Valentino Rossi warns young riders over safety

Published: 12 June 2008

Valentino Rossi has warned young riders to be more safety conscious after recent incidents in Mugello and Barcelona.

The seven-times world champion, who sits on the MotoGP Safety Commission, has expressed his concern after incidents involving Marco Simoncelli in Mugello and Alex de Angelis last weekend in Barcelona.

Simoncelli was criticised for swerving in front of Hector Barbera on the fast Mugello home straight as they jostled for the victory in the closing stages.

Barbera’s brake level clipped the rear of Simoncelli’s motorbike and the Spaniard was fortunate to escape injury when he was violently flipped over the handlebars.

Although Simoncelli was cleared of any wrong doing by Race Direction, Rossi said: “We agree to speak to Race Direction to say that it is not possible for riders to move like this on the straight so they spoke with Simoncelli.

“They will give a warning because if you change line in the straight and touch another guy it is very dangerous. All the riders in the commission agreed that they speak with Simoncelli and give like a yellow card in football, a warning.”

Factory Yamaha rider Rossi also said brake lever guards will again be looked at.

Rossi also commented on the de Angelis incident with Loris Capirossi in Catalunya, which left the Rizla Suzuki rider with a badly broken right hand.

Capirossi will miss the British MotoGP at Donington Park on June 22 and he is a doubt for the Dutch MotoGP in Holland six days later.

American superbike champion Ben Spies has been drafted in as his replacement for Donington Park.

Rossi added: “It is a pity for Loris when you have an injury. The new guys in MotoGP are very aggressive.

“Aggressive is one story but when you hit another it is more dangerous. They have to stay more quiet I think.”