Pol Espargaro was 'shocked' by the aftermath of last Sunday's Austrian MotoGP incident with KTM colleague Miguel Oliveira.

The Spaniard said they both initially agreed it was a racing incident and apologised to each other.

But Oliveira's subsequent comments to the press laid the blame firmly on Espargaro, who felt that his decision not to publicly fight with a fellow KTM rider for the sake of their manufacturer meant his silence was wrongly interpreted as guilt.

"Miguel was complaining and when one rider is complaining [people think] the other rider has the fault," Espargaro said ahead of this weekend's second Red Bull Ring round. "Instead of thinking ‘maybe the other one doesn’t want to fight with a team-mate inside KTM factory racing’ which is the most intelligent thing.

"We are team-mates! The first thing you learn in this MotoGP world is that you cannot fight against your team-mate because the factory [that] is paying you doesn’t want it. It is a very bad image.

"Apart from that, I had a talk with him after the crash - and before he did the Canal+ thing – and we arrived to one agreement where I said sorry, he said sorry and it was a race incident.

"After this I saw many things and his comments everywhere. I was surprised and especially journalist comments where they didn’t know anything about the crash. I didn’t want to explode on social media because I don’t think it is the place where you need to explode.

"But I felt a little bit frustrated because nobody knows the situation and nobody has seen the data, nobody has talked to me to ask technically what happened. Everyone was just seeing the reaction of Miguel and from that taking their own position to post everything [on social media]."

But Espargaro said the biggest surprise had been Oliveira's reaction, especially a widely distributed interview with Canal + where he seemed to question the #44's level of intelligence.

"I was really shocked because I thought our relationship with Miguel was good," Espargaro said. "I have been in that situation many times where sometimes it was my fault and I was very hot but I never missed the respect to my rivals, even to my team-mate. That was not a good word.

"I heard him a few minutes ago with the press and he was not even saying sorry for these words. I would never say that 'we have not all been born with the same intelligence', it is pretty hard and especially because the bike he is riding is the bike I have made!

"Imagine if I would have [his] intelligence to make a bike, we would be winning last year already.

"Not good for sure. A huge disrespect. Anyway, I think he was in a hot moment and he knows he did not pick the best words to explain the situation, especially one that was not exactly my fault."

Having avoided going into detail last Sunday, Espargaro gave a full defence of his actions after running wide at Turn 4, while battling braking issues due to being forced to use a soft rather than medium rear tyre for the restart.

"People, when they are overtaking as we saw with Mir on me or Rins, need to really think that there is another guy on the track that cannot check behind," said Espargaro, who had been leading when the initial race was stopped due to the Morbidelli-Zarco incident.

"I saw many comments saying ‘Pol should look behind’ What?! We are racing! I was on the wide line so I just need to get up, look behind and put my hand up and let everyone go?! Come on!

"I don’t have a button to disappear on the track. I was on the wide line so what should I do in that moment? There is a lot of data we have in KTM which I would love to give to all of you but actually I cannot."

Both riders were summoned to see the FIM Stewards on Thursday, who later confirmed it had been a racing incident with no further action taken.

"I went to the FIM with Mike Leitner and we showed all the data we have and also videos. They were agreeing with me. It was a race incident. I would even say that Miguel was slightly crashing before he hit me," Espargaro said.

"There is an image where you can see my bike is almost completely straight and his is completely on the floor before we crashed, and this is what the data says as well. We showed everything and they agreed. There is nothing more to say.

"We agree it was a race incident and it was not actually Miguel’s fault and not mine as well. It’s as we agreed with Miguel after the race."

While Oliveira also said it was a racing incident, he disputes that he fell before contact was made with Espargaro and maintains the rider running wide on the outside should be expecting a pass.

"It’s a racing incident. I talked to Pol before I talked to televisions. When I talked with Pol I already saw the images and it was clear between us. He said he didn’t look where I was. That for him it was impossible. I’m not going to argue with that," Oliveira said.

"The doubt was whether I crashed before I hit him or not and if he crashed because of that. In the data it’s clearly showing the opposite.

"The line Pol did was not his normal line. He for sure did the same the lap before. He went wide. The same story. Mir overtook him on the inside. And my opinion is if you are racing and you go wide you need to expect someone is going to take advantage of your mistake.

"At the end of the day we are almost team-mates. We work for the same brand. We want to represent KTM as best as possible. These kinds of incidents, it’s unlucky, somehow it creates some tension that is not necessary."



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