MotoGP title leader Casey Stoner denied he put a risky pass on Nicky Hayden during Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.
Having run off-track while leading early in the race, Repsol Honda rider Stoner caught and passed former Ducati team-mate Hayden for fourth place into the hairpin, on lap 11 of 24.
It looked like a close pass, with Stoner just squeezing through before both riders were pushed wide on the exit. When asked by an American journalist 'the pass on Nicky, it looked like you got in there pretty hot' Stoner explained:
"Nah, I didn't get in there too hot. It's a thing that Nicky does. When you pass him he doesn't want to give up the position. It happened to me with him at Indianapolis, I think, last year.
"You go up the inside and he keeps leaning on you, and leaning on you. That's basically all that happened. I went in there with plenty of room. I could have easily made the corner if he just didn't lean on me.
"I saw him starting to tip in, starting to tip in… So I had to let my brakes off to really show him I was there, because it was like he was going to ignore that I was there."
Stoner went on to finish third, while Hayden ran off track shortly after being passed by Stoner and eventually finished seventh.