Niklas Ajo (TT Motions KTM) has been disqualified from next weekend’s Moto3 race at Estoril after he pushed one of the Jerez marshals following his crash. The FIM released the following statement:
“Gran Premio bwin de España: Decision of the Race Direction
On Sunday 29 April during the Moto3 Race, rider Niklas Ajo (FIN) didn’t obey the instructions given by the track marshals and push down one of them. The Race Direction has decided to impose on the rider a disqualification from the next event in Estoril, Portugal on 4, 5, 6 May. An appeal has been lodged to the FIM Steward. The FIM Steward confirmed the decision of the Race Direction. The Decision of the Race Direction is final.”
On his Facebook page, the Finnish rider explained what happened (we personally missed this altercation) and commented the decision:
“Due to a wet spot on the track the rear end of my bike swang out from under on the third lap and I ended up to sand where I fell. However, the bike was just fine and all I needed to do was to shake the sand off and then I would have been ready to continue the race. But the clerk of the course didn’t allow me to do that and tried to take my bike away. At that situation I lost my temper a bit but there was nothing special.”
“Ok, I need to suffer my punishment but it does feel quite hard one. One should remember that riders are full of adrenaline during the competition. When I saw that the bike was fine I really wanted to continue the race.
Ajo reminded that the GP in Jerez was really unusual due to the difficult circumstances and only half of the 34 riders reached the finish line. So many crashes caused lot of work to the clerk of the courses and possible also caused some confusions. My opinion is that the jury should have taken into account that it was so unusual race.”
We won’t condone what Ajo did, but just to spice up the story a little, several race commentators noticed that it seemed that Spanish riders were being helped more readily by the marshals to return to track comparing it to last year’s Jerez Incident between Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi.