Motorcycle Racing

Marquez says Portugal MotoGP clash was Bagnaia’s “mistake”

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing, Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

The Ducati stablemates were battling over fifth position on lap 23 of 25 of Sunday’s grand prix at the Algarve International Circuit when they collided.

Marquez made a move for the position under braking for Turn 5 on his GP23 but ran slightly wide, opening the door for Bagnaia to come back up his inside.

The pair connected as their lines converged and both crashed, leading to non-scores as Bagnaia pulled out at the end of lap 23 and Marquez remounted to finish 16th.

The collision was investigated by the stewards but deemed a racing incident and no further action warranted, which an “angry” Bagnaia accepted.

However, Marquez feels the blame lies solely at Bagnaia’s door for their clash, because he feels there was no need for the factory Ducati rider to be so aggressive over two points this early in the season.

“Of course it’s impossible for two riders to be in agreement after one hour from the incident,” Marquez began.

“But when they come into the race direction, I said to the stewards it’s a racing incident on the very limit. But you must decide, the stewards must decide what is the limit.

“In the end, of course for me it was a mistake from Pecco, but not just the incident because in the end he tried to come back – okay, it was too optimistic and contact can happen.

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing, Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“But it was a mistake that we were fighting for fifth, sixth position – two points more, two points less.

“And he was suffering a lot, especially with the rear tyres.

“In the end when three, four laps remain you know you will lose the position, so it’s not necessary to come back in that aggressive mode.

“But he decided like this and the consequence to Ducati is zero points.”

Asked if he feels like other riders, especially now he is on a Ducati, approach racing with him differently, Marquez added: “No, I don’t think so. Or I don’t want to think this.

“Just they fight. Today, Pecco said to me that he was thinking about two more points and defending the position.

“In the first laps you need to be aggressive. In the last laps, if you are fighting for the victory maybe you can be aggressive.

“But today was not the moment to be like this. But okay he decided, and for sure he’ll learn.”

Marquez says he has so far only spoken to factory Ducati team boss Davide Tardozzi since the incident but added that…

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