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Was Dani Pedrosa right to snub Marco Simoncelli handshake?

Published: 06 July 2011

Tension between Dani Pedrosa and Marco Simoncelli was at fever pitch in Mugello last weekend as the pair came face to face for the first time since their controversial collision in Le Mans.

Simoncelli’s aggressive overtake during the French Grand Prix wrecked Pedrosa’s 2011 world title hopes after the Spaniard was left with a broken right collarbone.

Pedrosa only made his comeback last weekend in Italy but prior to the race, he’d made his feelings towards Simoncelli obvious when they sat next to each other in the pre-event press conference "He has nothing on his head but hair," was one of Pedrosa’a comments when talking about Simoncelli.

Video footage emerged later though showing Simoncelli making a peace offering handshake to Pedrosa prior to the Thursday press conference.

Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa can clearly be seen throwing his hands in the air in exasperation, with team-mate Casey Stoner and Assen MotoGP winner Ben Spies witnessing the event while they were standing in a corridor waiting to be ushered into the press conference room.

So what did they make of Simoncelli’s peace offering, and would they have declined like Pedrosa?

Both talked to MCN and 2007 MotoGP world champion Stoner said: "I think the reason Dani refused the handshake is because Marco is refusing to believe he did anything wrong. I think if Marco admitted he did something wrong then Dani would accept it. But with Marco saying it was not his fault, I completely understand Dani's reaction."

And American Spies told MCN: "I can understand all reactions after what happened in Le Mans. The thing I’ll say about Simoncelli is that he rides his heart out and he rides hard. I think he knows the mistakes he’s made and he’s been heavily criticised for it and I can understand why Dani is upset too. I’m on neither side but I can understand why some people are upset."

For more on Pedrosa and Simoncelli, see the July 6 issue of MCN