After a devastating weekend in Qatar with zero points, a leg injury and many problems, Aleíx Espargaró’s anger at Franco Morbidelli is far from over.
In fact, it’s time for Aleíx Espargaró to lick his wounds, turn the page and check out what happened at the Qatar Grand Prix. The fact that the favorite of the Spanish public suffered a ruptured left fibula in the collision caused by Miguel Oliveira in the sprint race, had to withdraw from the main race on Sunday and flew home without a single point instead of the desired podium place , it’s bad enough.
«I always try to give my all. On Sunday morning I did three laps and thought I was going to die from the pain. I asked the Charte race doctor for everything he could give me and I actually didn’t feel any pain during the race,” said Espargaró. “But the injury meant that all the nerves were extremely inflamed, the tissue was full of blood and I couldn’t feel my leg. I had no strength, I couldn’t go down or go up. That’s why I had to stop.”
In addition to the leg injury, which will certainly hamper him at the end of the season in Valencia and possibly even prevent him from participating, Espargaró is also facing difficulties with Franco Morbidelli.
In FP2 on Saturday afternoon there was a scene between the two in which Espargaró looked very bad: after Morbidelli backed off the throttle due to the yellow flags and got in the way of Espargaró, Espargaró tied up with the Italian’s factory Yamaha and hit Morbidelli in the helmet , who later stated that he did not intend to hit Morbidelli, but only to push him away.
“In my opinion, it is not fair that the stewards only evaluated the last five seconds of the incident. Morbidelli has no respect for anyone. At Sepang he even bothered his teammate. He received no punishment. He also treated Marc Márquez like a dog when he got stuck in a slipstream in Q1 in Malaysia. On Saturday he slowed me down three times in Doha when I entered the track. He stopped me from getting on the track. But of course I reacted badly, I’m sorry…”
The scene with the helmet hit not only earned Aleix a penalty of six places on the starting grid and a fine of 10,000 euros, but also many headlines in which Espargaró came out badly again. General tenor: With his experience, the 34-year-old Spaniard should have controlled himself better than exploding like that. A view with which Morbidelli also gratefully agreed. “I would like to know what he tells his children about this incident,” Espargaró verbally attacked.
Upon hearing this, Aleix Espargaró exploded once again. «If you only see the last part of this episode, then I deserve the punishment. I also realize that I am now exposed to a wave of hatred”, explained the Aprilia factory rider. “At the same time, it’s all a bit unfair because Franco has been roaming the tracks for a year and a half and getting in someone’s way at every race. This is your behavior or your work ethic. I almost fell twice because of him, and when I wanted to get back on track he got in my way again. And then I lost my patience. Yes, I reacted wrongly, I’m sorry for my team and my family, but I think it’s not fair to only look at the last part of this story. What really irritates me is that he mentioned my family and my children in his statements. He crossed a very sacred line for me! This chapter is not over yet. I am very angry.”
The fact that his friend Jorge Martín also suffered a bitter disappointment in Qatar was little consolation to Aleix. «After my task, I followed the race on the pit monitor. Jorge’s bike had zero acceleration, you could see that with the naked eye, without looking at the lap times. He was helpless when accelerating into the final straight because the traction control cut off a lot of engine power, which in turn had to do with the rear tire not working,” explained Espargaró. “I’m sorry for Jorge that he lost so many points because clearly it wasn’t his fault. But he must be proud of what he achieved this season, with more than 400 points in the championship. Furthermore, he still has a chance of winning the title: in our heads we automatically think that there are still 25 points to go, but with the Valencia sprint there are still 37 left. It’s not over yet!
Doha MotoGP race results (11/19):
1. Di Giannantonio, Ducati, 22 laps in 41m43s654s
2. Bagnaia, Ducati, +2.734 sec.
3. Marini, Ducati, +4,408
4. Viñales, Aprilia, +4,488
5. Binder, KTM, +7,246
6. Alex Márquez, Ducati, +7,620
7. Quartararo, Yamaha, +7,828
8. Bastianini, Ducati, +8,239
9. Miller, KTM, +11,509
10. Martin, Ducati, +14,819
11. Marc Márquez, Honda, +14,964
12. Zarco, Ducati, +17,431
13. Bezzecchi, Ducati, +17,807
14. Mir, Honda, +18,673
15. Augusto Fernández, KTM, +21,455
16. Morbidelli, Yamaha, +21,474
17. Raúl Fernández, Aprilia, +22,142
18. Pol Espargaro, KTM, +27,194
19. Nakagami, Honda, +27,740
– Aleix Espargaró, Aprilia, 16 laps behind
– Lecuona, Honda, 1st lap not completed
MotoGP Sprint Doha results (18.11.):
1. Martin, Ducati, 11 laps in 20:52.634
2. Di Giannantonio, Ducati, +0.391 sec
3. Marini, Ducati, +2,875
4. Alex Márquez, Ducati, +3,370
5. Bagnaia, Ducati, +3,957
6. Viñales, Aprilia, +4,239
7. Binder, KTM, +5,761
8. Quartararo, Yamaha, +6,454
9. Augusto Fernández, KTM, +8,285
10. Zarco, Ducati, +8,314
11. Marc Márquez, Honda, +9,596
12. Miller, KTM, +10,173
13. Bezzecchi, Ducati, +10,646
14. Raúl Fernández, Aprilia, + 11,117
15. Morbidelli, Yamaha, +12,163
16. Pol Espargaró, KTM, +12,745
17. Lecuona, Honda, +19,285
18. Nakagami, Honda, +26,238
19. Mir, Honda, +28,446
20. Bastianini, Ducati, +35,553
– Aleix Espargaró, Aprilia, 10 laps behind
– Oliveira, Aprilia, 1st lap not completed
MotoGP World Championship standings after 37 of 39 races:
1. Bagnaia, 437 points. 2. Martin 416. 3. Bezzecchi 326. 4. Binder 268. 5. Zarco 204. 6. Aleix Espargaró 198. 7. Marini 194. 8. Viñales 192. 9. Quartararo 167. Alex Márquez 165. 11. Miller 163. 12. Di Giannantonio 134. 13. Morbidelli 93. 14. Marc Márquez 89. 15. Bastianini 84. 16. Oliveira 76. 17. Augusto Fernández 71. 18. Rins 54. 19. Nakagami 52. 20. Raúl Fernández 40. 21 Pedrosa 32. 22. Mir 26. 23. Pol Espargaró 13. 24. Savadori 9. 25. Folger 9. 26. Bradl 8. 27. Pirro 5. 28. Petrucci 5. 29. Crutchlow 3.
Constructors’ World Championship:
1. Ducati, 663 points (world champion). 2. KTM 348. 3. Aprilia 309. 4. Yamaha 187. 5. Honda 174.
Team World Cup:
1. Prima Pramac Racing, 620 points (world champion). 2. Ducati Lenovo Team 531. 3. Mooney VR46 Racing 520. 4. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 431. 5. Aprilia Racing 390. 6. Gresini Racing 299. 7. Monster Energy Yamaha 260. 8. CryptoDATA RNF 120. 9. Repsol Honda 115. 10. LCR Honda 112. 11. GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3, 93.