De Angelis apologises for first lap error
|By Michele Lostia and Matt Beer||Sunday, September 6th 2009, 13:05 GMT|
Alex de Angelis has accepted full responsibility for the first corner crash that eliminated him, Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden from the San Marino Grand Prix.
The Gresini Honda rider was trying to make up ground from seventh on the grid when he came together with Edwards' Tech 3 Yamaha, which was forced into Hayden's Ducati. All three fell and were out of the race, although they escaped injury.
"I'm sorry, not so much for my zero points, which is okay, but because I took down two other riders who were totally blameless," de Angelis told Italia1.
"I found Edwards ahead of me and he was practically standing still. I went full force on the brakes but it was not enough and I totally hit him.
"I'm really sorry, I want to personally apologise to him. Better luck next time. At the first turn I was slightly on the outside and couldn't see well the guys ahead of me. I surely had much quicker speed compared to the ones ahead and didn't manage to stop. It's a shame, the others had no fault."
Hayden reckoned de Angelis - who finished second at Indianapolis a week ago but who has lost his Gresini Honda ride for 2010 - had been trying too hard to impress.
"I knew de Angelis today, at home and looking for a job, was going to be a lot of drama," the American told the BBC. "I saw de Angelis out of the corner of my eye and I tried to gas it and get away, but I just barely got clipped at the rear. So I'm disappointed."
Edwards was similarly unimpressed with de Angelis' move.
"Everything looked okay, I got a great start, and we're in Italy so you've got deal with dumbass Italians sometimes," the Tech 3 rider told the BBC. "He just turned his brain off."
Hayden was extremely upset in the immediate aftermath of the crash and confronted de Angelis in the gravel trap. He said his frustration was compounded because he expected to have a very strong race.
"It's easy to say now, and sure maybe I wasn't going to win the race, but I really feel I could've been close for a while," said Hayden. "I'm disappointed for the team and everybody, but I seem to be 100 per cent okay, and we'll move on."