WorldSBK Magny-Cours: Ducati and Bautista give Rea both barrels

| | WorldSBK
Picture: GeeBee Images

Not only Alvaro Bautista but Ducati too were so incensed by what they saw as a deliberate manoeuvre from Jonathan Rea that caused Bautista’s crash and no score that they came out with some heavy verbal artillery after the race.

Bautista said, among many other things about Rea, “I think he knows very well what he did. He knows very well that he gets what he wanted to do. So, for me, no. I don’t have nothing to say to him.

‘I think he saw today that he’s very fast. He won last year, last few years, not as much as before. But I think this kind of action is not proper from a champion.

So, he won many championships and it’s unacceptable a manoeuvre like this coming from a rider like him. For me, he saw that he is very fast. He’s very brave. But he’s not a real champion because this kind of thing, a champion never does.”

Ducati WorldSBK technical boss Marco Zambenedetti even arrived in the media debrief room after race two to make an announcement in the most public way possible - in front of the assembled media.

He said, “In the end, the rider gets some points in the championship by pulling out, with a very dangerous manoeuvre, one of our riders. It’s something that I really don’t expect from a six-time world champion.

“I think it’s better if they concentrate to work inside and give to the rider a better package, so he doesn’t need to arrive to this manoeuvre. It’s simply dangerous and not a good example for all the young riders in the category.”

Rea, apologetic but having no truck with any hint of deliberate foul play, said, “I’m really sorry for that because that was really not my intention. I want to make that clear. There was zero bad intention.

“I think from the other side with emotions hot and everybody after the race, it sounded like it was in my brain before the corner. I didn’t think at turn 12, “Right, I’m going to put this guy down.” Not at all. It’s not the way I ride. I went down the inside and parked my bike and unfortunately we came together.

“I have been to see him (Bautista). Offered my apologies and tried to give my point of view. I listened to his point of view. So, for me let’s turn the page now.”