As usual, Paolo Simoncelli is not holding back. In his regular blog, the owner of Team Sic58 Squadra Corse speaks out against the decision taken by Race Direction at the recent Portuguese GP,  which saw his team fined for having waited before sending its riders out during the final minutes of qualifying.

"There’s a lot I could say, but today I bring this to your attention, the latest invention by Race Direction, which is still headed up by my friend Freddie Spencer", begins Simoncelli.

 "Punish the riders, not the teams"

"They decided to give a 1000 € fine to me and other teams, because in their opinion we sent our riders out on track, all together and on purpose, three minutes from the end of qualifying, in order to create a blockage, the same we see at the start when everyone sets out together. And although I too do not agree with the show being put on for people at home, with riders waiting for the stronger guys in order to use the slipstream to set a time, to date there is no regulation stating when one can and cannot exit. In any case, it’s the riders who should be punished, and not the team. At such a difficult time, when we’re spending 60/70,000€ on covid testing between the CEV and the world championship (another issue up for debate) you also add the unfair Race Direction rules…."

"They always show willing when you go to their offices, they listen to suggestions and give the impression they agree with you but then in the end, they do as everyone does and as soon as your back’s turned, they do as they want. They are the most talked about trio in the paddock thanks to their decisions, and all they are doing each time is confirming our suspensions as to their senseless choices", continues Simoncelli.

"And although they later realise they’ve made a mistake, they never back down, in fact they continue along their path, undaunted. Fantastic!".

Paolo Simoncelli suggests a possible solution for the future. "The only rule that might prevent blockages, in my opinion, is to have riders heading out five seconds apart from each other, or have the much-hated superpole format. I’ve said too much already, but it’s an absurd situation that is getting on my already fragile nerves".

Frank and direct, as ever.

Translated by Heather Watson

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