Marco Simoncelli has defended his attempt to regain second place from Dani Pedrosa at Le Mans on Sunday, which left Pedrosa with a broken collarbone and Simoncelli with a ride-through penalty.

The pair clashed moments after Pedrosa powered past the Italian along the back straight, on lap 18 of 28.

The Repsol Honda rider was on the tighter inside line heading into the following left-right Esses, and contact occurred after Simoncelli tried to ride around the outside of Pedrosa.

As the Gresini Honda rider swung into the corner he made contact with Pedrosa's front wheel, sending the 2010 title runner-up to the ground.

Simoncelli was able to continue but penalised with a ride-through by Race Direction, ending his hopes of a debut MotoGP rostrum.

However, Simoncelli insists that he braked no later than normal and gave Pedrosa room.

"I am unhappy because a result that was within my reach was denied and, above all, because of the fact that Pedrosa is hurt," began Simoncelli.

"In my opinion the incident went like this: Pedrosa was having a bit of difficulty - I had pulled alongside him and passed him. When he passed me back I was not intentionally trying to resist, and my telemetry shows that I got on the brakes at the same point as on previous laps.

"I think that he had hit the brakes well before the corner, and I found myself on the outside of him and in front on the entry to the corner. I didn't want to back off, so I left him with a metre between myself and the kerb in order to go in.

"I saw that it was tight, so I tried to adjust my position. That was when he touched my back wheel and went down."

The hard-riding Italian has been the subject of recent criticism for his aggressive riding, something Simoncelli thinks played a major factor in his penalty.

"I repeat that I am unhappy about it, and I want to avoid any controversy regarding penalisation, but I believe that my ride-through was a result of all the talk over the past few days. Now I have to focus on Barcelona."

Team manager Fausto Gresini also felt the penalty was unjust.

"I believe in the good intentions of our riders. This was a racing incident that could happen at any time, and in which Marco had passed Pedrosa," said the former world champion.

"I think he was not responsible for causing the accident. We are obviously very displeased, above all with the fact that Dani is injured.

"It wasn't intentional, and I think that all the controversy beforehand has fanned the flames of an unpleasant situation.

"Marco really deserved a podium and second place. Unfortunately, for various reasons it didn't happen, but we will make that our goal for Barcelona."



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