Catalunya MotoGP: Julian Simon explains celebration blunder

Published: 14 June 2009

Spaniard Julian Simon has explained the shocking blunder that cost him a home 125GP victory at the Montmelo circuit near Barcelona today.

The Aspar Aprilia rider though he had got the better of an exciting race long scrap with title rival Andrea Iannone when he began jubilant celebrations.

But he’d started his celebrations prematurely, not realising that there was still a lap remaining and that his own serious miscalculation had robbed him of a crucial 25-point haul.

He quickly composed himself to get back into podium contention and he at least looked to have salvaged a podium when he was initially awarded third.

But his dejection worsened as a photo finish ruled that team-mate Sergio Gadea had beaten him by 0.001s.

Explaining his red-faced moment, Simon said he not been reading his pitboard to calculate the number of laps remaining, but he was using a giant scoreboard on the circuit control tower on the start/finish straight.

He said: “It is a pity because I was watching the pace on every lap in order to take victory, and in the previous lap I saw L1 on the control tower, so I thought that the race was over.

"The mechanics put +0.6 on the board ahead of Iannone, and when I didn't see the chequered flag I didn't know what had happened.

"I want to apologise to my team, because they did an impeccable job over the weekend. It leaves a bittersweet taste, but the positive thing is that we are still leading the championship, we did a great race and we are on the right track.”

The mistake was a surprise gift for British rider Bradley Smith, who finished in a lowly eighth place after a tough weekend.

Instead of losing 17-points to his Aspar team-mate, he only lost five and trails Simon by just 1.5-points heading to the next race in Assen.