Ecstar Suzuki’s Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone have both expressed irritation at the first-lap shunt caused by Pol Espargaro in yesterday’s German MotoGP at the Sachsenring.
Espargaro, who had apologised for the incident, got it all wrong on the entry to turn three, clipped Iannone and then wiped out Rins.
“The race was over for me at turn three. I think Pol Espargarò should have thought a bit more about what he was doing, because there isn’t space at that corner and he was completely on the kerb - there wasn’t a line there. I heard the bike behind me and I started to pick my bike up a bit because I expected there could be contact, that manoeuvre prevented me from crashing but my bike was damaged and I lost more than 10 places,” said Iannone.
“I tried my best but it was difficult to make up positions. My lap time was not bad, I could have been in the top five to top eight places. I understand that everyone wants to push hard in the early laps, but it’s more dangerous than ever in MotoGP now and people must be careful. I have shown good pace in the last few races and I’m waiting to continue this good form in Brno.”
Rins added: “I was on my line, and it was very strange because when I changed direction to enter Turn 3 I found Pol was on the inside line, on the kerb. He touched Andrea and then he crashed and I went with him because there was no space to avoid it. I’m really sad because we worked very hard with the team all weekend and it’s disappointing to finish like this. This season has been going very well, despite the crashes in the early part of the year. We’ve been fighting a lot with the lead group and it’s nice for me and for all the team. We’re looking forward to coming back after the summer break.”
Espargaro was full of contrition, accepting full blame for the incident: “I don’t want to say I was unlucky because I generated everything. I was on the outside of the second corner and I was pushed a little wide, which is normal, but I could not avoid Iannone who was on the inside of the third corner and locking the bike a lot.
“I crashed and I was so, so sorry for Alex (Rins). It was really unfortunate that it happened there on the first lap and we didn’t get to show what we had in the pocket today. From the first practice we were trying new things and new stuff and I was not focussed on the bike that we know until this morning. We had a very good rhythm and feeling and I was ready to do a good race. It was the worst moment of the season because I think we could have shown something very interesting here at Sachsenring.”