The aftermath of the crash between Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner at Jerez continues to rumble on. After Stoner accused the marshals of favoritism, not doing enough to help him rejoin the race, but assisting Rossi, Race Direction announced that they would be reviewing the evidence and holding a hearing at Estoril.
That meeting and review was held today, and afterwards Race Direction issued a statement on the incident. As expected, they found that the handling of the incident had been "safe and appropriate", and that no further action would be taken against the marshals, only recommending that the Grand Prix Commission study the situation further.
Given the rules about situations such as happened at Jerez - i.e. none, the rules merely saying that marshals must assist in making the track safe as quickly as possible, and no mention of how much help should be given to riders to either restart their bikes and help them rejoin, or remove them from the track immediately - the outcome of the meeting was inevitable. Whatever their opinion of supposed favoritism shown to one rider or the other, Race Direction had no grounds to take action against the corner workers, even if they had wanted to. Given that as a rule, the marshals work for nothing more than a free lunch and a chance to get up close and personal with the best motorcycle racers in the world, any action would have been counter-productive, merely scaring off potential volunteers.
Below is the full text of the press release, issued by the FIM:
Statement from the Race Direction
After reviewing various videos of the incident between Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner during the race of the Grand Prix of Spain on 3 April 2011 and hearing the explanation from Juan Alvarez, Director of the Circuito de Jerez, the Race Direction has decided that the behaviour of the track marshals was safe and appropriate.
The Race Direction recommends the current rules be reviewed by the Grand Prix Commission in order to study possible solutions that may results in better procedures.