Angry Rins blasts stewards as “not at MotoGP level” after crash

Alex Rins has blasted MotoGP’s race stewards as being not good enough and has called for change following a Turn 1 collision with Takaaki Nakagami in the Catalan Grand Prix.

Angry Rins blasts stewards as “not at MotoGP level” after crash
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The Suzuki rider suffered a broken wrist after LCR Honda’s Nakagami crashed at Turn 1 on the opening lap and skittled both Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia and Rins.

Rins was launched into the air and landed heavily, while Nakagami will stay in overnight after hitting Bagnaia’s rear wheel with his face.

This is the second-successive collision between Rins and Nakagami, who was branded as “one of the most dangerous riders” by the Suzuki man after a clash at Mugello one week ago.

No penalty was given to Nakagami on that occasion, while the stewards deemed the Catalunya shunt as a racing incident and took no further action.

This has incensed Rins, who has called for the stewards panel to be changed.

“Well, sincerely, first of all I hope that Taka is ok because I saw him in the hospital with the face [looking] very bad,” Rins began.

“But, he cannot go like this, he cannot ride like this. You never want that a rival gets injured, but he was over the limit in that action.

“This is the first thing I want to say. But the second this is it’s unacceptable.

“I mean, we cannot go like this, the Race Direction, the stewards make zero sense in what they said by saying ‘no further action’ will happen in the race.

“For me, I already said to Freddie [Spencer] when I was in Mugello, that in my opinion they need to penalise with the same penalty [Moto3 racer Deniz] Oncu received last year [a race ban].

“But it’s crazy, but for sure today they demonstrated today on TV that the stewards are not at the level of MotoGP.

“In the end, his bike touched me and I flew so badly. I think my left wrist is broken.

“I will go now to the Dexeus Hospital to check it. But it looks bad because I cannot not move it more than this [a little].

“So, I’m so sad for the decision they take. We had an incredible pace today, but…”

Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP crash

Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP crash

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Rins added: “For sure I’m injured now, ok we’re racing at 350km/h, this is not a game.

“As I say, they are not at the level. This is all I can say, they showed that today.

“No further action, first of all Taka crossed the track a bit aggressively. If there were some riders close to him for sure he will touch them. The second one is he braked so late and he lost the front, it’s obvious.

“In this safety commission I showed to all the riders and Mike Webb, the Race Director, the action that happened in Mugello.

“Some riders were saying ‘yes, it’s Taka fault’, and some say ‘it was Rins' fault’.

“But then everyone started to talk about the stewards. For sure they are not doing their job well, it’s obvious. It’s obvious.”

Rins says he will put pressure on MotoGP to change its stewards, while branding double 500cc world champion Freddie Spencer – who head the stewards panel – as “too old” for the job.

“For sure I will put on pressure to do it,” he added.

“Forgetting about the incident in Mugello, today I’m injured, one rider took away chances for me to fight for the championship – but also Pecco.

“Pecco was there also fighting for the championship, and I think not anymore this year.

“All the three guys are there [in the stewards panel], they are not doing their job well. It’s clear.

“He [Spencer] demonstrated that he’s too old to be there. Some young people [should have the role], I don’t know, people who raced in the new era, someone who has already retired.”

Suzuki boss Livio Suppo echoed his rider’s comments, slamming the decision to label the crash as “a racing incident” as “unacceptable”

“We sent a protest to the stewards,” Suppo said.

“They checked the incident, for them it was a racing incident. For me that is not acceptable, to consider something like this a race accident.

“I think both Alex and Pecco deserve to know how big was the mistake he has done, clearly it was a mistake.

“It is very easy to check the data position of the rider, how many metres after the usual braking point he did.

“On top of this he totally crossed from the left to the right. If you speak with Pol… On TV it looked like he was very close to Pol [Espargaro].

“I think [if] race direction thinks something like this is a normal accident, we have to think about. For us it is not acceptable. A mistake can happen, but this was really big.”

Additional reporting by German Garcia Casanova

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