Francesco Bagnaia called it “strange” that teams may be biased against someone with lots of tattoos, but Fabio Quartararo admitted he understands why some brands may have that attitude.

The Flexbox HP40 rider broke the bowtie which had become his trademark, then revealed to Spanish outlet AS that it was a message to those who judged him for his tattoos.

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"The bow tie is a message to some people inside the paddock and outside it who have labeled me this or that thing without knowing me and for having tattoos, in a discriminatory way,” he said. 

“You are not a better or worse person for having tattoos. Some saw me as a murderer for having my body tattooed, when in fact I am the same kid as when I was 16 years old and I did not wear them.

"We have the same gas with or without tattoos and I am the same person and the same elite athlete, the one who gets up in the morning to train at home, in Andorra, and having tattoos does not have to make you a better or worse person, the same as wearing a bow tie.”

Canet revealed how some teams opted against signing him due to his image.

“It turns out that we were in negotiations with several teams of various categories and some rejected me because I wore tattoos and more nonsense,” he claimed. 

“And outside the paddock I have also been crossed out as things without knowing me, because of my image. 

“I can understand that I like reggaeton and another likes hard rock, but that's why I don't treat him worse or I'm going to discriminate against him.

"What I want to make clear is that by having tattoos you are not a worse person or a bad person, far from it. You are the same person.”

Quartararo, who also has large tattoos, was asked about Canet’s claims ahead of the Thailand MotoGP and said: “For sure, he has a lot of tattoos!

“But I can understand, also, the teams.

“I know how, for some brands, it is important to have no tattoos. Some do not care.

“It is sad because he is a really strong rider.

“Hopefully, if he is ready to move to MotoGP, I hope he finds someone.”

Bagnaia added: “I think it is strange we have problems like this.

“It doesn’t mean anything if we have a lot of tattoos.

“For a team to reject you because you have tattoos? It is something I do not understand.”