2012 Assen MotoGP
The 82nd running of the Dutch Grand Prix at Assen was expected to be drama-filled as always due to the technical and tricky layout of the 2.822-mile circuit.
And this expectation proved true from the very first corner when a charging Alvaro Bautista lost the front of his San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V. The Spaniard low sided, and took out his fellow countryman Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing).
The crash was under immediate investigation, and following the Assen MotoGP, the FIM penalized Bautista.
The FIM says: “During the first lap of the MotoGP race rider Alvaro Bautista (SPA) rode in an irresponsible manner, causing danger to rider Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) which is an infringement to the article N. 1.21.2 of the 2012 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix regulations.”
The penalty means Bautista will have to start next weekend’s German Grand Prix at Sachsenring on July 8 from the last position on the starting grid. The San Carlo Honda Gresini time appealed the FIM’s decision, but the FIM Stewards say the decision is final.
Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V MotoGP) “Unfortunately, when I followed Dovizioso’s wheel I lost my braking point and hit the brakes far too late. I tried to slow the bike down, but lost grip on the front and lowsided.
I am very disappointed, even more so because I took out Lorenzo in the process and that was the last thing that I wanted to happen. It was my fault that he crashed out and I apologize profusely to him for that. I hope that nothing similar ever happens again. I also apologize to my team, because they worked so hard this week, only to miss out on what could have been a great result due to this mistake.”
Fausto Gresini, the owner of the San Carlo Honda Gresini team, also offered comment on the crash: “It is a shame about the early crash. Álvaro really didn’t mean it. I am very unhappy, because the crash caught the World Championship leader, Lorenzo, up in it. We are sad that it turned out this way and Álvaro has of course said that it was not intentional. He was trying to gain places but he lost his braking reference and hit the brakes too hard when the tyres were not up to temperature. That meant that he lost grip and that he slid into Lorenzo.”
Lorenzo, the 2010 MotoGP Champion, had the championship points lead after winning four races of six heading into Assen. But due to his DNF and his rival Casey Stoner taking his third win of the season, Lorenzo and the Repsol Honda rider Stoner are now tied with 140 points after seven of 18 rounds.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “Well, today was a complete disaster, Alvaro’s move was crazy. I met him after the incident, he apologized and we shook hands but in my opinion this is not enough to justify the accident. When I made a mistake in Japan in 2005 I was penalized with a race.
“Race Direction told me that he will start from last position on the grid in Sachsenring but this is nothing. We hope that we will be lucky in the future that nothing will happen but if the riders are not penalized properly then they will continue to do crazy things like today. My leg is a big bruise, a big impact but nothing serious happened. Luckily for us we had a 25 point advantage or we would now be far behind. Now we are at zero with Casey so we begin again, the Championship is long so let’s see what happens.”