Marini: “One of my best saves, but then…”

Luca Marini’s French MotoGP race came to a violent conclusion when, moments after a big save, he was hit from behind by Alex Marquez.
Alex Marquez, Luca Marini crash, MotoGP race, French MotoGP, 14 May
Alex Marquez, Luca Marini crash, MotoGP race, French MotoGP, 14 May

The VR46 Ducati rider was back into third place, just ahead of team-mate and eventual race winner Marco Bezzecchi, when he lost the front over the Turn 4 kerbing on lap 6.

While Marini was able to get his Desmosedici upright, the speed loss meant that Bezzecchi had to take avoiding action while Marquez was left with nowhere to go.

“I touched too much the kerb on the inside of turn 4. So I lost the front, but then I was able to stand up the bike. I made one of the best saves of my life, so I was happy in that moment! But then Marquez hit me in the back,” Marini said.

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“For me it was just a racing incident. In this case it's really difficult for the riders behind. I don't blame Alex [Marquez], in his position he couldn't do anything else. He was in the process of overtaking and he was very close to me and Marco.”

The resulting impact threw both Marini and Marquez onto the ground, with the rest of the field threading through the debris.

“The incident was quite aggressive, quite hard,” Marini said. “But finally everything went fine. Just I have pain in the thumbs, like a stretched pain from the handlebars. And then also when I hit the ground with my hands. It was a big impact.

“But for Alex everything is fine, so perfect. Maybe I will make another check at home, but fortunately, we have three weeks now to rest.

“[It’s a shame] because I was feeling good. Everybody was really, really aggressive in the first laps, like every time, but I think I could do a very good race today.”

Alex Marquez crash, MotoGP race, French MotoGP, 14 May
Alex Marquez crash, MotoGP race, French MotoGP, 14 May

Alex Marquez: I was like a cat!

While Marini slid towards the outside, Marquez tumbled into the middle of the track and had to scramble to safety.

“Scary but fortunately I'm OK,” said the Gresini Ducati rider.

“Luca did a small mistake going in on the kerb and lost the front. Marco was able to not touch him for nothing. And I was behind Marco, so I didn't see anything.

“When Marco [moved] Luca was in the middle, and I was not able to avoid that crash.

“Then I was sliding and I was like a cat, trying to have somewhere to go. But everybody was so good to avoid me. So thanks to all the riders that were able to [miss] me on the inside.

“Today we lost again another potential podium chance. We have been really unfortunate, the touch yesterday [in the Sprint], the crash [with Jorge Martin] in Austin… we need to change this luck.”

Worse was to follow for Marquez when he was given a three-place grid penalty for his next event, for clipping the back of Brad Binder and also disturbing Johann Zarco on the opening lap.

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