The penultimate chapter in the Simoncelli-Pedrosa saga (the closing chapter of which will see Pedrosa return to racing, either at Silverstone or more likely at Assen) has now been written. Marco Simoncelli has met with Race Direction to discuss the events of Le Mans, which saw Simoncelli and Pedrosa crash, injuring the Spaniard and the Italian awarded with a ride-through.
Afterwards, Race Direction issued a statement summarizing the contents of the meeting. Race Direction questioned Simoncelli about his view of the incident, to ensure that he understood the error of his ways, and that he would try to avoid a repeat of the situation. Simoncelli avowed that he had had time to think about the situation, and that he had come to see he had made a mistake, and that his statements directly after the race were a result of his emotions running high after the event. In short, Simoncelli did exactly what was asked of him, bowing to pressure from Race Direction.
The statement was one part of a general attempt to calm tempers down in the paddock. In the pre-event press conference, Jorge Lorenzo repeatedly called for calm from the Spanish fans, who had been displaying some very frayed tempers in the free-for-all of internet forums and Facebook groups. The situation did not need to become exaggerated, Lorenzo said, emphasizing that now that Simoncelli had accepted responsibility for his actions, he felt the situation was now history.
Below is the official press release from Race Direction:
Statement from the MotoGP Race Direction
Grand Premi Aperol De Catalunya
Circuit of Catalunya, Thursday June 2nd. 2011.
The Race Direction composed of Paul Butler, Race Director and IRTA representative, Claude Danis, FIM representative, Javier Alonso, Dorna representative, and Franco Uncini, IRTA Riders Safety delegate today met with San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli. Also present was San Carlo Honda Gresini Team Principal Fausto Gresini.
The purpose of the meeting was to give all the parties the opportunity to discuss the incident at the French MotoGP in Le Mans that resulted in Marco Simoncelli being penalised with a ride through penalty and to draw a line under it.
The Race Direction informed Simoncelli that they wished to ensure that he was aware of his mistake and to avoid any repetition in the future. Simoncelli responded that in the interval after the French Grand Prix he had had time for reflection and regretted the statements he had made in the heat of the moment immediately after the Grand Prix. He also recognized that he had made an error of judgment and stated that in future he would try to evaluate situations better and be a little more cautious.