Manzi: “Ducati teams wanted me to be disqualified, mistakes happen in racing”

Stefano Manzi has hit back at Ducati after claiming all of their WorldSSP teams complained to Race Direction after his Race 1 victory in Imola.
Stefano Manzi, Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSSP Imola 2023
Stefano Manzi, Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSSP Imola 2023

Manzi completed his first WorldSSP double of the season to reduce the championship deficit to Nicolo Bulega, however, his Race 1 win wasn’t without controversy.

Fighting for the lead, Manzi made a move into turn six but clipped Federico Caricasulo on the way into the corner, which resulted in the Ducati rider crashing out.

Manzi then won the race after a red flag came out during the closing stages. But Ducati were unhappy and felt as though the Italian should have been disqualified, according to Manzi.

"I don’t know if it’s true but, according to what I heard, all the Ducati teams went to Race Direction to complain, because they wanted me to be disqualified," Manzi told GPOne. "It was gnawing at them, since I won. 

"On Saturday night, many defended me after what happened in Race 1. But some of them were against me. 

"They have to shut up and not mess with me. In the end, I still won, like I did on Saturday. 

"In racing mistakes happen, but then you apologise, as it should be. And that’s what I did."

Manzi dominated Race 1 before the red flags were deployed before going on to the same in Race 2.

Championship leader Bulega, who has so often been the rider to beat in 2023, had no answers to the pace shown by the Ten Kate Yamaha rider. 

Able to express himself more than his days in Moto2, Manzi also admitted he’s ‘politically incorrect’ which can lead to some viewing him negatively.

"I’m just politically incorrect. I don’t have to hide behind a character I’m not. If they like me, fine. Otherwise I don’t care."

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