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Marquez explains Assen MotoGP sprint crash he ‘should have avoided’

Marc Marquez says he is “upset” with himself after crashing out of the MotoGP Dutch Grand Prix sprint race as it’s the kind of incident “you need to avoid”.

The Gresini Ducati rider started from seventh in Saturday’s 13-lap Assen sprint after crashing out late on in qualifying, but was running fifth after the first few corners.

On the second lap, however, Marquez touched the inside kerb at Turn 2 which forced his GP23 to hop slightly and sent him into a crash – marking his first sprint non-score of 2024.

Asked to explain what happened, Marquez – who is now 44 points off the championship lead – said: “Rider mistake. Of course, already in the first lap I touched the kerb a bit 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 that point to go in and then I saw I was touching the kerb but I didn’t expect that hit.

“The bike jumped and I lose the front. So, it was a mistake that I am upset with myself because it’s the ones that you need to avoid.”

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marquez crashed in qualifying at the fast Turn 7 left-hander when he overtook a slower Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro, and noted that he went down after touching a bump rather because he was going too quickly.

That came after Espargaro had overtaken Marquez for track position at the last chicane before starting that flying lap.

Asked if he was upset with it, Marquez noted that it is normal for riders to be touring and fighting for track position in qualifying, and that the Espargaro moment was nothing out of the ordinary.

“Everybody was waiting for a slipstream,” he said. “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 to somebody. So, this is something that is OK.”

He added: “In some circuits, that can be here [Assen], Phillip Island, high-speed circuits where it can be like this.

“But this is racing. Today I go out from the box and many riders go out of the box [behind me].

“Last year I was the one who was waiting. Pecco [Bagnaia], as you see, did the perfect strategy.

“Martin was also there in the group waiting a bit and he took the perfect reference.

“This is racing and it’s something that if you are not on the line and you don’t disturb the riders, you need to survive.”

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