Miguel Oliveira: ‘Sad, a shame, Marc braked too late’

After seeing a home podium slip away on the final lap of Saturday’s Sprint, Miguel Oliveira led the opening lap of Sunday’s main MotoGP race.
Miguel Oliveira, Marc Marquez
Miguel Oliveira, Marc Marquez

But the RNF Aprilia rider’s race came to a brutal end soon after, being t-boned by Marc Marquez at the Turn 3 hairpin on lap 3 of 25.

Taking the full force of the Repsol Honda on his upper right leg, Oliveira was taken to the medical centre where fractures were fortunately ruled out.

“It was very sad to finish the home GP like this, especially after doing only two laps, and in a clash kind of incident,” Oliveira said.

“I was motivated and really calm about this race because I knew I had good pace, good speed, to challenge for the top five. Since Saturday my worst place was sixth place in the warm-up so I was pretty competitive this weekend.

“It's a shame to end the race like that and also a shame that Marc got hurt.”

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Marquez denied trying to overtake Jorge Martin or Oliveira, but required hand surgery which has ruled him out of the Argentina MotoGP.

The #88 said: “He braked too late, maybe too optimistic about making the pass. He had to avoid Martin because he wasn’t going to stop enough. And then he couldn’t avoid me, for sure.

“There are no incidents that happen on purpose, this is clear. But maybe on the first couple of laps he wanted to gain positions and I think it was just the wrong place to do it.”

Marquez, given a double long lap penalty for causing the incident, immediately went to check on Oliveira’s condition and later apologised for making a ‘big mistake’.

“We met in the medical centre. At the time I hadn’t watched the images. He said that probably he had a problem on his brakes. I mean, there’s nothing I could really say.

“Of course, there is respect and obviously his apology is accepted. But, at the same time, when we have a problem with the brakes on these bikes, usually we brake a bit earlier and we don’t try to overtake. So this is the main thing. For sure, he knows this better than me.”

Oliveira said that he will undergo further scans and is sure to be sore for round two in Argentina next weekend.

“I don’t know if I will be 100 percent [in Argentina] but I will try my best. I have a big bruise on the hip on the right side, so I will treat that,” Oliveira said. “For the moment there are no fractures but there might be some ligament damage so we need to check it with an MRI.”

Martin, who was clipped by Marquez before he slammed into Oliveira, believes he has fractured a toe alongside possible ankle damage.

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