Stoner slams 'lack of help' after crash
|By Toby Moody and Matt Beer
||Sunday, April 3rd 2011, 15:42 GMT
Casey Stoner says he was more upset by the lack of assistance he received from the Jerez marshals after his collision with Valentino Rossi than by the Italian's error.
Rossi fell while trying to pass Stoner for second early in the Spanish Grand Prix, with the Ducati sliding into the Honda and taking both out.
While Rossi was able to rejoin and finish fifth, Stoner had to retire - but the Australian was adamant that his bike could have continued if he had received more assistance from the track workers at the scene.
"There was no damage to my bike," said Stoner. "When I got knocked off, I switched the bike off with the kill switch. Unfortunately with our clutch system we have to have two pins to start the bike normally.
"We tried to start it a few times and I tried to move it up the gears, and I think if we'd got over the hill with more people pushing, there's a good chance we could've started the bike.
"When I looked back I had like one guy pushing me, all the rest were walking back to their posts... What am I supposed to do with that? For sure that guy was trying hard, but with one guy it's impossible - he'd be destroyed before we got over the hill.
"I think if we'd have been able to get the bike going we would have had some very good points because the bike was undamaged. We should've been able to be competitive to the end, but things happen like this.
"This is something that riders who are against Valentino have had to learn to deal with. It's completely unfair, but it's something that's happened to me in the past when I've crashed. I've had people pushing my bike off the track - even when it's perfect and I can still race. I've had to fight with marshals to get them to try and get me started again."
Stoner added: "This was a racing incident, just him losing the talent in this corner. It's disappointing for me, but for me the worst was the marshals not helping me and to completely forget me like I'm nothing, and then trying to push me off the bike basically."
The Honda rider believes the issue needs to be addressed.
"I'd like to see something done about it - not just for me but for other riders," said Stoner.
"I just think it's completely unfair. There's not enough consistency in the marshalling all around the world. There's got to be consistency with everyone, not hampering someone's race just because of popularity."
But he did not think it was worth raising his marshalling concerns in MotoGP's safety commission.
"I don't go to the safety commission anymore," Stoner said. "It's like knocking your head against a wall - nothing happens.
"You put a lot of effort in for nothing in that safety commission. There are just certain people they listen to, certain people who complain about small things."
Rossi came to the Honda pit to apologise to Stoner after the race, but the Australian was unhappy with the manner of Rossi's approach - and over the on-track error itself.
"I think if he wanted to immediately [apologise], he would have got off the bike and done it straight off the bike," said Stoner. "But he went back into the garage, I don't know why, and walked down with the helmet on.
"It was a little bit disappointing from him - such an experienced rider and pushing so hard that early in the race. He was obviously going to run wide, why try to keep the line? It was very easy to crash in these conditions.
"In racing incidents happen. We just need to think about the next race because we know we had another really good chance to win the race. But it's disappointing to lose so many points so early in the season without it being my fault.
"For sure he's sorry, he's in front of the cameras. I don't blame Valentino for this, it's not his fault - it's probably the shoulder or something, struggling with the braking point. I think they haven't got the best solution for that bike yet. He's struggling with this and wasn't able to run the times of the front guys. We'll see in his next races.
"But this is something I want to forget. I want to try and move on to the next race and see if we can still be competitive in Portugal."
Stoner did not feel that Rossi's move was worthy of a penalty, though.
"I've seen a lot worse overtaking in other categories and also last year when someone needs a yellow card - not a manoeuvre where somebody makes a mistake," he said.
The Australian also underlined that he was not pushing when Rossi caught and attacked him, as he was waiting for conditions to change later in the race.
"I wasn't in a hurry to stay in front of everyone in this race," said Stoner. "We knew the tyres were coming down and everyone would be in the same situation, so it was just time to stay quiet.
"I heard him coming, I gave him plenty of space, but it still wasn't enough. Maybe next time I need to put the brakes on more and let him go."