Aspar Ducati rider Eugene Laverty has slammed factory Ducati racer Andrea Iannone for a ‘lack of respect,’ after the pair clashed on track during the final moments of today’s free practice at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Laverty was on his fastest lap of the day when the Italian caught and passed him – and says he was shocked afterwards when Iannone stopped alongside him during a practice start to complain about Laverty’s actions.
“He has no respect for anyone. My last lap was my fastest lap, and he had to overtake me. Then, when we stopped he told me he had to get out of my way – he told me to look where I was going and more or less let him past. If a rider is cruising I understand it, but you have to have respect for the people you’re sharing a track with.
“He’s been doing crazy things for me all year, and that was the icing on the cake. How in your head can you think it’s ok to tell another rider to leave the track? I was on my fastest lap, and I’m not going to get out of his way so he can overtake me. But for a guy who calls himself Crazy Joe he wasn’t so crazy when I raised my voce though – he quickly rode away!”
Iannone was quick to counter Laverty, though, claiming afterwards that the Northern Irishman made an aggressive move when the pair came together on track.
“I talked with him and tried to explain but maybe he didn’t understand because my English isn’t very good. I tried to explain that the next time he has to pay a little more attention the next time.
“I tried to brake very late when I pass him, because it was my fastest lap – and he braked after me. When I go inside the corner, I picked up the bike – and if I hadn’t, it would have been a complete disaster and we would have both crashed. I am not angry with him because it’s only practice, and I understand that he was pushing for a fast lap, but it’s better for him to follow me.”