Andrea Iannone's pit-lane accident ended up hurting the race chances for both Suzuki MotoGP riders in Sunday's Czech Republic Grand Prix.

The Italian fell while braking to avoid Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro, who pulled out in front of him after completing his bike swap. Iannone's GSX-RR then slid into the stationary machine of team-mate Alex Rins, also yet to stop.

“As I was entering, Aleix Espargaró was leaving. To avoid each other, I had to brake on top of a draining grate; otherwise I would have hit him," Iannone said.

Espargaro apologised to both Iannone and Suzuki for the incident, for which he was punished with a three-place drop later in the race. While the Aprilia rider called for the bike-swap rules to be amended to help avoid such incidents, Iannone emphasised that the rider pulling off pit lane has priority.

"In these cases the regulation speaks clearly and Race Direction has already taken measures," he said.

Compounding Suzuki's misery was that Iannone's second bike still had a wet set-up, leaving him to finish 19th, while Rins' machine had suffered handlebar damage.

"Even if we had not had this problem, our race would have been compromised because the bike was not ready with the dry setup and this is not a matter of bad luck," Iannone said.

Rins, who crossed the finish line in eleventh, added: "After changing the bike, in the first few laps, it felt very strange and I couldn’t make sense of it. I could not keep up the rhythm I had and I did not know why.

"When I returned to the box it was explained to me that Andrea’s bike had hit my bike during the fall, and the handlebars had been damaged."

Both Suzuki riders will be back at Brno for Monday's official test.



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