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MotoGP Australia: Bradl takes responsibility but Espargaro 'angry'

"It's not easy with an Open bike and now we have one engine less and I'm really pissed off but we'll try hard again in Malaysia" - Aleix Espargaro.
Aleix Espargaro was a helpless victim of Stefan Bradl's mistake in the closing stages of the Australian MotoGP.

The German lost control of his LCR Honda under braking at the hairpin, while trying to overtake Andrea Dovizioso. Instead he hit the back of Espargaro, ending their race.

The incident happened with eight laps remaining and while Bradl immediately admitted fault it did little to improve Espargaro's mood as he missed out on an opportunity to stretch his one point lead over younger brother Pol in the championship:

"The race had been great for me because the start wasn't good but I improved my pace and overtook a lot of riders, six or seven of them, and was into P4 and keeping a good pace," said Espargaro.

"I saw that Lorenzo was having problems with the front tyres so I thought that I could fight with him and battle for the podium but I made a mistake and Pol got ahead of me and then Stefan hit me.

"It's the second time it's happened, after Indy, and it's a shame because we're battling for sixth in the championship. It's not easy with an Open bike and now we have one engine less and I'm really pissed off but we'll try hard again in Malaysia."

When asked about the incident, Bradl immediately accepted that he was at fault and deserved the penalty point handed down by Race Direction.

"I was trying to brake late to pass one guy and unfortunately I missed the line by a little bit and I had to open the brake again and I ran into Aleix," said Bradl. "I'm very sorry for it because I know that I was lucky not to be taken out by the Iannone crash, it was the exact same, so I'm really sorry. I got a penalty point from race direction and it's absolutely understandable."

The German texted Espargaro to apologise although they will have to wait until Sepang to fully clear the air.

"I was really angry but he sent me a text message and he's really sorry because he knows that it was his fault but I told him that this is racing and we'll talk in Malaysia," said Espargaro. "Nothing changes if he knows that it was his mistake, I have no points here and no points in Malaysia. I'm fighting with my brother for sixth in the championship so it's difficult.

"The bike was good because at this track power isn't the most important thing because you're never stopping the bike. I didn't feel a lack of power and I know that we'll suffer a lot in Malaysia with the two long straights."

Tagged as: Espargaro , Bradl

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