Rins slams ‘super dangerous’ Nakagami move, Stewards decision

Suzuki suffered its second double DNF in a row at Mugello on Sunday, continuing the team’s points drought since the factory's decision to quit MotoGP.
Alex Rins, Italian MotoGP, 28 May
Alex Rins, Italian MotoGP, 28 May

Both Joan Mir and Alex Rins fell on the same lap 8 in Italy, Mir tumbling from 17th place at Turn 1 before Rins was eliminated from 13th following a controversial clash with Takaaki Nakagami.

After an unsuccessful attempt to pass the LCR Honda rider through the Turn 10-11 Scarperia/Palagio chicane the previous lap, Rins made a more forceful inside move next time around.

But Nakagami held firm on the outside and the pair collided as their lines crossed on the exit, sending a furious Rins down and out.

“Sincerely I don't understand what he did. I saw a video and he was out of the line," Rins said.

"The lap before I tried to overtake him in the same corner, between 10 and 11, and he [blocked] me. So the next lap I tried to push a little bit more with the throttle, to be more in front of him. He was on the outside when we exited the corner, and we impacted.

“I mean it's clear, for example Zarco made the same pass on Bezzecchi two laps to the end, Zarco put the bike [inside] and Bezzecchi had already lost the position so he rolled out a little bit the throttle.”

The FIM Stewards judged the incident to be a racing accident, a decision Rins strongly disagreed with.

“I don't understand the decision of the Stewards, they say I was not in front of him and they will not penalise him,” Rins said.

“If you ask the riders, he's one of the most dangerous guys on track in terms of overtakes. But it is what it is. Luckily nobody was close behind us, Jorge [Martin] had 0.5-1s and could avoid an impact with me."

Rins added: “I didn’t speak to Taka yet, for sure it’s something to [mention] in the Safety Commission because I think the Stewards weren't right. I went and spoke to Freddie Spencer and said to him ‘mate, you are an ex-rider, you did a lot of overtakes…’

“There is no regulation that says if someone overtook you, you need to close the throttle. It's just a thing with the riders, I mean look at Bezzecchi. Zarco overtook him and no problem, he already lost the position.

“So I don’t understand why Taka makes this. I mean it was super dangerous. In MotoGP, we don’t race like this.”

Takaaki Nakagami, Italian MotoGP, 28 May
Takaaki Nakagami, Italian MotoGP, 28 May

Nakagami: It was a racing incident

Unsurprisingly, Nakagami saw things differently and felt it was simply a racing incident, with Rins refusing to back off after failing to get ahead.

“Nothing to say because we are racing,” said Nakagami, who went on to finish in eighth place. “One lap before he came inside at exactly the same corners and I closed the door. The next lap he tried again, but I was in front of him, then on the exit of Turn 11 it was my opinion that he hit me.

“[I was] at least in front of Rins. I’m racing and I don’t want to let him pass. So it was racing and it was fair. Of course I’m really sorry about the crash and zero points, but it was a racing incident.”

Joan Mir, Italian MotoGP race, 29 May
Joan Mir, Italian MotoGP race, 29 May

Joan Mir: I prefer to stay at home!

While Rins at least felt he had the pace for a strong race, rising swift from just 23rd on the grid in the damp qualifying, team-mate Mir had made slow progress from 17th on the grid.

“What didn't happen this weekend!” Mir said afterwards. “Well, I knew that I couldn't make 23 laps with the package that we had! What happened was that I was behind Martin and another rider and then I’ve been a bit sucked in at the end of the straight. I couldn't stop well the bike, I was a bit offline and I lost the front.

“So, you know, better like that, let’s say. Because it’s not the normal feeling that we had, during all this weekend. I don't know honestly what is happening. But I was simply not able to do the speed in the corner of last year, by far.

"In the entry, I cannot stop well the bike and then I miss the corner speed, I cannot ride as I want. I lose in all the long corners that normally is our strong point.

“We have to make a big step if we want to do something because to fight in those positions, I prefer to stay at home honestly!”

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Both Mir and Rins insisted the nightmare run of results is not related to Suzuki’s decision to leave.

“We give our 100% on track,” Rins said. “I was in a meeting with all the team members. And I said to them, ‘guys, [look at] the TV, the lap times. We are there. We can fight’."

Mir added: “For sure we are living in a difficult situation. But we have the motivation to make it good. It's not that everything is done and it’s the last race. We have a championship ahead, so let’s see.”

Rins is now sixth in the world championship, 53 points from Fabio Quartararo, with Mir tenth (-66 points).

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