Not for the first time in 2016 Andrea Iannone has incurred the wrath of a member of the MotoGP contingent after an incident with Eugene Laverty on Friday afternoon led the Northern Irishman to brand him as disrespectful.
The two Ducati men found themselves on track together in the closing seconds of FP2, with both on course to better their fastest times. With Laverty initially ahead, Iannone was frustrated in an attempt to get by.
It appears the Italian felt it would have been more beneficial for the Aspar Ducati man to move aside and follow him, something that enraged Laverty when Iannone made this suggestion.
“He has no respect for anybody,” bristled Laverty, who was seen angrily gesticulating in Iannone's direction when they both stopped for a practice start.
“I was doing my fastest lap and he had to overtake me. When I stopped he more or less told me I needed to get out of his way so then I said “What the f**k?! Are you kidding?!” He needs to have respect. If a rider is cruising and in the way then I can understand that.
“I was slower than him but that was my lap. This guy has been doing crazy things all year and that was the icing on the cake for me. How in your head can you think that is OK? To tell another rider to leave the track. For a guy that calls himself 'Crazy Joe' as soon as I raised my voice he rode away…he wasn't so crazy.
“You have to have respect for people when you are racing at 300kmph and most of the guys do because we've all been brought up doing the same thing. Since I was five years old my parents told me to have respect and I keep that same mentality.
“To be at the top level he is a role model for other guys and he shouldn't be acting that way in that position,” said Laverty, who ended the day 21st fastest.
When pressed on the incident, Iannone feigned indignation, and pointed to his level of spoken English as reason for the misunderstanding. “He said I not respect other riders,” he pondered. “Why?”
“I talk with him and I tried to explain. But my English is very bad and is possible he don't understand me very well. But for sure I try my best [to speak good English] always, but I think after the media briefing I come and try to explain more time. I think it is better.
“But no, I tried to explain Eugene the next time you pay a little bit more attention. Because when I tried to pass him, I brake very late because it was my fast lap – and he braked after me!
“But he looked [saw] me. And when I go inside corner four, I pick up the bike. If I did not pick up the bike he would be off. It would be a complete disaster because I think we would both crash.
“But no problem. I'm not angry with him and never have a problem with him because it's practice not over and I understand he push very fast for his fast lap. But is better he follow me, because he look me and stay on the rear and arrive.”
Upon learning of Iannone's comments, Laverty took to Twitter to challenge the factory Ducati man's contention that he had nearly caused a crash. “@andreaiannone29 is delusional,” he wrote. “Datalogging proved this 'incident' of his never even occurred.”
Iannone ended the day second fastest, 0.23s slower than team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.