Alex Marquez: ‘Nothing broken’, Pol: ‘Front gets overstressed’

Alex Marquez was forced to sit out qualifying for his home Catalunya MotoGP after a fast accident in final practice.
Alex Marquez, Catalunya MotoGP, 4 June
Alex Marquez, Catalunya MotoGP, 4 June

The LCR Honda rider, whose older brother Marc has been ruled out of the Barcelona race by recent arm surgery, lost control of his RCV through the ultra-fast final right handers.

Clearly in pain as he was helped away, and with his visor having been ripped off his helmet, Marquez was then sent for medical checks.

“Not the best feeling you can have, but not bad. I mean nothing broken. That was the most important thing.,” Marquez said. “Just a lot of contusion [bruises]. Tomorrow I’ll have another [medical] check, but I'm OK. I’m able to make the race for sure.”

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LCR boss Lucio Cecchinello raised eyebrows by suggesting Marquez may have suffered a small concussion, which under the new MotoGP rules would put him out of his home race.

“They made the normal checks with Dr Angel Charte and everything was quite normal,” Marquez said. “I will be [rechecked] tomorrow morning but I feel good now. So I think I will not have a problem to make the warm up and race.”

Of the accident itself, Marquez said it was the kind of thing that “only happens to us,” which he clarified meant something that happens “more to the Honda riders”.

“We have like no [feeling] from the front and then suddenly we lose the front, like Pol in Arrabbiata 2 in Mugello,” Marquez said.

“I mean we are struggling, about rear, about front. And it's not easy to push. I give my 110% like always, but it's really difficult to get the feedback and to understand the things.”

Pol Espargaro, Catalunya MotoGP, 4 June
Pol Espargaro, Catalunya MotoGP, 4 June

Pol Espargaro: Everything is much harder in the afternoon

With Alex Marquez sidelined, Marc’s Repsol Honda team-mate Espargaro qualified as the top Honda in tenth place on the slippery track.

“In the morning it was easier, in the afternoon it was impossible,” Espargaro said. “I couldn't stop the bike. I was wide in both fast laps in qualifying. In the first corner and I lose two times each lap there. I feel for us everything is much harder in the afternoon.”

Asked about Alex Marquez’s accident, he added: “I think everything comes from the rear, from the low grip. We do not help the front enough to stop the bike. We do not grab the asphalt with the rear tyre enough to allow the front to be a little bit less stressed.

“And I think this is crucial on these bikes. As soon as you are on the limit in the front. Especially in the time attack. You lose the front quite badly because the bike is super heavy, you are pushing and the front gets overstressed and it's super easy to lose the front in the time attack.

“So you need to help the front with something and the rear at the moment is not helping.”

While Pol continues to struggle, brother Aleix Espargaro has enjoyed a near perfect weekend so far and will start on pole position for Aprilia.

“It's very nice to see Aleix on the pole position. He’s been the fastest during all the weekend, also in one lap, in rhythm. So tomorrow he has a big chance to win,” Pol said.

“I think tomorrow if he can be patient at the beginning of the race with full tank, these tyres and the low grip, he can be very fast.

“And especially here with the high temperature, being behind the bikes, it's going make the front tyre very very hot. So if he stays in front, starting from pole, he can get some extra help.”

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