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He Said, He Said
by staff
Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The body language says it all: somebody else just ruined his day and he is not happy about it. Alvaro Bautista struts off after his collision with Valentino Rossi at Mugello.
image by Marco Guidetti

No digits were waving or pointing, but other body language in the garage made it clear that Valentino Rossi and Alvaro Bautista were thrusting blame at each other after their crash on Lap 1 at Mugello.

The right side of Bautista's Gresini Honda and left side of Rossi's factory Yamaha touched exiting the left-handed Turn 2, sending both into the barriers in Turn 3. Bautista's Honda bore most of the impact of his crash, but Rossi was flung like a rag doll into the wall, which was conspicuous because it was only covered in tires and not the most customary air fencing.

Rossi claimed clutch problems with his M1 at the start dropped him into the tail of the top 10 entering the first turn. He rode around the outside of Bautista in Turn 2 when Bautista accelerated even with Rossi and both riders made contact.

"On the second corner, I was on the outside of Alvaro, and I think Alvaro opened the throttle to close a bit the line, so that he doesn't lose position," Rossi said. "But I was already in front, so he just come into me. He say that he don't see me. It's possible."

Bautista claimed he didn't see Rossi before they touched. But Bautista did see a different reason for the crash after the race.

"Valentino and I have watched the incident back together in Race Direction, and it was just a racing incident that leaves us both with a bitter taste in the mouth, but neither of us is to blame," Bautista said. "I was on the inside, and it is very difficult to see a rider on the outside from there.

"He was taking a slightly different line, and that's why we came together."

Race Direction didn't take sides, calling the crash a "racing incident" and levying no fines or penalties.


ENDS

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