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Enraged Bezzecchi's 2024 warning to 'dirtiest rider' Marquez

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
4 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

A livid Marco Bezzecchi described future Ducati stablemate Marc Marquez as the "dirtiest rider" in MotoGP after their collision in the 2023 finale at Valencia - and has issued something of a warning for the 2024 season.

Bezzecchi - a protege of Valentino Rossi's, whose late-career rivalry with Marquez is well-documented - put Marquez on blast in an extremely scathing discussion with the written media after the race.

The Italian exited the race in a Turn 3 collision with Marquez on the opening lap that wasn't entirely caught by the world feed - and showed up to his session with the print media with a beer in his hand and an implicit warning that he was about to speak quite firmly.

"Well, the race unfortunately for me was very short," he began. "Marquez decided to end my race on the third corner. He made the same that he made in Thailand with me in corner five and six.

"He hit me, right here in my back. The problem is that this time he hit me a bit harder and he made me crash very early.

"Also I hurt myself because I have pain in my left foot and in my left shoulder. So now both shoulders are very good! Nothing more to say.

"I think... his riding style is something that doesn't need many explanations."

The incident between the two was initially only really visible on the helicopter camera feed available on MotoGP.com.

"Also what was very good was that the incident, they didn't even show the replay," Bezzecchi continued to rant.

"Because it was very very dirty, I think, from the helicopter you can see very well, but it's Marquez. So nobody made nothing to him."

Bezzecchi said he sought out Marquez personally after the race, that Marquez told him that "he didn't see me" and that Bezzecchi insisted that "it's not possible you didn't see me, unfortunately".

Marquez, in his own-post race print media session later on, wanted to make it clear he had no interest in making time for Bezzecchi's claims in what was an emotional farewell appearance with Honda.

"I will not lose a lot of time with this rider," he said. "Because during the season he already pushed me out many times.

"And yeah, it's normal. I was inside, he tried to keep the outside line to come back at Turn 4.

"But, if you are outside, you will lose, if the rider inside keeps the speed.

"And it's what we did, from Turn 2 to Turn 3. We were in parallel, he tried to keep the outside line to come back on Turn 4.

"And, yeah, I mean... nothing more. I will not lose more time with him."

"At least a f***ing penalty!"

The collision between the pair was put under investigation by the stewards, but Marquez was cleared of any wrongdoing while the race was still ongoing.

This incensed Bezzecchi no end.

"They investigate, but they didn't do nothing, as always. It's always racing incident for them," he said.

"The problem is that Marquez, we saw yesterday with Jorge [Martin], fortunately nothing crazy, today with me, in Thailand with me, in Le Mans with Pecco [Bagnaia].

"Most of the time- when the other rider doesn't crash it's OK, but at least when you make the other rider crash, at least a f***ing penalty! At least.

"Because then everyone goes into the other ones, makes everyone crash, like Brad [Binder] made the same [versus Alex Marquez] and he got the long-lap [actually a drop of one position].

"This is how it has to be. So, the race is 27 laps. On the third corner you make me crash, I think you deserve at least a penalty."

Asked by The Race whether he would have liked to have a stewards' hearing with Marquez also present, Bezzecchi said: "I tried. I tried to go to the stewards. I asked to speak with them. They didn't want to speak with me.

"I tried to speak with [MotoGP sporting director] Carlos Ezpeleta, they didn't want [him] to speak with me."

Asked whether he felt Marquez was being treated differently by officials, he said: " For sure. They never make nothing to him. Because it's Marquez. And he's the dirtiest rider."

Same bike in 2024

Marquez will join Gresini Ducati next year, and will ride a 2023-spec Desmosedici - the same as Bezzecchi, who passed up the opportunity to be upgraded to the 2024-spec Ducati in order to remain with the satellite VR46 operation owned by Rossi.

Ducati doesn't use team orders in MotoGP, but does expect its riders to give one another more room than they do for those representing another manufacturer.

Asked by The Race about that policy and Marquez's place in it in 2024, Bezzecchi said: "I want to see next year.

"For sure he won't [be gentler with other Ducatis]. But I will do the same. I don't care."

Asked by The Race about Bezzecchi's comments, Marquez said: "Again, I will not lose time with that person."

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