After taking a closer look at the video footage of the Johann Zarco-Franco Morbidelli incident in last Sunday's Austrian MotoGP race, Cal Crutchlow said he has now revised his opinion.

"I believe that last week, maybe I was a little wrong, because I said it was a racing incident. I do think it is to an extent a racing incident, he [Zarco] never meant to do it. It's not like we mean to hit each other or anything like that," Crutchlow explained.

"But after I saw it a lot more – unfortunately, because I didn't want to see it, but we need to understand what we can tell the Safety Commission and the people who can help us in the future in regards to the track - he was never stopping for [Turn 3] anyway. There's no way.

"Because if you look at the trajectory of that bike [on the exit of Turn 2], he was already going towards the grass. So he was either going to go on the grass on his own, or he was going to go so tight into the [Turn 3] right hander, he wouldn't have made the corner. He would have just gone straight off the end of the track. Now that's another incident, which could have been where there's somebody turning.

"He was a lot to the right-hand side of the black lines of Jack [Miller], and Jack was the madman who was sliding around there for the fun and a lot wider than everyone else, if you look at any race.

"So Zarco was a lot to the right of that, and he was at a completely different angle with the bike. So I don't believe he would have made the corner."

Bradley Smith also felt that Zarco was going to run wide, due to the tight line he had used to pass Morbidelli on entry to the 300km/h Turn 2.

"The fact that Zarco attacked the corner so much on the inside, he was naturally going to go wide anyway. I think the only thing I can say is he didn’t think of the repercussions of his move," said Smith.

"That’s what everyone can agree. What he initially did was ok. But he didn’t think of the repercussions. The repercussions were he was always going to go wide because he was never going to turn because the Ducati doesn’t turn in that corner.

"The guy he just passed was on the outside of him. Even if they hadn’t made contact he was going to put Morbidelli in the gravel. In which case it probably could have ended up worse than it actually did.

"As riders, making a move is ok. But you know what’s going to happen has a knock-on effect. And that always makes you decide whether you are going to go for it or not.

"That’s something that the other riders have clearly brought up. I’m not in a position to say anything, it didn’t happen to me. But I agree with what’s being said that repercussions of his actions need to be thought about."

Morbidelli summed it up as: "[Zarco's] approach to the corner was wrong, the overtaking manoeuvre was wrong and the exiting line was wrong."

The FIM Stewards will announce their verdict on the incident tomorrow (Friday) morning.

 

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