Back in the Day
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Casey Stoner has been fined $1000 for blocking fellow Honda rookie Dani Pedrosa on his final flying lap of Saturday's qualifying session at Estoril.
Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa was visibly furious after losing out on his last chance of pole and Stoner later went into the Spaniard's garage to personally apologise for the mix-up - but the young Australian still ended up with a $1000 fine for his mistake.
"I made an honest mistake and I went to Dani and apologised but I still got fined USD$1,000 and I think it is very unfair," said Casey. "I know what I did wrong - I just didn't think Dani and the other riders would catch me so fast on my slow down lap. I've never been charged for any bad riding in the past and now, after just one mistake, I get a fine."
"I appreciate that Casey came to the garage to say that he made a mistake and to apologise to me, so everything is fine," added Pedrosa.
Pedrosa and Stoner will start alongside each other on the second row of Sunday's grid, in fourth and fifth places.
Meanwhile, Pedrosa wasn't the only rider to lose out - Rizla Suzuki's John Hopkins actually collided with Tech 3 Yamaha's James Ellison when the riders ahead of them began slowing.
"I am very disappointed in some of the riders that chose to sit in the middle of track, on the race line, and start arguing with each other," stated Hopper. "That is completely uncalled for and because of that my lap time got screwed up and I could have got pole, or at least been on the front row."
"There were a lot of guys going slow and I moved to keep out of the way but John came around and he had to hit the brakes really hard getting out of shape to miss everyone and his handlebar hit me pushing me into the gravel and that was it," explained James. "If it was anyone's fault it was all the guys going slow spread out over the track but at least it was right at the end of the session so I didn't lose too much. I'm ok and John came to apologise but really it wasn't his fault. Just one of those things and it was only cosmetic damage to the bike and I'm ok so no problem."
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