Espargaro reached out with his left hand and slapped Morbidelli’s helmet after a skirmish in Saturday practice for the Qatar MotoGP.

The Aprilia rider was hit with a 10,000 fine and a six-place penalty for the grand prix but that didn’t satisfy Morbidelli.

The Yamaha rider told GPOne about Espargaro: “We all think he has a problem. 

“You’ve seen him overreacting many, many times in his career.

“He has many more episodes to be ashamed of, than to be proud of.

“I have nothing to say to him. He usually has disproportionate, exaggerated and violent reactions.

“They are bad to hold to people who work with you, and race against you.

“They are ugly because the whole world sees them.

“I remain proud of my integrity and being able to look everyone in the face.

“I haven’t had anything to say to him before and I won’t have anything to say to him in the future.

“What if he apologised? No. I think he also has nothing to say to me, other than excuses of very little value. Not aimed at me, but rather aimed at justifying himself for an inexplicable gesture.

“It’s a huge disrespect action to me.

“We should compete with each other respecting the rules.

“We should have a healthy sporting hatred towards rivals, certainly not to these levels.

“What kind of reaction is throwing a [slap] to someone slowing down for yellow flags? I don’t know…”

Espargaro’s punishment from the FIM Stewards includes bumping back his 10th-place start in the Qatar MotoGP to 16th - meaning he’s on the same row as Morbidelli, if he’s passed fit to race after fracturing his fibula in a separate clash with Miguel Oliveira.

“I feel the stewards’ decision is joking with me,” Morbidelli complained.

“Because tomorrow he is right beside me. 

“That’s playing with us, and we are not playing, clearly. That’s really not wise to do.”

Morbidelli detailed the slap incident: “We were facing the lap, Marquez crashed in Turn 2 so they gave yellow flags. Martin, in front of me, slowed down so I slowed down, as well.

“By the time we reached Turn 4, Aleix overtook me. I wanted to get back my position so I overtook him at Turn 5.

“At Turn 6 he bombed on me, almost making me and him crash.

“After his fault on me, his reaction was silly.

“As I was telling him to chill out, he had another big reaction.

“It’s something not good to see, not good to take. “But I take it, and I move forward.”