Moto2: Rivals attack Lorenzo start decision
Some of Jorge Lorenzo's main rivals have criticised the decision to allow the reigning 250cc champion to start today's race at Mugello even though he did not officially qualify within the 107% of pole position time cut-off
A downpour hit the second 250cc qualifying session after 15 minutes, by which time most of the frontrunners had completed laps in near-dry conditions.
But Lorenzo had yet to set a time, and his fastest lap in the wet was 12.9 seconds from Alvaro Bautista's pole. With the 107% mark set at 2:05.655, Lorenzo's 2:10.373 was some way adrift.
However the race officials waived the 107% rule for both the 125cc and 250cc qualifying sessions because the constantly changing conditions only gave riders a small window of opportunity to set a fast time.
This angered Lorenzo's championship rivals.
"Lorenzo didn't qualify," said Andrea Dovizioso. "Rules are rules and they should be respected, but in motorcycle racing there is always some way these people can start."
Polesitter Bautista felt that Lorenzo had the same opportunity to set a quick time as the rest of the field and that no exception should be granted.
"The conditions were the same for all riders," said Bautista. "We risked to make a good time, but some don't take the risk.
"I think this is the rules for all. You must have the same. The rules are the rules. If you don't do the time to classify yourself, then that is your problem."
He said he would not be taking the matter any further.
"No, I think this is more important that if one rider does not want to take the risk, he must be penalised," Bautista said.
"This is my opinion, but the Federation is the boss."
The 107% rule is primarily intended to weed out slow riders who may present a danger to themselves and the faster runners, but all the 125cc and 250cc riders were sufficiently close to the pace during the dry free practice sessions.
Lorenzo felt that waiving the 107% rule was the only logical option in the circumstances.
"If they had applied the regulation to the letter, I could have been excluded from the race, but the main concept of the rule is, in practice, to avoid admittance to all those riders unable to ride under a minimum lap time," he said.
"In the wet I've been second fastest and yesterday morning I went round in 1:53.8, therefore I wouldn't understand if my opponents want to criticise the decision taken by Race Direction."
He said he was looking forward to charging from the back in the race.
"We've made a mistake and we'll pay for it starting from the back of the grid, from a position I haven't occupied since my 125cc days," said Lorenzo.
"It will be like playing with the Playstation! There you can often win!
"It will be one of those races where you can have fun showing how much you are worth. I have a 32-point lead and this gives me great calm, even though in these moments I know it'll be incredibly hard to step on the podium."
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