Only a month into the 2010 MotoGP season and Marco Simoncelli is already courting controversy after launching a scathing attack on rivals Alvaro Bautista and Hector Barbera, labelling them as 'girls' and 'untrustworthy'.
Already considered one of the more 'colourful' characters in the paddock, the arrival of Simoncelli in MotoGP has been much anticipated since he swept to the 250GP title in 2008, the 23-year-old having acquired some friends – Valentino Rossi – and enemies – Bautista, Barbera – along the way.
Indeed, with Bautista and Barbera, two of Simoncelli's fiercest rivals in 250cc, also making the move up to MotoGP in 2010, the war of words between the trio shows no signs of abating, with Simoncelli going so far as to call them 'girls'.
“They're not hard men – they're girls,” he told Max Magazine
. “They're untrustworthy; they make things up to suit themselves. In Australia in 2008, Bautista tried to have me off, but he calculated it wrong and went down himself instead. And I can't stand Barbera!”
In a revealing interview in which Simoncelli touched upon a number of topics, the Gresini Honda rider proceeded to make the promise that he would shave off his hair should he ever win the MotoGP world title.
Furthermore, Simoncelli went on to comment about his misogynistic reputation and his opinions of women competing on the race track, claiming that 'Women who compete on the track break my balls – this is a sport for men.'
While Simoncelli's comments are unlikely to endear him to certain members of the sport, one man whom he has courted as a friend is Rossi, the multiple champion having casually mentored the youngster over the years.
Indeed, when asked whether he thought Rossi would pursue the chance to compete in Formula 1, Simoncelli said he doubted it would ever happen.
“He'll never leave MotoGP for F1. We've spoken about it, and for him too motorcycling is far more fun.”
Simoncelli has completed both MotoGP races just outside the top ten in 11th position each time. He is also classified 11th in the standings as the best placed 250GP graduate.