Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Motorcycling: Anger, pain at Antonelli's death

English
© ANSA

(By Paul Virgo)
Rome, July 22 - The death of Italian motorcyclist
Andrea Antonelli at the Moscow Raceway on the opening lap of
Sunday's World Supersport Championship race has been met by
anger and pain in his homeland.
Antonelli, a 25-year-old rider for Kawasaki Go Eleven team,
lost control of his ZX-6R motorcycle on a slick track during
torrential rain.
He fell to the ground where he was struck by fellow Italian
rider Lorenzo Zanetti.
The Umbria native died from his injuries after emergency
medical treatment.
It was the latest in series of deaths to hit competitive
motorcycling in recent years and the dynamics of the fatal
accident recall that of another Italian, Marco Simoncelli, who
was killed at the race in Malaysia in the premium class, MotoGP,
in 2011.
Many riders were furious that the race in Supersport
Championship, which is a support class to the more prestigious
Superbike World Championship, was held given the weather.
"The track was not suitable for use and what happened makes
me angry," said Italian rider Marco Melandri, who won the first
of two scheduled races in the Superbike class in Moscow in
Sunday before the day's competition was abandoned after
Antonelli's death.
"You can't change destiny but something more should have
been done to prevent this.
"In the last few laps of the Superbike race, you couldn't
see anything and the bikes were impossible to manage.
"The Supersport race should have been suspended while the
situation was assessed.
"I realise that there a lot of interest in racing in places
like Russia, but we are humans and it's necessary to avoid
risks".
Former Superbike world champion Max Biaggi was not happy
about the race being held at Moscow Raceway, following criticism
of the drainage capacity of its asphalt.
"I love this sport but I'm starting to hate it," said
Biaggi, the now-retired 2010 and 2012 Superbike world champion.
"This circuit should never have been approved. MotoGP would
never race there.
"I don't understand why what is no good for the premium
class is accepted for Superbike. There shouldn't be second-tier
riders".
Organizers Dorma said there is nothing wrong with the
Moscow Raceway's asphalt and said the level of the rainfall was
not "dramatic" on Sunday.
Italian consumers' association Codacons on Monday asked
Rome prosecutors to open a probe into the accident.
Antonelli died after registering the best performance of
his career in qualifying to start fourth on the gird.
An autopsy on the rider's body is likely to be held on
Monday and the corpse should return to Italy within three days.
"I couldn't tell him not to race because he was convinced
he could get into the Superbike championship," Antonelli's
father Arnaldo, who was watching the race in Moscow when his son
died, told Rai television.
"He knew he deserved better. That's what he was fighting
for".

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