'Disgusted' Ponsson says MotoGP riders forced him out of Avintia

Christophe Ponsson says he has been left feeling "disappointment and disgust" after he was denied a second MotoGP outing as Tito Rabat's stand-in at Avintia Ducati at Aragon

'Disgusted' Ponsson says MotoGP riders forced him out of Avintia

Ponsson made his MotoGP debut at Misano aboard an Avintia Ducati GP16 following Tito Rabat's horrific Silverstone crash.

Several riders raised concerns over the circumstances of Ponsson's debut, as he lapped well off the pace in practice having not tried the MotoGP bike beforehand and given his biggest previous achievement was 22nd in the 2015 World Superbike standings.

Ponsson finished the race a lap down and was expected to continue at Aragon, but Avintia then named WSBK rider Jordi Torres for the event instead.

It has now emerged that Ponsson's entry was denied by the Grand Prix Commission, which comprises representatives from series promoter Dorna, FIM, the manufacturers' association and the independent teams' association.

In a statement posted after Avintia's Torres announcement, Ponsson claimed he had signed a four-race deal with the team, only to be informed by the team ahead of Aragon that "Dorna demanded a Spanish rider".

According to the statement, Avintia explained this was down to pressure from other riders.

"The team owner explained that the decision was in large part down to Cal Crutchlow and Jack Miller, who insisted and convinced other riders to exclude me," the statement read.

"A mixture of disappointment and disgust overwhelms me, to the point where I'm wondering whether I might quit the sport for good.

"At the time of the release, I have no further explanation. I'm now going to ask for an official explanation because I need to understand this low blow.

"In Misano, all these MotoGP riders kept bragging that MotoGP was the highest-level motorcycle competition in the world, and couldn't let young riders like me - inexperienced, according to them - take part.

"I'm not sure MotoGP took good care of its image by quickly assembling a commission at the request of a few riders to deny me participation.

"I thought these kinds of small arrangements were only practiced in small private races."

Ponsson, who is a regular in Spanish Superbikes but was forced to miss a round to compete at Misano, insists that he "would never have agreed a MotoGP contract for just a race, without first doing some tests".

He said he "sacrificed" his campaign in Spain "precisely because the contract provided for four races without an exit clause".

It is understood that the deal did allow for an early return for Rabat, who has now targeted a comeback as early as in Thailand - the round after Aragon.

Autosport has contacted Dorna for a comment regarding the circumstances of Ponsson's denied entry.

shares
comments
WSBK racer Torres replaces controversial Ponsson at Avintia

Previous article

WSBK racer Torres replaces controversial Ponsson at Avintia

Next article

Scott Redding accepts his MotoGP career will end after Aprilia

Scott Redding accepts his MotoGP career will end after Aprilia
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Teams AB Motoracing , Avintia Racing
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021