Text message revealed to soothe Marc Marquez vs Francesco Bagnaia tension

Ducati sporting director reveals how he dealt with the Portimao incident between Marc Marquez and Francesco Bagnaia

Marc Marquez and Francesco Bagnaia crash, MotoGP race, Poruguese MotoGP, 24 March
Marc Marquez and Francesco Bagnaia crash, MotoGP race, Poruguese MotoGP,…

Ducati sent text messages to Marc Marquez and Francesco Bagnaia to check on any lingering ill-feeling after Portimao.

The first collision of the season between the star Ducati riders took place at the Portuguese MotoGP, when Bagnaia’s overtake attempt put both men into the gravel.

It was deemed a racing incident although Gresini's Marquez lay the blame at factory Ducati rider Bagnaia’s door.

It was down to Ducati sporting director Mauro Grassilli to soothe any potential problem.

He was asked at the Circuit of the Americas how he intervened.

“Very easy,” Grassilli insisted.

“I sent both of them a message. I can’t remember, Monday or Tuesday.

“Just ‘hey guys, everything under control?’

“Pecco and Marc answered me, ‘yes, everything under control, looking forward to COTA’.

“So, positive, very positive.”

The collision in Portimao left Marquez and Bagnaia without a point from the second grand prix of the season.

They were battling for P5 at the time.

Those lost points look even worse after the COTA round, when Marquez crashed out from the lead and Bagnaia could only manage fifth.

Marquez is 44 points behind championship leader Jorge Martin after three rounds. Bagnaia is 30 points behind Martin.

The bigger picture for Ducati was the threat of tension between the reigning MotoGP champion and their star new recruit.

Before signing Marquez last year, Ducati bosses had mentioned the inevitability of his aggressive riding style causing issues.

Although, the first flashpoint of his Ducati career was caused by Bagnaia’s attempt to pass, it is widely considered.

Both Marquez and Bagnaia find themselves further off the top of the MotoGP standings than they might have expected.

MotoGP returns for the fourth round of 2024 in Jerez on April 28-30.

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