January 9, 2023

Espargaro angry with MotoGP stewards after Marquez Styria clash

Honda rider Marquez forced Espargaro off track with an aggressive lunge at Turn 1 on the original start to the race before it was red-flagged for a fiery crash between Espargaro’s Aprilia teammate Lorenzo Savadori and KTM wildcard Dani Pedrosa.

Espargaro expressed his anger with Marquez on their lap back to the pits under red flag conditions, before the pair touched again at Turn 1 at the restart – the Aprilia rider once again forced off track.

He ultimately retired with an engine issue but was left angry with how the race stewards handled the situation, while not pointing the blame at Marquez because “every race he overtakes like this”.

“About Marquez I will not blame him, I mean there’s no point, Marc is Marc,” he said. “Every race he overtakes like this from the last 10 years.

“What I want to blame is the stewards panel. I don’t know, maybe they were watching the last days of the Olympics.

“Marquez decided the actions he does in the race, everybody is free to do whatever he wants, but the stewards panel have to penalise.

“I mean, there was no room at all, he hit me especially in the first one very strong on the arm and I was out of the track.

“It was lucky because [Alex] Rins was there and I could have made a big mess there.

“And in the second it’s the same, I mean let’s see if race direction will do something because if you see an action like this you penalise, that’s it.

“It’s why we have the rules. But what makes me very angry is we penalise when one rider makes another crash, but what we have to penalise is the action – it doesn’t matter the result.

“If today I hit Rins and we both crashed, then it would be a crash.

“But because nobody crashed we don’t have a penalty. Why do we have the stewards panel to do this? We don’t need it.”

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Espargaro also lamented a lack of communication between the stewards and riders, calling it “a war we cannot win”.

“I understand nothing about their job, there is no communication between the riders and the stewards panel,” he added.

“We blame them, every single rider, in the safety commission but they are not there, we cannot speak with them, nobody understands the penalties. It’s frustrating but it’s a war we cannot win.”

Marquez will give his version of events to the media at 6:20pm local time.

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