Simoncelli Fined And Warned For "Irresponsible" Move On Bautista

The 250cc race at Mugello turned into the usual thriller, with close-fought racing all the way to the flag. The passes were mostly the kind of robust hooliganism we have come to expect from the 250 class, but one move in particular went a little too far. On lap 11, while dicing for the lead with Alvaro Bautista, Marco Simoncelli exited Casanova and tried to dive up the inside of Bautista going into the Savelli corner. It was a move that was never going to be successful, but it didn't prevent him from trying the move anyway.

As Bautista cut back towards the apex of Savelli, he found Simoncelli right in his blind spot, and Bautista smashed into Simoncelli's fairing. Even worse, the collision had unbalanced both riders, and they both ran wide and off into the gravel, handing the lead of the race over to Mattia Pasini, Simoncelli rejoining 5 seconds behind Pasini, and Bautista over 9 seconds behind the leader. Both men were lucky not to have fallen, a testament to their skill and a reward for all the training both men do on motocross bikes.

The incident was serious enough for Race Direction to decide immediately to investigate the matter, and after hearing testimony from the two riders, Race Direction decided to punish Marco Simoncelli with a fine and by issuing the Italian with a warning, meaning that if he tries anything like this again, he could face suspension for one or more races.

The incident does little for Simoncelli's repuation at Mugello. Last year, the Italian swerved violently down the front straight, causing Hector Barbera to clip Simoncelli's fairing with his front brake, catapulting the Spaniard up the straight at over 250 km/h. Simoncelli received a warning for that incident too, and a year later, he is punished for a similarly harebrained move. Perhaps this time Simoncelli will have learned his lesson.

The text of the decision issued by the FIM is displayed below:

"On Sunday 31st May, during the 250cc race, rider Marco Simoncelli (ITA) rode in an irresponsible manner, causing danger to rider Alvaro Bautista (SPA), which is an infringement to the Art. 1.21.2 of the 2009 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations. The Race Direction has decided to penalize rider Marco Simoncelli with a warning as to his future conduct, which means any further incident of the same nature this year may result in a suspension and to impose him a fine of USD 5,000.

No appeal has been lodged.

The decision of the Race Direction is final."

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Comments

How many warnings in Simoncelli going to get?! He pulls a stunt like that and ends up finishing ahead of Bautista and the result is allowed to stand - it's farcical! Should've been excluded from the results in my opinion as it's hardly the first time for Simoncelli.

I already expected that they wouldn't penalize Simoncelli - they apparently never do until someone gets seriously injured. But this is not the first time he's done a stupid move like that and his reckless riding is putting others at risk. This is not a video game, they are riding at high speed and a crash after a suicide overtaking attempt like that can end up rather nasty.

The problem is that Simoncelli doesn't seem to understand why his riding is a problem and he apparently never learns from his mistakes. And I have to disappoint your hopes that he might have learned his lesson this time - after the race direction made their decision he stated that "I think I might appeal it, because it makes no sense. I thought I had enough space to overtake, but then Alvaro closed the line on me". So he even thinks that Bautista is at fault here, even though Bautista was actually on the ideal line. AND he even went so far to basically call Bautista a liar ("paraculo") for what he told the race commission! Real sportsmanship seems to be completely lost on that guy, how he can add up so many dumb moves, put other riders at risk and still think he's the cleanest rider out there is truly beyond my understanding.

Got to agree with the others. The little peckerhead won't 'learn his lesson' until he receives a proper thrashing from the stewards.

People cry about the lack of close racing in MotoGP and yet become infuriated when close racing results in an incident. I just watched Rainey and Schwantz fighting it out at Suzuka 1989. Both of these guys would have been broke if they were fine 5 grand for each incident.

But this is not really the point. I don't think people are complaining about close racing in general (it would be hella boring without that!), it's simply that that a lot of people are pissed off about the very same person being involved in weird incidents over and over again while, honestly, it doesn't seem like he can always control it. 250cc in contrast to MotoGP does have close racing on a regular basis and nobody would want to change that, it's fun to watch and a testament to the skill of the riders. The Jerez race was the best example.
But to be frank, it is a huge difference to see Aoyama and Bautista fight it out in the last lap when you know that they are both pushing extremely hard, but can still very much safely control their actions, or to see anyone fight it out with Simoncelli (or Barbera for that matter), because you're just waiting for something to happen and sadly it does more often than not. It's up to speculation if this is because they are simply overly aggressive or sometimes fail to consider the results of their actions, but I think it was Bautista who said last year that Simoncelli's ambition is sometimes bigger than his ability in the situation and this can simply become a safety risk when other riders also know that he can easily take a step over the limit again due to misjudgement.
Capirossi for example is an awesome fighter, capable of extremly close and hard overtakings, never letting go, but it is still always within the limit.

Anyhow. To cut things short, close racing is awesome and of course very much wanted as often as possible, nobody would seriously object that, but it's even better when you know that the riders involved can safely control the situation. After all it is a dangerous sport and not a video game and safety for all riders has to be assured.

Gotta say, I didn't see anything outrageous about the pass attempt. Granted, it's up to the overtaking rider to make the pass safely, but Simoncelli was right alongside Bautista when he dove down to the apex. I know it's heresey, but I think Bautista was just as much at fault. Either he knew where the other guy was, or he didn't. If the former, and he went for the apex anyway, how is that okay? If the latter, well, does anyone even have to explain why that's less than optimum?