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Moto2: Pons team-mates disagree over 'synchronised fall'
21 May 2013
Sunday's French Moto2 Grand Prix featured the bizarre sight of team-mates Esteve Rabat and Pol Espargaro falling, at almost the same moment, in separate incidents at the same corner.
The pair were running second (Rabat) and third (Espargaro) at the time. Both remounted, but were left outside of the points.
Previous title leader Rabat has now dropped 24-points from Scott Redding, with pre-season favourite Espargaro a massive 35 points adrift after two non-scores in the opening four rounds.
While the double-fall looked to most like a freak incident caused by the damp conditions, Espargaro suggested that Rabat was overriding and called for the Pons team to 'relax'.
"After Tito passed me in the first corner he was long [wide]. In the second corner he was long too. I followed his line because always in the race you have to follow the line of your position. And he has crashed because there was water in the track," Espargaro told MotoGP.com
. "Not happy because we have to relax a little bit..."
Asked specifically if he felt Rabat was 'too aggressive', Espargaro replied: "Yeah sure. All team we have to be a bit more relaxed. It is a long race, not a four lap race. We have to take care about the first laps and think about the championship. All the team we have to think and we have to relax a little bit."
Presented with the 'aggressive' claim and that he had pushed too hard, too early, a surprised Rabat responded:
"No. I made a bad start. Pol and Nakagami made a good start. I don't know why he [Pol] says this, because he started unbelievably fast! He went 'full' at the beginning. Then after I overtook him I made a mistake... touched something wet and crashed. Sorry to the team."
Sito Pons, boss of the Tuenti HP 40 squad, dismissed Espargaro's suggestion of a link between the two incidents.
"Sorry, Tito pushed Pol, or did Pol crash alone? I think Pol crashed alone, no? Then I don't understand this," said the former double 250cc world champion. "This class is so competitive. Every rider races at the maximum he can. Sometimes they go over the limit. Many riders crashed today, most of them because they made a mistake. You must learn from this, everyone who makes a mistake."