The Red Bull USGP at Laguna Seca, Round 9 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship, was filled with intense moments for many racers, especially Pramac Racing Ducati rider Aleix Espargaró.
The rookie Spaniard apologized for bumping into Alvaro Bautista on the third lap, causing the Rizla Suzuki rider to crash.
Aleix Espargaró says: “In the third lap Bautista tried to overtake me and we touched. I apologize for the accidental contact with him and his fall, I know how important it is for all the rookie to score points on all the tracks.”
By this time, Bautista seemed to have been developing a rhythm, even passing a couple of riders after starting from 14th on the grid; Espargaro started from 13th.
Alvaro Bautista says: “I felt good on the bike and at the start of the third lap I passed Espargaró on the first corner and as I made the normal line to the second turn, which is two consecutive corners, he was in the middle of the last turn and hit me in the body and I crashed. This is very disappointing because I felt really very good and had been able to overtake other riders quite easily. It has been a bad start for me here in Laguna Seca, but we must make sure we keep the hard work going at the next races.”
With three laps to go while running in the top ten, Espargaró also crashed out. That’s two consecutive weeks of DNF for both Espargaro and Bautista.
During the previous round MotoGP race at Sachsenring, both rookies were involved in the fiery crash on lap 9 with LCR Honda rider Randy de Puniet, who broke his leg and is currently out of racing action. The riders couldn’t avoid de Puniet’s bike, which burst into flames, and were unable to restart the red-flagged race.
On a brighter note, Espargaro’s teammate Mika Kallio finished within the top ten. He had a good start, and moved up four postions during the first lap. He overtook Rizla Suzuki rider Loris Capirossi on the line by just a millisecond to take ninth position.
Mika Kallio says: “Three laps from the finish I saw my teammate slipping after touching the white line with the front. I’ve not lost my concentration and I tried in every way to stay as close as possible to Loris. In the last corner exit I made my best to try to use as much I can his train and thanks to the higher top speed I managed to get ahead of him be one-thousandth the finish line. It been a very tiring weekend for me that I had never race on this track, I hope this result will serve to make a change in my season so far for poorof results.”
During the Laguna Seca MotoGP, two other riders were involved in unfortunate situations. Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, who sits in second in the championship behind leader Jorge Lorenzo, crashed out while in the lead on lap 11. Not receiving any points at Laguna slowed his progress of catching up to the Fiat Yamaha rider Lorenzo, who after winning last weekend now has a 72-point lead.
San Carlo Gresini Honda rider Marco Simoncelli also went down about two-thirds into the race while battling for eight position with his teammate Marco Melandri.
The next MotoGP race will occur at Brno in the Czech Republic Aug. 13-15.