Vinales: ‘stewards need to work hard’, turn three ‘a bas***d - Bezzecchi

Maverick Vinales believes stewards will have a lot of work on their plate after an incident-filled first MotoGP round in 2023.
Maverick Vinales, Aprilia MotoGP Portimao 2023
Maverick Vinales, Aprilia MotoGP Portimao 2023

After a chaotic MotoGP Sprint race which saw incidents involving Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini following contact at turn five, and Joan Mir crashing out after hitting Fabio Quartararo, the biggest accident of all came during Sunday’s Grand Prix. 

On lap three of the race Marc Marquez made a huge mistake under braking as he first made contact with Jorge Martin’s leg, before hitting Miguel Oliveira and knocking the home favourite off his RNF Aprilia.

A sickening crash, Marquez was quick to check on Oliveira before going to see the former KTM rider during the race.

Turn three, which almost caused other incidents throughout the weekend, is a place where these types of errors can happen, according to Vinales who claimed second behind Francesco Bagnaia.

"From my perspective, I braked quite hard and deep on that corner," started Vinales. "I saw that Marc was trying to overtake Jorge - somehow I couldn’t see all the action but it can happen in turn three. 

"Yesterday I was quite strong in turn three with Aleix and a few other riders, but it’s the most difficult point to overtake if you are riding in the 1m 38s and all the riders are fast. 

"It’s quite complicated to overtake and the contact is quite possible. The stewards need to work very hard this year, [especially] with the Sprint, I think."

Marco Bezzecchi, who was also behind the accident at the time, was another rider that spoke about the crash during the post-race press conference following his P3 finish.

Bezzecchi said: "Honestly, I didn’t really understand where they braked or nothing because I was not close enough. But I saw Marc because his colours are easier to see, he’s orange and red, so I saw him shaking a little bit and I said ‘no! It’s going to be difficult’ [to make the corner]. 

"But this corner is very bastard because you just braked five metres later and you unsettle the bike and you don’t stop. It's a shame when you have these group crashes but it can happen."

Vinales confident first MotoGP win with Aprilia will come

Although a move for the lead never materialised during the race, Vinales was able to pressure Bagnaia for large parts.

The Spanish rider put together one of his better rides since joining Aprilia, similar to that of Silverstone last season, as he remains in search of his first win since 2021.

And although Argentina is up next, the scene of Aprilia’s maiden MotoGP win with Aleix Espargaro last season, Vinales is not putting pressure on himself to achieve the same result. 

Asked about his chances heading into the Argentine Grand Prix, Vinales added: "I have been quite strong in Argentina over the years, but I don’t know. I don’t want to put anything in my head. 

"I will go there, do the job and take the maximum of the bike. What I’m sure of is that if we take the maximum from the weekend then we will be fighting in the front."

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