Marquez and Bagnaia disagree over Portimao MotoGP clash


MotoGP championship protagonists Pecco Bagnaia and Marc Marquez have made it clear they don’t see eye-to-eye over their race-ruining Portuguese Grand Prix collision – even if they kept their disagreement civil.

Two-time champion Bagnaia and six-time champion Marquez clashed in what was only their second race as Ducati stablemates, while battling for what was then fifth place after both were overtaken by rookie Pedro Acosta.

Marc Marquez and Pecco Bagnaia, MotoGP

Marquez lunged at Bagnaia – who was particularly struggling for turn-in at Turns 4 and Turn 5 – at the latter corner, a hairpin-like, slightly-downhill left-hander, on lap 23 of 25.

He went out wide but tried to get back on his line, while Bagnaia attempted to carry on with the same sort of line he’d run at the corner throughout (which was further from the apex than what some of his rivals were running).

It put them on a collision course and removed Bagnaia from the race on the spot, while Marquez remounted to finish an irritated 16th.

The two riders faced the MotoGP stewards after the race, and their collision was officially deemed a racing incident, meaning neither was penalised.

Both while both Bagnaia and Marquez were in agreement that it was fair to classify their collision as a racing incident, there were clear undertones of disagreement as to how to apportion the blame.

“When Marc arrived, he just tried to overtake, he went wide, I tried to cross the line, he crossed his line, and we collided,” said Bagnaia.

“Something that makes me angry, but it’s normal. It’s a racing incident and we have to move on to the next one.”

Asked what exactly made him angry, Bagnaia said it was the non-score rather than the maneouvre – but he did object to the idea that his counter-attack on Marquez could be viewed as ‘risky’.

“When he overtook me, he went wide! When a rider in front of you that is battling goes wide, what do you want to do? Overtake him again. To take more points.

“For me, from my side, wasn’t risky.”

Marc Marquez and Pecco Bagnaia, MotoGP

But ‘risky’ is exactly how Marquez saw it, with the Gresini rider making the case that Bagnaia’s main mistake wasn’t just in trying to defend the position the way he did but in doing so in that particular race situation.

“For me was a mistake for Pecco,” Marquez insisted. “But not just the incident – he tried to come back and, okay, was too optimistic, but contact can happen.

“But it was a mistake because we were fighting for fifth-sixth. Two more points, two less. And he was suffering a lot with the tyres, especially with the rear tyre.

“So in the end, when remained three-four laps, you know that you will lose the position.

“So it’s not necessary to come back in that aggressive mode. But he decided like this. The consequence is two Ducatis, zero points.”

Marc Marquez, MotoGP

Marquez also said – in a choice of words that Bagnaia is unlikely to particularly appreciate – that the Italian would “learn” from what transpired. And of how Ducati chiefs would react to the collision, he said: “They have the telemetry and they can see exactly what happened.”

But he did hint that he was fine with it being deemed a racing incident.

“When they called me into race direction, I told the stewards – it’s a racing incident, on the limit, that red line. But you must decide which is the limit.”

Marquez went to the medical centre for a check-up after the crash, but confirmed he was ultimately unhurt.



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