Marco Simoncelli was adamant that he was not doing anything risky when he collided with Jorge Lorenzo on the opening lap of the Dutch Grand Prix.
The Italian has been involved in a series of incidents so far this year, and has been strongly criticised by other riders - including Lorenzo. In today's race Simoncelli lost control early on the opening lap and collected Lorenzo as he fell. Both were able to rejoin, with Lorenzo taking sixth and Simoncelli coming home 10th.
Lorenzo subsequently called for Simoncelli to receive a race ban, but the Gresini Honda rider felt the crash was a simple cold tire incident rather than a sign that he was riding impetuously.
"I tried to overtake Lorenzo in the second turn, and my feeling was I didn't take too high a risk, but I lost the rear -- I think through a cold tire, without throttle, in the middle of the corner," Simoncelli said. He readily apologized for taking Lorenzo out in the incident as well.
"I crashed and I also involved Lorenzo in the crash. I'm sorry for that, and I'm sorry for him," said Simoncelli.
Having taken pole position yesterday and been fastest in both practice sessions, Simoncelli had been confident he had the pace to win.
"The race pace today was very good, like I demonstrated in qualifying and practice," he said. "I'm so disappointed for that. Now we have to keep going and try to do our best in Mugello and try to change the wind."