Simoncelli: "Punishment Completely Unfair"

While many people feel that Marco Simoncelli's fine, imposed for forcing Alvaro Bautista off the track in a reckless pass, was less than surprising, the protagonist himself is less than impressed. According to the Spanish sports daily, the Italian feels that the punishment was totally unjustified, and a product of the double standards applied in the 250 class.

"The punishment is completely unfair," Simoncelli said, "When the Spanish riders do this kind of thing, nothing ever happens." Speaking in the press room at Mugello, the Italian then went on to sum up a string of maneuvers pulled by Bautista, Alex Debon and Hector Barbera which disadvantaged others yet went unpunished. "The rules should be applied equally to everyone, and today's punishment was unfair," Simoncelli added.

Simoncelli acknowledged that the move he made was a mistake. "I have apologized already, but it isn't fair what's been done." Simoncelli said that he couldn't have done anything else. "If I'd have braked, I would have crashed. I tried to keep as straight as possible, but there was nothing I could do," he said.

Back to top


I think it was a racing incident not unlike Debon's crash where he took out Luthi in France. I wouldn't compare it to Barbera's old antics which are dangerous from exuberance, though he is one of my favorites to watch as he's as crazy as Lorenzo used to be. I saw the collision today as Simoncelli just coming into the pass far too fast to hold a normal line and he did what he could to stay up. It happens. Racers misjudge their abilities all the time. If they didn't every pass attempt would be a success or they wouldn't take place at all. It looked really bad because it happened in the rain and the correct action was to move as little as possible looking as if he was holding his line to hold his position. Remember that he went off track too. If he would have over-corrected or hit the brakes both he and Bautista would almost surely be in the gravel. Though it was to Bautista's great credit that he kept the bike upright through the ordeal. If folks want racing safe from such events they should just do time trials.

He's the victim. Bautista actually crashed into him instead the other way around. Everyone is out to get him and he's done nothing wrong.
I sometimes wonder what it must be like to live in his world.

Paul Butler apparently said something to him along the lines of: "When you move up to MotoGP next year we won't tolerate anything like this anymore". While I would appreciate that, I wonder if that means that the health of 250cc riders is not as important as the health of MotoGP riders...

I'm with Brookespeed... it was simply a racing incident. Yes of course he was in too hot, and it's very unfortunate that it was for the lead, rather than for 14th (the latter would have occured completely anonymously), but these things occasionally happen. If you're going to let these guys race on a wet or damp track, what do you expect?

Had Bautista failed to finish the race (and Simoncelli stepped onto the podium) then things would be different! and a penalty would be appropriate.

as Neil Spaulding said: "do we really want to discourage passing?". Does Dorna really want to remove the brave pass from racing?

Honestly though, this was not Simoncelli's fault. Yes, he was in hot but Bautista was really wide and had left the door open. Any time you do this, you have to expect that the guy right on your tail is going to stick his nose in there. Closing up your mistake right into the guy behind you is your fault.

Simoncelli actually got penalized?? Wow.... The more times I saw the replay of the incident, the more I thought both Simoncelli and Bautista were equally at fault. I think Simoncelli is sorta paying the price for his reputation as a sometimes reckless rider, which is unfortunate in this situation. Had Bautista been taken out completely due to the move, then sure...penalize Simoncelli. But not in this case.

Really? It was a wet race and Simoncelli was right in his blind spot. You usually won't expect a rider to pass you in that situation - unless he has so much more speed that he can go right past you which Simoncelli clearly didn't have, because Bautista was flying in those rounds. And you really think it was Bautista's fault?
Normally in a racing incident it is ruled that the rider behind the other rider is at fault because he can actually look ahead while the other one doesn't have eyes in the back of his head.

I wouldn't want to discourage passing other riders, because that is the whole fun part of racing - and looking back at the 250cc Jerez race this season which was absolutely amazing it would be a crying shame. But discouraging frequent dumb passings which endanger other riders an oneself would surely be a good thing. As Dr. Gellar said, Simoncelli's reputation surely played a part in the decision of the race adminstration and pretty much every other commentator said that if Bautista had crashed, things would be different. So it's about the result of the incident in your opinion, but the race administration judges on the incident itself. It is a testimony to the riders' skills and a lot of luck that neither of them crashed and personally I'm happy that this time nobody had to get hurt (like in Mugello last year) in order for something to be done about it. Do you really think that people have to get injured before it's allowed to condemn someone for his stupidity? I shudder at the thought.

It is a US$5000 fine, something I am sure he can easily afford. He wasn't docked any points and, AFAIK, has received no further penalty.

