Marc Marquez: I saw Pecco’s highside, the MotoGP family was very lucky today

“The scary one was Pecco” - lining up eleventh on the grid, Marc Marquez witnessed both incidents at the start of Sunday’s Catalunya MotoGP race.
Francesco Bagnaia crash, MotoGP race, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 September
Francesco Bagnaia crash, MotoGP race, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 September

The first incident was triggered when Enea Bastianini lost control on the inside kerb of Turn 1, taking out Johann Zarco, Fabio di Giannantonio, Alex Marquez and Marco Bezzecchi.

Moments later, Bastianini’s team-mate, reigning champion and race leader Francesco Bagnaia was thrown from his Ducati and landed in the middle of the track.

Brad Binder’s KTM was struck by debris from Bagnaia’s bike, with the South African then hitting the Italian’s legs. Taken to hospital in an ambulance, initial reports suggest Bagnaia has escaped serious injury.

“I saw both crashes,” said Marquez. “The first one I already saw [was going to happen] when we started to brake, because I was with Enea, more or less parallel, but he was more inside.

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“I braked late but he braked even later and I say OK we will see. And yeah, he did a mistake. So he has been penalised [long lap penalty] for it. It's not necessary to push more. Sure, he learn about it. Unfortunately I think he's injured so I hope I will recover to him.

“And then the scary one was Pecco.

“I saw his highside because normally in the first corners I like to look very far [ahead], to see what's going on. I saw the highside and immediately I rolled the gas because I already understand that the bike or the rider will be in the middle of the track.

“And yeah, I think Binder hit him. But on the leg. So all the MotoGP family were very lucky today because looks like Pecco is OK, or at least doesn't have anything very, very important. So, happy for this.”

On what may have caused Bagnaia’s violent highside, Marquez said:

“I don't ride the bike. I don't know what's happened, or if he had some issue in the electronic. I don't think so, but this morning when I tried that medium rear tyre with my bike it took a lot of time to warm the left side. So it can be this reason.

“When you are coming with a lot of confidence with the bike, when you are coming with a lot of speed in all the races, then you can have this kind of mistake because the extra confidence is a lot.”

Marc Marquez, MotoGP race, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 September
Marc Marquez, MotoGP race, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 September

Turning to his own race, Marquez said it soon became a case of ‘Drive to Survive’ after rising from eleventh to ninth on the opening lap.

“It was a race that I start and immediately, I was trying to manage the tyres front and rear. I decided to push for 2,3,4,5 laps behind that second group that was my brother, Quartararo, Miller, but immediately I saw that I was over my limits, over the limits of the bike then I start to destroy too much the front tyre and I decide to bring the bike to the box and finish the race.”

Marquez crossed the line in 13th, as the second-best rider on a Japanese bike behind Fabio Quartararo in seventh.

“Yeah, but for me that’s not important, just today the global picture is just I finished 21 seconds behind the top guy. [Reducing] this is my target for the future and we are very far," said Marquez, who had been eleventh in the Saturday Sprint race.

“Yesterday I was able to do a good Sprint race and good qualy, today was the time for Quartararo - who is also is a super talented rider - to do a great race.

“But in our garage, we suffer too much and yeah, you can save in a single lap, you can save in 10 lap race more or less, but for a long ace distance. If you don't have the pace, you don't have the pace.”

The other Hondas of Takaaki Nakagami, Iker Lecuona and Joan Mir finished in the last three places, in 15th, 16th and 17th.

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