Rea, Redding accuse Gerloff of lack of respect after Turn 1 crash

Yamaha World Superbike rider Garrett Gerloff has been accused of a lack of respect after causing the Turn 1 collision that eliminated Toprak Razgatlioglu from Sunday's final race of the weekend at Assen.

Gerloff came under fire after making a bold inside lunge at the first corner in the second full-distance race of the weekend and making contact with fellow Yamaha man Razgatlioglu, who crashed as a result.

The incident not only earned Gerloff a ride-through penalty but also dealt Razgatlioglu's title hopes a severe blow, with the Turkish rider now trailing Jonathan Rea by 37 points in the riders' standings.

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Rea was forced out wide amid the Turn 1 chaos, dropping him to sixth on the opening lap, but the Kawasaki rider soon recovered the lost ground to complete a clean sweep of Assen wins.

The six-time world champion had previously been involved in an incident with Gerloff in the Aragon season-opener, and was also critical of the American following his first-lap collision with Ducati rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi in the following round at Estoril.

Asked for his take on the Turn 1 crash at Assen, Rea replied: "On the first lap of the race there are so many guys that need to calm the hell down. It’s a 21-lap race, and the first three corners… you can gain track position, but the [real] race is in the last three laps, not the first three.

"I don’t want to say too much, because he [Gerloff] will be super-gutted, but it’s the same guy, and there’s a common denominator… I’ve been on the receiving end. You can make a mistake once or twice, but repeating it… I feel for Toprak, because he was a victim. But that’s how racing has become.

"We’re all clever, we’re all fast riders. But there has to be an element of people making good race decisions. You have to be respectful, and the way I race is like doing to others what you would have done unto yourself.

"Racing can be close and tight and [still] respectful, you don’t have to make stupid decisions."

 

Ducati rider Scott Redding said he could see Gerloff attempting to make his move at Turn 1, and while he wasn't directly affected by the move he was critical of the Yamaha man for risking his fellow riders.

"I went into Turn 1, Garrett came up alongside me, I braked a bit late, and he broke even later than me," recalled Redding. "I thought, ‘that ain’t happening. Not a chance’. It’s like… what the f*** are you doing, risking everything in the first corner? Are you here to win races or win the first corner?

"It’s just unnecessary, you’re putting everyone at risk. You’re costing yourself the race, and someone else is on the receiving end as well. We’re meant to be world-class riders, and it’s hit-and-miss as to whether we get through the first corner. It’s like Moto3. And they are big bikes to be doing that with.

"I think it’s a respect thing. I really respect the people I race with, I know the dangers of this sport. That’s not respectful to do [what Gerloff did], you’re going in there with no emotion as a human being.

"That’s why I like racing with Jonathan, because he races hard but he has respect. With Toprak sometimes there is not the respect. With Gerloff there’s not the respect.

"And I am not saying they are bad riders, because they are absolutely amazing riders, but the problem is what the outcome [of an incident] can be.

"For Gerloff’s side, I like the guy and I get on with him, but when he puts the helmet on, sometimes I think, ‘what are you doing?’ Last year he was a rookie, but he’s done more [mistakes] this year than last year.

"Just get through the first corner, and then let's race. You get the points after 21 laps, not at Turn 1. Sure, you can gain something, but compared to what you can lose, [the risk] is too much.

"I'm one for hard racing, I never shy away from a good battle, but I keep it clean and respectful. It can happen, but [he] just needs to think a little bit."

Gerloff, who eventually crashed out of the race after his ride-through penalty, did not face the media on Sunday at Assen.

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