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Le Mans MotoGP: Marco Simoncelli defends controversial overtake

Published: 16 May 2011

Updated: 24 November 2014

Marco Simoncelli has defended himself against a renewed barrage of criticism after he was involved in a controversial incident in yesterday’s Le Mans MotoGP race that left Dani Pedrosa with a broken right collarbone.

Simoncelli and Pedrosa were contesting second place on lap 18 when they collided on the entry to the second chicane.

Trying to overtake on the outside, Simoncelli cut in front of Pedrosa and with nowhere to move, the Spaniard clipped the back of the San Carlo Gresini Honda RC212V machine.

Pedrosa was sent tumbling out and broke his right collarbone as he rolled over a raised kerb on the opposite side of the track.

Simoncelli though stayed upright but was penalised with a ride through penalty that dropped him from second to fifth as his search for a maiden MotoGP podium continues to the next round early next month at the Catalunya track near Barcelona.

The 24-year-old said: "I am unhappy about what happened because a result that was within my reach was denied and above all because of the fact that Pedrosa is hurt. In my opinion the incident went like like this Pedrosa was having a bit of difficulty. I had pulled alongside him and passed him on the previous three laps. When he passed me back I was not intentionally trying to resist, and my telemetry shows that I got on the brakes at the same point as the previous laps."

"I think that he had hit the brakes well before the corner, and I found myself on the outside of him and in front on the entry to the corner. I didn’t want to back off, so I left him with a metre between myself and the kerb in order to go in. I saw that it was tight, so I tried to adjust my position. That was when he touched my back wheel and went down. I repeat, I am unhappy about it, and I want to avoid any controversy regarding the penalty, but I believe that my ride through was a result of all the talk over the past few days."

For the exclusive thoughts from Simoncelli, see the May 18 issue of MCN.

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