Christian Iddon has hit back at claims he was to blame for the collision that left Sylvain Barrier with a fractured foot at Laguna Seca, saying he has been forced to respond to 'escalating and extreme allegations'.
The Alstare Bimota rider made contact with Barrier on the exit of the final corner in Laguna Seca after the Frenchman overtook and ran wider on the exit, with the pair impacting as they returned to the racing line.
With Barrier coming down, getting caught up in his BMW and striking the wall, he was later diagnosed with a fractured foot. Iddon was able to continue, finishing ninth overall and second in the EVO class.
The British rider, however, says he has since been the subject of allegations that he was to blame for the accident – not least from Barrier himself, who claims Iddon 'struck him' - and though he chose to stay quiet initially, he feels he must now defend himself.
“I had hoped to not to need to comment on the crash of Sylvain Barrier in Laguna Seca and have so far stayed quiet,” he said in a statement. “However, following recent escalating and extreme allegations as well as poor behaviour from other parties involved, I feel I now must respond.
“The 'incident' between Sylvain Barrier and myself at Laguna Seca was nothing more than a racing incident and had it been anything more than that Race Direction would have been involved and they have not.
“Nobody in the press has been in contact with me to ask my side of what happened, and the fact is that there is no video evidence so far to support any other version of events. Therefore I find it hugely unfair for certain press personnel to be presenting an opinion as fact.
“Sylvain had tried to pass me into the final corner and ran extremely wide. I was able to accelerate well with a good line - unlike Sylvain who lost all acceleration and tried to cut my line by continuing to turn left after the exit of the turn. Our paths crossed and I was very lucky not to crash (even a piece was broken from my boot) when he collided with me. Unfortunately Sylvain fell from his machine.
“Picture evidence also shows that I gave more than ample room on the exit of the turn and was almost in the middle of the circuit, and ahead, at the point of contact.
“Despite this, I still deem it to simply be a racing incident in much the same way I deemed the start of Race 1 to have been a 'racing incident' when Sylvain hit me off the line after making a poor start and, as in the other collision, turned left to cut my line. Once again I was lucky not to crash, but I accepted the mistake and said nothing.
“Sylvain is a hugely talented racer and it is a great shame that this behaviour and these comments have occurred. Despite all of this, I do of course still wish Sylvain a full and speedy recovery.
“I understand we as a team are very much in the media spotlight, which is ever increasing, as is the number of other riders commenting on our racing. I can only take this as a huge compliment as Team Bimota Alstare, my team mate Ayrton Badovini and even myself are proving what strong competition we are now, and will be in the future."
Though neither his nor Badovini's points count due to Bimota's ineligibility to score, ninth place marked Iddon's first top ten finish in WSBK.