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Spanish MotoGP | Morbidelli punished for pile-up, Nakagami praised for avoidance

Franco Morbidelli will be forced to take a long-lap penalty during today’s Spanish MotoGP after he was blamed for triggering the pile-up that forced Alex Marquez to crash and hurt championship leader Marco Bezzecchi.

Morbidelli was attempting to following Yamaha team-mate Fabio Quartararo up the inside of Marquez at Turn 2, but the Gresini Ducati rider would close the door and cause contact that sent both skittling down.

With both bikes sliding across the track, an unsighted Bezzecchi collected the stricken Yamaha and was sent over the handlebars. With his bike catching fire, the race was stopped to recover them, thus allowing all three to restart.


However, stewards have proceeded to punish Morbidelli - despite an appeal by Yamaha - even though the Italian was insistent that he was not at fault.

“I didn't try to overtake him! I was doing my corner,” he told Crash.net. “He got overtaken by Fabio and went a bit wide. I saw a gap, I went to do my corner nice and tight. I didn't want to overtake him. I said, ‘OK, I put my bike here’ and to me the guy came cutting the line.

“He didn't see me [or] he left no space, I don't know, but the result is that he cut the line, we touch and I crashed. I didn't want to overtake anybody. I just wanted to do my corner.

“But you know, it’s a Sprint race. Every position you gain counts a whole lot. If you gain a position, most likely you're going to keep it all race long because overtaking is so difficult nowadays. This is the result. People risking, risking, risking.”

A frustrated Morbidelli did reserve some praise for Takaaki Nakagami for doing his utmost to prevent a bigger accident and avoid the Italian and not striking his leg.

“I'm very happy that nothing serious happened because I remained in the middle of the track and actually I want to thank especially Taka for his reflex in avoiding me.

“I think he deserves a nice present. I will sort out a nice present to give him because he did the maximum to avoid me and he just hit me [a little] but it could have been, much worse.”

"Physically, I am in a lot of pain" - Bezzecchi bemoans Spanish MotoGP woes

“Unfortunately, after the crash I had to pick up the second bike and I only had a set of used tyres, so I already had a sprint race distance with a used tyre. I started well, I overtook many places but I had contact at the last corner and I lost five or six places, so I had to overtake again and could only finish ninth.

Physically I am in a lot of pain, but tomorrow will be worse. I will see hw I feel tomorrow morning, I want to have a good battle and I will try my best.

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