Whilst it was a racing incident, it was entirely preventable. Bautista had caught him by a couple of seconds a lap and was clearly faster, as evidenced by the rate at which he caught him up again. It is only good fortune that Bautista wasn't taken out of the race and potentially the championship. I want to see hard, close racing, not dodgems.

I am glad that the result was not affected, this isn't F1 where we need to change the result after the event.

Also interesting to see how Bautista reacted, he seemed to be very much in control of his emotions, kept his cool and will return to fight another day.

If Simoncelli is worried about Dorna favoring Spaniards, there's an Italian-dominated series that would love to have him...

Did Pedrosa get fined when he tried passing Nicky 2 years ago? He took Nicky and himself out. Did Rossi get fined when he took himself out as he attempted to pass Randy last year? Oh, I get it, you only get fined when you pass a Spaniard at the apex. Well if Dorna wants a close exciting race then aggressive passes are going to be part of the show. It looked like Bautista was going to take the turn wide. We've seen that same move that Marco did many times by many riders, just not in the rain. That's the kind of racing that makes a champion and we are willing to pay for it.

wait, are you the head of the simoncelli fanclub or something? you can't seriously go with his "it's all about the spaniards" bullcrap as well. this whole italy vs spain thing is just completely out of control by now and, quite frankly, i find it utterly ridiculous. but if you really believe in that, it only needs one counterexample to bring your "theory" down i guess. let me see. oh, that's a tough one... well, how about de angelis violently slamming into pedrosa in qatar? there you have an italian almost kicking a spaniard out after a rather overeager passing attempt. according to your theory de angelis should have been penalised. was he? (and if you tell me now that de anglis is not italian because he's from san marino, i probably won't be able to stop laughing)

nationalist theories always suck and simply never work. racers are individuals, it's absolutely unimportant which country they come from. it's just the fans who make a big deal out of where a rider comes from. but judging by your sour written "facts" about the privileging of the bad spaniards i don't think anything would convince you otherwise.

also, who is "we"? are you saying you are a member of the gilera team who actually paid the fine? or are you saying you are a current 250cc racer who's possibly gonna pay with his health? whatever it is, good luck to you sir.

This discussion doesn't need to get personal. A difference of opinion isn't a personal attack.

I am not and never have been a fan of Simoncelli and I feel the penalty was out of line. Rules need to be enforced consistently and right now it doesn't look much like they have been. Barbera has been a rolling road hazard for years - often taking action knowingly and with absolutely no regard for the safety of anyone else (entering the track by crossing, at an angle, an active racing line?) and I don't recall him ever getting fined. In fact, I can't recall any Spanish rider being fined for riding while dangerous.

This is racing, accidents happen. Riders get over-eager and that is exactly what gives is great racing - the sort of bravery that can win a race. As I have mentioned in response to other articles here, Rainey and Schwantz would have been broke after the 1989 season if fines were being handed out for this sort of pass.

I agree, this doesn't need to get personal and I didn't take the previous comment personal, I just can't stand when people make a nation thing out of this, it has been going way too far already with every media outlet hyping up the "war" between Italy and Spain. If they keep this up, it's gonna end very nasty indeed.

And btw there was a Spanish rider who's been punished for riding dangerously, in fact he's been punished the hardest way possible. Jorge Lorenzo was banned for a race in 2005 and there was a big media outcry after that as well. But this is not my point.
I agree that Barbera is a dangerous rider, I don't except him from that. But these are only two riders who currently ride without any apparent thinking process, one is Spanish, one is Italian. The Italian one happens to have been punished this year, but that DOES NOT make all Spanish riders unpunished and all Italian riders the scapegoats. If Simoncelli would have thought for a second and just shut his trap after the decision and accept it or just said that he finds it unfair in general, basta, this whole discussion wouldn't take place. But he would go ahead to fuel the fire and accuse a whole nation of being in a conspiracy to never get punished ever. You know how many Italians actually jumped on that and took it as further evidence that the Spaniards are all things that I shouldn't write here? And the Spaniards are no better, they took the fine as an insult that Simoncelli gets away with everything and practically set a bounty on his head already while also condemning the whole nation of Italy as well (except Valentino Rossi of course).
This amount of "national pride" is getting ridiculous and downright dangerous and I think it should stay out of GP racing. As I said, the riders are individuals and their nation should not be of any interest. At least it's like that for me and it simply pissed me off, it would be the same if it was Finland vs. Russia or whatever.
This has nothing to do with whether the decision from race direction was correct or not, it's just about the consequences of the decision and of Simoncelli's comments afterwards.

And sorry for the lengthy reply.