Aleix Espargaro on Marc Marquez’s crash: “They have to ban him for one race"

Aleix Espargaro has called for Marc Marquez to be banned for at least one grand prix after his incident at the Portuguese MotoGP.
Aleix Espargaro on Marc Marquez’s crash: “They have to ban him for one race

A mistake from Marquez saw him clatter into the back of Miguel Oliveira, wiping them both out of the race on the third lap.

Marquez apologised and was hit by a double long lap penalty to be served at next Sunday's Argentina MotoGP - although he will now miss that race after undergoing hand surgery on an injury caused by the accident.

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Oliveira has escaped any broken bones after a nasty fall, but an angry Espargaro has called for action.

“For me, they have to ban him for one race, minimum,” he said. “Like Takaaki Nakagami in Barcelona.

“I don’t make the rules. I just hope Miguel is good. The speed he was hit at can destroy your knee.

“Brad hit my knee and I had pain for one year. So I hope Miguel is OK.”

The first race weekend of 2023 saw Espargaro’s brother, Pol Espargaro, suffer jaw and lung injuries in a crash on Friday, then Enea Bastianini broke his shoulder blade after an incident with Luca Marini.

Yet Joan Mir, who made contact with Fabio Quartararo on Saturday, was given a long lap penalty which he served on Sunday.

Espargaro raged: “We have a million cameras on the bike. Why can’t they see these cameras and analyse it? We are 20 riders, not 100.

“The action between Joan and Fabio, and Luca and [Enea], was the same.

“Why did Joan get a penalty but Alex Marquez didn’t? I’m not saying Joan should get a penalty. But if one gets a penalty, the other must.”

Espargaro said about Sunday’s race: “I did  a good start then Binder hit me. I don’t know why he didn’t receive a penalty.

“I hope he can receive a penalty.

“Also, I don’t understand  why [Saturday’s] action between Alex Marquez and my teammate didn’t receive a [penalty].”

Aprilia rider Espargaro finished ninth in Portimao in the season-opening race.

“I am very happy about my physical condition,” he said. “I had doubts because in Malaysia I didn’t feel good, at at the test I had a problem with my arm.

“In the last laps I was relaxed, the guys in front were slower but I couldn’t overtake.

“But mentally? This new format is tough. This is because it’s different so we will get used to it. Every session is important, the only free session is 20 minutes on Saturday. The most important session has no point - qualifying.

“It’s not about speed - if you can’t do a good qualifying, there’s nothing you can do.

“My position in the race was my fault because I f***** up in qualifying.”

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