MotoGP world champion and Catalunya home hero Jorge Lorenzo has asked the Spanish fans not to hound Marco Simoncelli this weekend.
Simoncelli clashed with another Catalan hero, Dani Pedrosa, last time out at Le Mans - leaving title contender Pedrosa with a broken collarbone and Simoncelli with a ride-through penalty.
To make matters worse, the Repsol Honda rider has withdrawn from this weekend's event due to his injury. Simoncelli is expecting a harsh reception, and is reported to have received physical threats from 'fans'.
Speaking in the pre-event press conference on Thursday, Lorenzo - who had been one of the biggest critics of Simoncelli's 'aggressive' riding style even before the incident - tried to calm the situation.
"The crowd should not make an exaggeration of the situation," said Lorenzo, winner of last year's race.
"He made some mistakes. I have made some mistakes in the past. I think every rider has when overtaking. I think he will understand what he must do in the future. How he must change.
"So the people don't need to shout at him and make a bigger scenario. People must be quiet. But for sure they will not make an ovation for him.
"The person who has suffered the most damage is Dani. He 'lost' the Le Mans race because of that incident, he will lose this race and maybe he will not be able to participate at Silverstone.
"It's a very tough situation for him. We all hope Dani is back as soon as possible because he is one of the key riders.”