Espargaro criticised for provocative Morbidelli reply: “No-one has learned"

Aleix Espargaro has been criticised for continuing his spat with Franco Morbidelli.
Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP, Qatar MotoGP, 17 November
Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP, Qatar MotoGP, 17 November

A slap from the Aprilia rider to his Yamaha rival’s helmet on Saturday in Qatar was just the beginning of an ongoing bust-up.

Morbidelli accused Espargaro of “disrespect” and asked: “I wonder what he will say to his kids?”

Espargaro apologised for the slap but fumed that Morbidelli had “crossed a sacred line” by mentioning his family.

TNT Sports’ Sylvain Guintoli said about Espargaro: “[Somebody needs to] chat to him, and tell him to calm down a little bit. 

“Because we don’t want anything bad to happen. 

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“When those guys are on track, you put your life at risk. 

“You don’t want that feeling between the riders. That’s not nice.”

Neil Hodgson added: “With those comments, you feel like no-one has learned a lesson. It feels like we’ve gone full-circle here.”

Suzi Perry said: “Is there ever a situation where it’s okay to lash out and hit somebody? There isn’t, in sport, is there?”

Gavin Emmett replied: “Or, ultimately, in any other job or walk of life…”

Espargaro was hit with a €10,000 fine and a six-place grid penalty for the slap.

He then injured his ankle later the same day, meaning he retired early from the Qatar MotoGP after serving his punishment.

His inclusion in this weekend’s season-finale, and the postseason test, in Valencia may come under question due to his injury.

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