Andrea Locatelli causes a stir with a controversial manoeuvre on the warm-up lap and is harshly criticised by his WSBK colleagues as a result
Even before the actual race start of the first round of the World Superbike Championship in Most, there was a heated scene. At the start of the warm-up lap, Yamaha factory rider Andrea Locatelli misjudged when braking for turn 1 and had to go through the emergency exit. Fellow countryman Michael Rinaldi was particularly annoyed by this manoeuvre.
“On the warm-up lap Locatelli made a huge mistake in turn 1. He nearly crashed into Toprak, Jonathan and me,” Rinaldi reported. “That made me very angry. I think that distracted me a bit at the real start.”
Rinaldi also clashed with Locatelli at the real start. “In turn two he was very aggressive. I had to straighten my bike to avoid crashing. I lost about four positions because of that,” the Ducati rider fretted, adding, “You should use your brain because we are risking our lives here. “
Michael Rinaldi can’t understand Andrea Locatelli’s behaviour
“I spoke to him at Parc Ferme. I don’t want to have problems with the other riders. But if other riders like to have a problem, then please do! He didn’t apologise. That’s not good,” Rinaldi scolds.
“If you make a mistake and apologise, then it’s okay. But if you want to explain yourself after such a strange manoeuvre, then you switch off your brain for the second time,” Rinaldi shoots towards Locatelli.
In Superpole, Rinaldi secured a place on the front row but was unable to convert it into a good result, finishing seventh. “Tomorrow I will give it my all because seventh places don’t do me any good at all. I will give 120 per cent – podium or gravel,” announced the Italian.
The driving style in the midfield of the Superbike World Championship annoys Rinaldi: “I always try to respect other riders. But apart from Johnny, Toprak and Alvaro, who fight hard but respectfully with each other, the other riders don’t give a shit. “
Andrea Locatelli is not impressed by Michael Rinaldi’s criticism
What does Andrea Locatelli have to say about the scene in the warm-up? “I was trying to find a reference for my braking point in lap one. I realised I was going a bit too fast, opened the brake and went on the gas. Nothing happened,” commented the Yamaha rider.
That Rinaldi is so angry, Locatelli can only understand to a certain extent. “He can have his opinion. But I was ahead of him at the end of the first lap, even though I started from P8 and he from P3. I wanted to find the limit,” he reasons, adding, “We can happily go to the stewards. “
WSBK top riders criticise Andrea Locatelli
Alvaro Bautista won the first race of the World Superbike Championship in Most. The Ducati rider was able to observe the controversial scene on the warm-up lap closely. “I don’t understand it because it’s just too dangerous to do something like that,” Bautista wondered about Locatelli. “There should be a penalty. You just can’t do that,” said the Spaniard.
“It was pretty stupid,” Jonathan Rea also notes. “A penalty is maybe a bit too harsh though. He misjudged. I don’t know if he’ll do it again. I was a bit scared, but a penalty is a bit too harsh. Maybe they should talk to him though. “