Francesco Bagnaia says Marc Marquez move “wasn’t risky; angry with zero points”

Francesco Bagnaia gives his side of the story to the Marc Marquez clash in Portimao

Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP, Portuguese MotoGP, 24 March
Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP, Portuguese MotoGP, 24 March

Francesco Bagnaia insists that his manoeuvre against Marc Marquez - which spelled the end of his Portuguese MotoGP - was not risky.

The collision with three laps remaining of the Portimao race, over fifth-place, was investigated by stewards and deemed a racing incident.

But it caused Bagnaia to crash out and Marquez to hobble home in 16th.

Bagnaia was asked if his attempt to dive down the inside of Marquez carried risk.

He answered: “When he overtook me, he went wide. When a guy is riding in front of you, that you are battling, goes wide? What do you want to do? Overtake him again to take more points?

“From my side, it wasn’t risky.”

Bagnaia added about the dramatic clash: “When Marc arrived, he tried to overtake. He went wide. I tried to cross the line. He crossed his line. And we collided.

“It’s something that makes me angry. But it’s normal. It’s a racing incident.

“We have to move on.

“It makes me angry because I finished with zero points.

“Last year in the second race I did the same, finished with zero points because of my mistake.

“This year, because of a racing incident.

“We know that with 38 races still, the championship is very long.

“I was expecting to be more [consistent]. Not to have zero points in the second race.”

Marc Marquez, Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP Race, Portuguese MotoGP 24 March
Marc Marquez, Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP Race, Portuguese MotoGP 24 March

Reigning MotoGP champion and factory Ducati rider Bagnaia was forced to watch as title rival Jorge Martin won the Portimao race.

Martin now leads the MotoGP championship with a three-week break until the third round.

Bagnaia summed up a bad Sunday: “I was confident before the start. My feeling was good. I felt better with the grip.

“I was thinking about attacking and having good control over my tyres.

“But, as soon as I started, I was in trouble. I was expecting to be fast. The guys at the front were too fast for me.

“I tried to avoid everything and manage the tyres. It was difficult.

“When Pedro Acosta arrived, he was too fast.

“He was at a fast pace, a lot of speed, a lot of slide.”

Bagnaia detailed his difficulties: “I was struggling behind guys at the front to close the line with the same amount of grip.

“They were very fast on Corner 5. I was gaining in another part. But in Corner 4 they gained two tenths in every acceleration. And in Corner 5 I lost two tenths every lap.

“It was difficult to understand. I tried to have different lines, I tried to have the same corner speed as them. But I was always going wide.

“We have to understand that.”

Worryingly he suffered with the same vibration issues which have predominantly plagued Martin’s Ducati this year.

“Today I had chatter,” Bagnaia said. “It started on Lap 7. We didn’t expect it.”

Bagnaia is fourth in the standings after two rounds, two points behind teammate Enea Bastianini, five behind Brad Binder, and 23 behind leader Martin.

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