today. He crashed before this was taken

By David Miller
Image by Repsol Media

Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner is disappointed race direction didn’t stop the opening MotoGP free practice session at the Sachsenring after he, Valentino Rossi, Toni Elias and Dani Pedrosa all crashed in the same corner within a couple of laps of each other.

All four men are very experienced racers and the Australian said the sessions should have been red-flagged in order to check what was causing the accidents instead of riders being allowed to carry on regardless.

“I was disappointed there wasn’t a red flag. After my own crash I made a mistake, whatever, but there was one after another after another and no red flag. What if all of us had got injured and we couldn’t ride for the next three races? Twelve bikes on the grid? I couldn’t believe they left it going,” said the Australian.

“It could have happened to anyone, it just caught you out that quick. For me it was definitely a cold tyre but after I’d done a couple of runs it still wanted to go that easily. I am disappointed they didn’t even check it out instead of just leaving us to keep going.”

Stoner has watched his own crash on action replays and was amazed by how spectacular it was. He went for an X-ray afterwards but nothing was found. A team insider says he was shaken up by the accident.

“You’re telling me (it was spectacular). I’ve looked at the replay and by the time it catches me the front has already gone. I’d come from the left, literally gone over to the right and it was gone. So I closed it and I’m trying to pick it up and it just wouldn’t come back and then the rear came round. I probably should have just let the front go which would have been easier than going right up and over,” Stoner added.

“Considering how big the crash was I got away reasonably lucky today. I’m bruised and hurt but it could have been a lot worse. I was expecting bike on top of me and all kinds of things but we got lucky with where we were. As you saw I wasn’t the only one with problems. With the wind an conditions today, it was tough.”

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