until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Espargaro in major row with ‘stupid’ Petrucci

by Simon Patterson
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

A war of words has kicked off between Danilo Petrucci and Aleix Espargaro following today’s MotoGP qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix, after an incident between the two led to angry gestures exchanged on track.

Espargaro was waiting for a tow on the Red Bull Ring’s long straights during the  Q1 session, slotting in behind Valentino Rossi but in front of Danilo Petrucci, upsetting the Italian’s fast lap and contributing to him missing out on a Q2 spot by a few thousandths of a second.

Petrucci went on the warpath on the following lap, gesticulating at Espargaro on track and continuing his polemic in the pitlane afterwards. Admitting that it was more than he should have done, Petrucci nonetheless finished the day feeling hard done by.


“It was a really good entry into Turn 9 when I saw Aleix come in on my line,” Petrucci said afterwards. “And then I had him in front of me in the last corner and had to wait to open the throttle because he was very close. Maybe I could have been in Q2, but no.

“For sure my middle finger for him was too much, but we’re always trying to do our best. It makes me laugh because he always writes on Twitter, but I prefer to talk in person and with my results on track. He is always the same.”

However, Espargaro immediately went on the offensive himself, hitting back first on social media by pointing out how little time he believes Petrucci had lost – and then doubling down in his media session by branding him “stupid” and calling for race control to sanction him.

“He’s just stupid for what he did, all the show he did. If you analyse the timing, his best sector four of the entire weekend was set on that lap,” Espargaro said.

“Then on the straight he closed and destroyed my next lap. He started to do stupid things, trying to justify that he’s P12 on the winning bike [at this track] from the past four years.


“I said sorry to him because I can understand he couldn’t follow Valentino, but he made the show.

“It wasn’t necessary, because this is racing and it happens every single weekend. I think they have to penalise him and I’ll go to see them later, because he closed in the middle of the straight.”

A few hours after the session, Petrucci responded to Espargaro on Twitter, posting a comparison between his career stats and those of the Aprilia rider.

It isn’t the first public confrontation involving Espargaro and Petrucci, as the former squabbled with Petrucci’s then-team manager at Pramac, Francesco Guidotti, on social media after they collided at Termas de Rio Hondo two years ago.

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