With both Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Iannone arguing over their own versions of the incident that saw the Italian spear the world championship leader out of last weekend’s race at Catalunya, MCN sat down with the man in charge, race director Mike Webb, to get his factual account of exactly what happened when the two came together.
“When I first spoke with Iannone the first thing he said was that his data showed that he braked at the normal place and that Jorge was very slow and he couldn’t avoid him – so I looked at data from both bikes.
“Actually, what it showed was that they both braked at their normal braking points. We looked at all the laps, and they both braked in a normal manner. Iannone is telling the truth, but Jorge also did nothing unusual. Quite obviously, he was having a problem with front feel – but he was doing it all race!
“Iannone made a mistake in that he arrived faster than he thought he would to Jorge – but it’s his responsibility to avoid the guy in front, hence the penalty.”
And, while Lorenzo might have been left criticising race direction for what he deemed to be an inadequate penalty for Iannone, Webb says that the punishment awarded was standard procedure.
“Jorge put his point to me and I understand what he said, but the Stewards Panel believes we made the right decision. Iannone was given a smaller grid penalty for his crash in Argentina, because it was irresponsible riding.
“Our stated procedure this year is that repeat offences will always attract a higher penalty. He admitted he made a mistake – the same excuse, the same error, so I’m sorry but the penalty is higher – and we believe that back of the grid is sufficiently high to deter him in the future.
“Jorge believes it’s not serious enough, Andrea believes it’s vastly too severe, and we’ve landed somewhere in the middle. We’re trying to strike a balance, taking into account history, severity and intention.”