In the time that’s passed since the race yesterday, and since my initial posting, “information has come to light” as they say, that paints a bit of a different picture in many, but not all, respects of what happened – and what’s worth taking out of it.
Firstly it turns out that it wasn’t as simple and clear-cut an incident as I (and pretty much all who witnessed it) originally believed. Several hours after the race it was posted that Alvaro had suffered an engine problem and that Simoncelli was unable to take avoiding action (as has been pointed out below in a post by “Anonymous”).
This certainly helps explain why Alvaro was able to share a man-hug in the dust immediately after the off.
And for that – and for suggesting that the incident was no more than Simoncelli riding like a complete git – I apologise.
It does not alter the fact, however, that he *was* riding like a complete git (that’s precisely the reason he “wasn’t able to take avoiding action”…). The guy was behaving like an accident waiting to happen, and the dicing across the laps was not enjoyable to watch as it is with say Mika and Alvaro – where you can enjoy 2 talented, gifted people *in control*; what was clear to see was someone not in control of his bike, riding erratically and recklessly, as I posted during the race, that you clearly felt you couldn’t trust.
I maintain that and, despite admitting that subsequent news has shown an engine problem at the centre of the incident, feel that his riding leaves a lot to be desired; I was genuinely surprised he hadn’t already wiped both of them out earlier. Nonetheless I accept that the incident was not his fault – although he may want to weigh up the balance of his skill against his ambition next time he is so close to a good result.
Perhaps the most important thing to have taken out of yesterday was Bati’s extraordinary graciousness, sportsmanship and humility in what must have been a heartbreaking moment. Even back in the box – no toys out of pram (unlike me I am ashamed to admit), no stropping or sulking – just a quiet sit-down and a “taking it all in”.
It’s no surprise there was a big roar in the middle of the podium ceremonies when he stepped out of the garages.
So there you go; a bit of a reflection and a bit of a correction.
Hope that sets the record straight and stands as a clear apology.
Time to put the crushing disappointment behind and to look forward to Estoril…
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