Joan Mir: Franco Morbidelli ‘wasn’t so clever, he just came and hit me with speed’

Joan Mir has blamed Franco Morbidelli for their collision at the beginning of the Portuguese MotoGP.

Joan Mir, Portuguese MotoGP, 21 March
Joan Mir, Portuguese MotoGP, 21 March

Joan Mir felt as though Franco Morbidelli was too aggressive during the opening stages of Sunday’s Portimao MotoGP.

The Honda and Ducati riders made contact on the opening lap when Morbidelli attempted to overtake Mir. 

An overtake that left Mir with black leathers and part of his bike missing, Mir was not pleased by the incident.

"Morbidelli decided to finish the race earlier and then I received a contact on the first lap, at Turn 8,” said Mir. “I went completely out of the track. I was last, without any wings.

“Everything was destroyed, as well as my leathers. I don’t understand, it doesn’t make any sense at that stage of the race."

Speaking in further detail about why Morbidelli should have been calmer and the impact it had on his RC213V machine, Mir began by saying: “On the leathers and the rear of the bike. The wind tails and all these things were gone. I didn’t have any one of them and the front wing was there but shaking a lot. Also the exhaust [was damaged].

“On the first lap I was there overtaking but I think in that position you need to stay a bit calm on the first laps.

“This is the reality because it is a big mess. There are a lot of bikes in front of you so you have to be clever. Morbidelli wasn’t so [clever] and he just came into me and hit me with a lot of speed.

“I went out of track at turn eight and my race was a little bit compromised because of this problem. 

“From then, it was honestly a decent race. I could overtake all the riders I had in front of me.

“Even struggling without the wings, in turn one and turn five. It was a shame that nobody was filming on the back because it was funny.

“We have to be happy with our race. As a rider I did everything I could. I think I did a good weekend and I think I’m in good form.

Joan Mir, MotoGP, Portuguese MotoGP, 22 March
Joan Mir, MotoGP, Portuguese MotoGP, 22 March

“I'm hoping in the next one that the rider in the back thinks a bit more. That would be safer for everyone.”

Despite the contact heavily impacting Mir’s race, the Spaniard felt as though Morbidelli’s crash was enough of a penalty, without handing him a further sanction.

“Well, he crashed, no? So he was penalised,” said the 2020 MotoGP champion.

“If not, yes. But because he crashed. He didn't want to crash, he doesn't want to crash. So this is the penalty that he got.”

Asked about the incident from his perspective, Morbidelli didn’t want to get involved, saying: “It’s part of racing. It’s part of racing when we’re in the group. I just went on the inside and from then on went wide.”

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