A war of words has broken out between the Honda and Ducati factory riders following the dramatic racing incident at Jerez which saw Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso crash out while fighting for second.
The drama unfolded on Lap 18, when Dovizioso, clearly frustrated at running behind a sower Lorenzo, attempted to pass his team-mate on the brakes but ran wide at Turn 6, sucking team-mate Lorenzo with him. Pedrosa, saw his opportunity, and carried a smooth line into the corner, and as Lorenzo attempted to sweep back inside he made contact with the Honda rider, causing the diminutive Pedrosa to have a massive high side. Pedrosa’s bike then cuased Lorenzo to sit up and take avoiding action, leading him to Dovizioso and all three riders hit the dirt.
A clearly angry Pedrosa slammed Race Direction for a lack of action. He said: “Regarding the race, of course it’s a great pity. I was riding well and was able to keep a very good pace, even if I wasn’t totally comfortable with the acceleration, and making passes was difficult for me.
“I was just sticking to Dovizioso and Pedrosa, trying to see if I could conserve my tyres and improve my pace at the end of the race, or if they would make a mistake.
“Finally they did, and they both went very wide. I kept the regular inside line, and the next thing I felt was a big hit, and I suffered a heavy high-side.
“Unfortunately, it ended up with the three of us crashing. I’m very sad and disappointed for all of us, as we were having a great race but ended with zero points, and also because all of us are used to a nice style of riding and didn’t deserve this result.
“However, what makes me sadder and more disappointed is that I could see that the Race Direction don’t seem to understand very well how to manage these situations, and how to make decisions about things that happen on the track.
“I went to speak with them, just because I wanted to understand how they make decisions. In the end, there are many people who watch us, and many other riders who look at us as examples. I asked them how they judge: Was I on the correct inside line? Yes. Were the other guys on the outside coming back from a mistake, re-joining the right line? Yes. So who has the preference in this case, the guy who is inside or those who are outside? The one on the inside.
“So, who was at fault? But I didn’t get an answer, only that they had already made their decision and that if I didn’t agree with it, which I don’t, to appeal against Lorenzo if I wanted. But I didn’t want that, as I don’t want Lorenzo to be penalised, only for them to understand correctly what is happening on track.”
A clearly dejected Andrea Dovizioso said: “About the incident, I braked right on the limit because I had been trying to pass Lorenzo for a few laps: I went wide and made Lorenzo go wide a bit as well, Pedrosa saw an opening and jumped in too quickly and in the end bad luck would have it that when they came together they also took me down with them.”
Jorge Lorenzo, the rider arguably most culpable in the incident, was less critical: “I’m really disappointed about the crash, especially because it involved three of the fairest riders in the world championship, and for this reason I don’t want to go into detail about what happened.
“We were for sure very unlucky and it was a racing incident: Pedrosa went in very hard but I don’t think we can blame anyone except for bad luck and I’m really sorry for Andrea and for Ducati.”
Race Direction’s Mike Webb explained his reasoning behind a lack of penalties. He said: “You could possibly apportion some blame on Lorenzo, and possibly some on Pedrosa. Lorenzo was ahead, but he’s coming in on a strange line. Pedrosa has seen a gap and gone for it, and then there’s not a gap. And he was behind.
“So where do you apportion the blame? Given all the circumstances, where they ended up on the track and what unfolded, I don’t think any of the riders made ridiculous moves that had zero chance of coming off. There were riders that ended up on the same piece of tarmac by the circumstances they were put in.
“Pedrosa saw a gap and had a go and it was no longer there. There’ll be parallels drawn to all sorts of things. A very similar incident years ago  in Barcelona with Marquez and Pol Espargaro, with a rider running wide and then coming back on track. I wasn’t Race Director at the time, but I remember it was penalised, and I remember also that the penalty was overturned by the FIM saying, that’s not a fair penalty. The rider was ahead.
“So I’m not saying that’s what we based it on. Again, I’ll say every incident is different and we have to consider them all on their own. But taking the whole set of circumstances, track positions and what was going on at the time, the reason it’s just a race incident is because two riders ended up contacting, causing a major incident, but not with any intent to do something wrong.
“It was a set of circumstances. Pedrosa tried to pass. He had a legitimate big gap waiting for him to go past. He had a go at it. The gap was no longer there by the time he got close to the other bike. That was because the other bike was coming in at a strange angle, because he’d ran wide, and been forced wide, in fact.”