Jorge Lorenzo and Cal Crutchlow had differing opinions of their incident during a wet first MotoGP practice session at Motegi.
LCR Honda rider Crutchlow was running behind the cruising Ducati of Lorenzo approaching the Turn 9 left-hander in the latter stages of the first free practice.
The Briton lost control of his bike under braking as he locked his front wheel in avoidance of Lorenzo, and took the Spaniard out as well, both riders ending up in the gravel.
The incident was followed by a heated argument between the two in the gravel trap – Lorenzo said that instead of apologising, Crutchlow questioned why he was going so slow.
However, the three-time champion said Crutchlow later visited him and apologised.
“Firstly, Cal didn’t apologise, actually he said why was I so slow,” said Lorenzo. “This is Cal. But he was good, after two hours he came to my office and he said sorry, he understood it was his fault.
“I was slow and he could see me in front I think he could understand it was the best line for not making any stupid thing in the first free practice.
“He braked so aggressively, too much, and he lost control of the bike. Anyway, he feels sorry and it’s okay.”
However, when asked about the incident, Crutchlow insisted Lorenzo was going too slowly and reckoned the blame should be allocated “60/40” to Lorenzo.
The Briton said Lorenzo looked back twice, so therefore knew Crutchlow was coming.
“I’m sorry for him because I hit him, and it looks like I’m completely the villain,” said Crutchlow. “But he was going really slow on the racing line.
“I was going really fast, and if you look at the rider in front of him, he brakes later than me. But I had to brake harder because I was going to hit Jorge, I locked the front on the water.
“He knew I was coming, and he was six seconds slower than his previous lap.
“I crashed into him, so it doesn’t look good for me… we’re not going to agree on the situation, for sure. I didn’t want to take him out, and it was a big crash. I think it was 50/50, more 60/40 in his favour.”
Crutchlow confirmed he visited Lorenzo after the crash, but only to make sure he is not injured, rather than specifically to apologise.
“The main thing is we’re both ok,” he said. “I’ve seen him to make sure he’s ok, and that’s it.”
Lorenzo: “Crash could’ve ended quite badly”
Lorenzo said he was initially afraid that he broke his hand in the incident, but medical check-ups confirmed he escaped the crash unharmed.
“[My hand] is good,” said Lorenzo. “I was really afraid because 20 seconds after the crash the hand was inflammated so much and I had a lot of pain so I thought it was something broken.
“Luckily, the x-ray showed no fracture so I was really happy because it could have ended quite badly. I saw it on the tv, the crash, and saw how the bike impacted me and the impact was huge.”
Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont and Jamie Klein
Source : MotorSport