MotoGP to Investigate Rossi-Stoner Crash

Race marshals under criticism

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Apr. 05, 2011
MotoGP Race Direction is holding a hearing to review the crash between Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner at the April 3 Spanish Grand Prix.

The subject of the hearing is not the crash itself or what caused it, but rather the actions of race marshals in helping Rossi and Stoner rejoin the race.

The crash occurred during lap eight of the Spanish Grand Prix when Rossi low-sided at the first corner of the Jerez circuit while running inside on Stoner. The collision felled Stoner while Rossi was dragged off the track under the weight of his Ducati Desmosedici and Stoner’s Honda RC212V race bikes.

Race marshals rushed to the fallen racers with most of them helping Rossi while Stoner received much less assistance. Rossi was able to rejoin the race from the back of the pack but managed to finish in fifth place. Stoner wasn’t so lucky and had to withdraw.

Valentino Rossi Casey Stoner Jerez crash

After the race, Rossi approached Stoner to apologize, accepting responsibility for causing the crash. In his post-race comments, Stoner accepted the crash as a racing incident but described the actions of the stewards as “frustrating” and “unbelievable”, suggesting a bias in favor of Rossi.

“With the accident, I heard Valentino arriving and I wasn’t worried about anyone passing me at that point in the race so I gave him plenty of room,” says Stoner. “It was a racing incident and there’s not much we can do. What is more frustrating is the reaction of the stewards and their assistance for Valentino and not for me, it was unbelievable.”

Stoner wasn’t the only one to complain about a lack of assistance from race marshals. Marco Simoncelli, another Honda rider, crashed while in the lead a few laps after the Rossi-Stoner incident, and he made similar criticisms for the race marshals.

“The most frustrating thing about today was that I got no help at all from the marshals, unlike other riders today,” says Simoncelli. “The bike was okay and if I could have had some help I am sure I could have still had a good race.”

MotoGP Race Direction will meet with the Clerk of the Course and the Chief Marshal from the Jerez race on April 28 in Estoril, Portugal, to review the Rossi-Stoner crash. The results from the hearing will not affect the results of the Jerez race.

Related Reading
MotoGP 2011 Jerez Results