For the second time in as many races MotoGP title rivals Jorge Lorenzo
and Marc Marquez made contact while battling on track.
The pair first clashed when Marquez overtook Lorenzo at the final turn of the Spanish Grand Prix, with Lorenzo then tapping the side of Marquez during their thrilling battle for second at Sepang last weekend.
But Phillip Island saw them clash at higher-speed, when Marquez re-joined the track after his pit stop to change bikes.
“I thought that he was a little bit wide, because normally you take a tighter line, and then we touched a little bit but that was not the biggest problem in my race,” said Marquez, later black flagged for pitting outside of the ten-lap limit.
“We appeared in the same moment at the first corner,” commented Lorenzo. “If Marc had looked a little bit to the right, maybe he can let me past because the rider in the race track has the priority. But also I made a mistake and braked too late.
“So I don't know really who was at fault. I think 50-50.”
Both riders remained upright, with title leader Marquez receiving the black flag soon after. Lorenzo felt Race Direction should have taken the decision to disqualify Marquez sooner.
“I think Race Direction was too slow to show Marc the black flag,” he said. “There was a delay of three or four laps. That is a lot of time for a clear rule [infringement]. If Race Direction gave the [black flag] to Marc sooner, he would have stopped before leaving the pits and we could have avoided the incident.”
Marquez's Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa
was just behind Lorenzo when the incident occurred.
“Jorge was going very fast, 200kph and Marc 100kph less. They touched, some movement and I had to close the throttle,” said Pedrosa. “But Marc had cold tyres so anyway he would lose the position. For me it was a little too aggressive for exiting the pits in a corner like this where it is so fast... In my opinion the rider on the race track has priority over the rider exiting the pits.”
Like Yamaha team-mate Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi
- who claimed the final podium position after Marquez's disqualification - felt it was a '50-50' incident. "For me it was 50-50. Because Marc don't care, but at the same time Jorge was a bit wide."
Marquez has received three of the new penalty points for riding infringements this year. Reigning double champion Lorenzo has no penalty points.
Lorenzo is 18 points behind Marquez with two rounds to go.