Andrea Iannone has been punished with a last place start for the next MotoGP round at Assen, for colliding with Jorge Lorenzo in Catalunya.
Lorenzo had faded backwards from the lead and looked set to lose fifth to Iannone, but the Ducati rider made a mistake under braking and torpedoed the Spaniard out of the race - and world championship lead - on lap 17 of 25. Click Here
for more pictures of the incident.
Fortunately neither rider was injured, but having also brought down his own team-mate Andrea Dovizioso with a fumbled last-lap pass in Argentina, Race Direction decided it was time to act and he will start from last at Assen.
Asked for their opinions on the incident, the top three in Sunday's race - Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa - all agreed that Iannone should have gone for the outside of Lorenzo once he realised he couldn't stop.
“I think that Iannone did a mistake in braking and Jorge was able to slow down the bike better. Anybody can make a mistake, but maybe in that moment what Iannone can do is try to go on the outside more than the inside,” said race winner Rossi.
“Because you arrive in one moment when you have to understand that you can't stop and you have to try to go on the outside. But, very easy to say sitting here. On the bike it's more difficult and for sure it is a shame when one rider makes a mistake and goes into the other one.”
Marquez, who now leads the world championship by ten points over Lorenzo, pointed out he had made a similar mistake last season.
“Of course it's not the first time and we know that Iannone is always pushing a lot, but this sometimes happens in racing. Last year in the same point - okay different [Turn 10] corner - I had a very similar situation but I go outside and crash alone,” said the Honda rider.
“It's difficult because it's a point where it's difficult to calculate the braking and also the line of Lorenzo, he always prepares a lot for the corner exits and it can be difficult to understand when you can attack.
“Like Valentino's says, it's a shame. When one of your main opponents does a mistake you try to take profit, but when it's like Mugello - that Valentino broke the engine - or here that was not the fault of Lorenzo, you feel a little bit disappointed.”
Team-mate and third place finisher Pedrosa agreed there was no reckless intention by Iannone, but also felt he should have tried to go to the outside.
“From what I can see there was no intention of causing a crash or making a pass, but he braked in the slipstream of Jorge, had a little movement on the rear wheel and when he lost control he chose the inside line for some reason - we don't know – and then couldn't stop the bike enough,” Pedrosa said.
“So I don't think there was intention. Just to say it is a new corner and of course like Valentino says, it's easy to say here but not so easy on the bike. The important thing is I don't think there was any intention to cause a problem. Unfortunately for Jorge it damaged his race.”
Iannone has now crashed out four times from the seven races this season, but finished on the podium twice when he has reached the chequered flag. The Italian will join Suzuki next season.