Marc Marquez: ‘Big mistake, sorry to Miguel, penalty correct’

Marc Marquez has apologised for causing the violent impact with home star Miguel Oliveira in Sunday’s Portuguese MotoGP race.
Marc Marquez, Miguel Oliveira
Marc Marquez, Miguel Oliveira

The eight-time world champion lost control under braking for the Turn 3 hairpin on lap 3, forcing him to release the brake.

Hoping to upright his Repsol Honda and run wide, Marquez instead veered towards the apex, hitting the back of Jorge Martin and then slamming into the side of Oliveira.

The RNF Aprilia rider, who had delighted his home fans by taking the early lead before settling into second behind eventual winner Francesco Bagnaia, took the brunt of the impact on his upper right leg and was in obvious pain at the side of the track.

Fortunately, X-rays didn’t show any fractures, but Martin fears he has a broken toe and possible ankle damage while Marquez was wearing a cast on his right arm when he explained the incident.

The #93 fractured a bone in his hand, requiring surgery, meaning he will miss next weekend's Argentina MotoGP.

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Before his surgery, Marquez said: “Honestly speaking, I am not worried about Argentina. Today, the most important is that Miguel is okay. Because I did a big mistake on Turn [3], in the first part, and this created everything.

“I braked and had a massive lock with the front tyre. That meant that I released the brakes. My intention was to go to the left side. But the bike stayed on a lean and I couldn’t avoid going to the right side.

“I was able to avoid Martin but couldn’t avoid Miguel. I was very worried for him because the contact was big.

“I already said it personally - but I want to say sorry to him, to his team, to the Portuguese fans. I have been penalised for that mistake with a double long lap penalty, that I completely, completely agree.

“But apart from that, I have a few injuries - my hand, my knee. We need to check. Let’s see. At the moment it’s not the most important, my situation.”

Marc Marquez, Miguel Oliveira
Marc Marquez, Miguel Oliveira

Marquez confirmed he had been using the brakes to make up for time lost due to a lack of drive grip out of the corners but insisted he had been ‘calm’ and trying to overtake Martin or Oliveira when the incident occurred.

“As you saw yesterday, the only way to do the lap time is on the brakes. And we are braking so late,” he said. “If you don’t brake late like this, you finish 10th, 11th, 12th.

“But I wasn’t attacking. Because we were not riding very very fast. I knew the race was long. I chose the medium rear tyre for the long distance. I was thinking to use the soft rear and attack in the beginning but I thought ‘okay I will keep calm’. And I was calm.

“On the first lap in that turn, I went wide alone because also I had a small lock. It was [something] that maybe also happened in the test but I was riding alone. This time unlucky for me, and especially Miguel, when I released the brakes the bike was going inside.”

'I’ve been penalised and I deserve it'

Marquez was given a double long lap penalty to be served in Argentina - but he will now miss that race anyway, due to injury. The penalty is not carried over into the next race.

Marquez added: “Of course, you never want to have these kinds of incidents. But it’s true that right now when we have a small mistake on the brakes - a lock or some movement - it is so easy to increase the speed, especially in the tight corners.

“Recently we saw this at Phillip Island [2022] for example. With Fabio Quartararo, but he was able to avoid. And my brother, who was not able to avoid Miller.

“We are braking so late. But even like this I was able to control during all weekend and you never want to crash and I don’t want to finish a race like this. But maybe that hard option in the front was not ready or something.

“But if you see I went out from Turn 1 and 2 and I was far from them. I was not even close and not thinking to overtake. So you can explain many things but in the end, it’s my mistake which caused the crash of another rider.

"So I’ve been penalised and I deserve it.”

The FIM Stewards handed Marquez the double long lap for 'being overly aggressive and causing a crash. This... is considered irresponsible riding causing a danger to other competitors.'

However, some riders, including Martin and Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, felt Marquez should have been given a harsher penalty.

“In the rules briefing on Thursday, it was that penalty,” Marquez said. “If you overtake and create a dangerous situation and you create a crash of another rider it’s a double long lap, for the first time. Then second time I think it’s a pit lane start. And third time is a ride through.

“So by the rules which they explained, it’s a double long lap penalty. But if the rules say heavier, I would accept because it was my mistake. But the rules say that the penalty is [a double long lap].”

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