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Marquez explains his Assen MotoGP sprint crash

by Megan White, Simon Patterson
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Marc Marquez says his crash in MotoGP's Dutch TT sprint race at Assen was down to a “rider mistake” for which he is “upset with myself”.

The Gresini Ducati rider was running fifth when he hit the kerb at Turn 2 and slid off into the gravel, ending his race after just over a lap, while title rivals Pecco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin went on to finish first and second.

Martin now leads the standings by 15 points from Bagnaia, on 180 versus 165 - a gap that closed by three points after Saturday’s result. Marquez’s gap to Martin has grown by nine points to 44.

Speaking after the sprint, Marquez conceded it was his error and added the crash was one of “the ones you need to avoid”.

“It was a human mistake, rider mistake,” he said. “Of course, already in the first lap I touched a bit that kerb and I felt the bump.

“But on the first lap I used that line in a correct way because I was defending, but on that second lap, behind the other riders, I missed a bit that point to go in and then I saw that I was touching the kerb but I didn’t expect that hit.

“And just the bike jumped and I lost the front.”

The earlier crash

The sprint incident was not Marquez’s first crash of the day, as he also slid off at Turn 7 in qualifying.

Having been passed by Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro, Marquez attempted to retake track position but ended up in the gravel just minutes before the end of the session - resulting in him lining up seventh for both the sprint and Sunday’s grand prix.

Asked to explain that incident, Marquez said: “The crash in qualifying happened in that I was coming into a fast lap.

“On that point, I didn’t plan to overtake honestly speaking. But it’s a super-fast point and then I saw that Aleix was braking a lot and preparing a lot for that corner. And I just jumped in because it was the only solution.

“But I was not much faster than my fast lap, so I was in a good speed and when I was full banking, there is a small bump where [Raul] Fernandez crashed and many riders in Moto2. And it was there where I lost the front.”

Despite the close passes with Espargaro, Marquez insisted he was not upset by the Aprilia rider’s moves, adding: “No; everybody was waiting for a slipstream. I go out from the box and I saw everybody was waiting. And in that point I will not push because I was fourth.

“So, all the riders who were waiting were slower than me in the classification. So, then when one pushed the other ones tried to find the place. But it’s something normal.

“It’s not the first time that somebody did this to me or that I will do this to somebody.”

Qualifying traffic strikes again

Marquez's answer about Espargaro hinted at the qualifying traffic issues that were apparent again at Assen - a circuit notorious for hold-ups, with riders queuing up for attempts at flying laps.

Asked whether it was too much, Marquez said: “In some circuits - that can be here, Phillip Island - high-speed circuits where it can be like this [it can be an issue]. But this is racing.

“Today I go out from the box and many riders go out of the box [at the same time]. Last year I was the one who was waiting. Pecco, as you see, did the perfect strategy [and ended up on pole]. Martin was also there in the group waiting a bit and he took the perfect reference.

“If you are not on the line and you don’t disturb the riders, you need to survive.”

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