Simoncelli, boss of the Sic58 Moto3 team and father of the late Marco, also questioned what the reaction would have been like had Marquez been involved in any of the close moves, contacts and collisions at Le Mans.

Marquez had been absent from MotoGP since fracturing his thumb in the Portimao season opener, when he collided with Miguel Oliveira and was given a double long lap penalty (which ultimately wasn’t served due to his injury absence from the following round).

“At this moment, where journalists and TV often spread false alarms, but only about those they want, and risky overtakes are discussed almost to the point of absurdity, I want to ask you a question: What if Marquez had been involved?" wrote Simoncelli.

Bagnaia-Vinales Clash: Racing Incident? Le Mans Review | Crash MotoGP Podcast Episode 89

"What if he had been the cause of one of the accidents or contacts? Do you think that the media would have played it down? Let me answer, of course not! They would have burned him as they did with Joan of Arc, just to quote a French example.

“Putting aside that the Marquez accusations sound like a familiar story to me, here was a guy that after 45 days of convalescence got on a bike, with a chassis never tried before, and looked set to take pole (that in the end was claimed by a fantastic lap from Bagnaia)!

“Unlike the others, Marquez is often accused of making aggressive overtakes and unfair manoeuvres. But overtakes, tight lines close to the edge, the adrenaline and the thrills represent the essence of motorcycling, without them this sport would not exist.

“A MotoGP race like Le Mans hadn’t been seen for a long time, incredible braking, borderline overtakes… and Marquez made an amazing race that kept us glued to the screen.

“These people represent THE spectacle of motorcycling racing, and we need them in a world where football is king. So I ask myself…why don’t we enjoy the beauty of this sport and let these guys do what only a few people in the world can do?”

Marquez finished fifth in the French Sprint race and then fell while fighting to defend second on the penultimate lap of the grand prix.