31 May 2015
MotoGP Italy: Espargaro: Petrucci needs to be more careful
Suzuki rider Aleix Espargaro escapes further injury after being rammed by Pramac Ducati of Danilo Petrucci at Mugello.
Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro says he had a lucky escape after he was rammed by Danilo Petrucci on the opening laps at Mugello, bringing his race to an abrupt end.
Espargaro avoided further damage to his injured right hand after he was sent sprawling following the collision with Petrucci's Pramac Ducati, with the incident later reviewed by Race Direction.
“I'm good. I was lucky, it was a big crash because Petrucci hit me very fast but at least I'm ok,” said Espargaro.
“It was difficult to understand the situation, I was starting to brake and he hit me very hard from the back of my bike and I just flew off so I was very lucky not to hurt my hand.
“I was in Race Direction with Petrucci, he knew what he did and said sorry ten times. There is nothing I can do, it is Race Direction's job but he has to be more careful because he cannot hit me like this because it can be very dangerous. He also hit [Hiroshi] Aoyama in Argentina.”
However Petrucci said that a gearbox problem had caused his braking problem and that the technical issue can be seen on telemetry.
"I am very sorry for the contact with Aleix but unfortunately I had a problem with the gearbox that that made me lengthen braking and being unable to avoid the contact. I understand he is very angry, that's why I apologised. But telemetry confirms the problem I had."
Espargaro is now hoping for a change in fortune in the next round at Catalunya in Spain in two weeks' time after a poor run of luck in the last two races.
“My hand was good in the one lap we raced, we just had bad luck! In Le Mans we had a problem with the bike, my very big crash in the practice and then here I get hit so hopefully my luck will change in Barcelona,” he said.
“I hope for more power in Barcelona. Suzuki is working very hard and I know that there is a possibility they will bring something new there so let's keep our fingers crossed and hope we can do a good weekend.”
Reflecting on the time he did spend on the GSX-RR on track at Mugello, Espargaro said a strong chassis was a crucial component at the Italian circuit.
“Mugello is a very demanding track, also for the frame because it is a very technical track. There are fast corners which you need a very good frame for and our bike was very good this weekend,” Espargaro explained.
“In this morning's warm-up I didn't push too much and with a really old tyre I was able to do 48s so I was really confident for the race and hoping to fight for the top five with the Tech 3 Yamahas.
“This morning with no painkillers I was able to do six or seven laps without problem so I took the painkillers for the race and I felt good. During the race you don't think about the injury you just focus on the race and the adrenaline is bigger than the pain, so today the injury wasn't a problem.”
Espargaro has no plans to rest before his home Catalunya MotoGP and will instead restart his training.
“I will not rest, I have been really frustrated because in the last ten days I was on the sofa because after the injury it was not possible to train,” he said.
“In the next ten days I will train very hard to arrive in Barcelona in the best shape as it is a very important weekend for me, my home GP. I'm quite fast at Montmelo and Suzuki is working very hard to bring us some new stuff.
“I will not be riding motorbikes! I will minimise the risk with running, bicycle and a lot of gym. This weekend I felt a bit tired as I have had zero training for the last ten days and MotoGP is very demanding physically.”
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