24 September 2016
MotoGP Aragon: Marquez denies yellow flag recklessness
'In Silverstone 2013 it was completely my mistake but since that time I always slow down when I see a yellow flag, even when I am on a fastest lap because it is something that I realise is dangerous' - Marc Marquez.
Updated with quotes by Aleix Espargaro about the yellow flag incident involving Marc Marquez.
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez has dismissed claims that he was riding recklessly following a frightening incident during FP3 at Aragon on Saturday.
The drama unfolded when Nicky Hayden went down at Turn 14 on the Marc VDS Honda, with Pol Espargaro (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha) and Marquez, who had been lining up a pass on the brakes on Espargaro, coming off at the same corner seconds later.
As American rider Hayden's machine was being recovered by the trackside marshals, Marquez's wayward Honda slid past, while Espargaro's Yamaha collided with Hayden's Marc VDS Honda at slow speed.
Pol's brother Aleix claimed Marquez had created a dangerous situation under waved yellow flags. The Suzuki rider, who said he lost time when he braked early due to yellow flags in the afternoon qualifying, declared:
"When there is a yellow flag you need to brake a little bit early, because it means that the marshals [are there] or somebody is on the floor.
"[Marquez] crashed, so for sure he braked too late and - apart from the bike almost hitting the marshals and Nicky - he hit my brother.
"This can happen [under normal circumstances]. No problem. But the thing is that when there is a yellow flag you cannot crash, because there can be persons working in the track and if the bike hits them it can kill them very, very easily.
"And it's not the first time [with Marquez]. It was the same problem at Silverstone two years ago and we were very lucky. Second time, we were very lucky. I hope it's not going to be a third time because you just need to brake one metre earlier."
However MotoGP world championship leader Marquez denied that he had ignored the flags.
“This morning I had a big crash and I have some pain in the shoulder but [it is] okay for riding the bike. The crash was some confusion with the yellow flag because it was too late, the yellow flag, and then when I realised there was a yellow flag I tried to brake and I lost the front and I crashed. Nicky and the staff of the circuit were lucky in the end because they could run a little bit and be safe,” he said.
“In Silverstone 2013 it was completely my mistake but since that time I always slow down when I see a yellow flag, even when I am on a fastest lap because it is something that I realise is dangerous. Most of the time I do the same mistake one time, not more. This time I speak with Mike Webb and Race Direction and the problem was that in the previous corner, where normally must be the yellow flag, it was not there,” Marquez added.
“First of all, I say I didn't see and they checked all the cameras and it was not there. Then when I arrived on that brake point I was starting to overtake Pol [Espargaro] because I didn't see any yellow flag. And then when I realised there was a yellow flag, I tried to brake more to be more safe but the problem is I lost the front – it was unlucky.”
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