Espargaro: Zarco “didn’t want” to avoid Turn 1 contact

Pol Espargaro says Johann Zarco could have avoided the contact which took him out of the MotoGP Czech Grand Prix, but says the Avintia rider “didn’t want” to.

Espargaro: Zarco “didn’t want” to avoid Turn 1 contact

The KTM rider endured an unlucky weekend at Brno, with a yellow flag infringement – which he protested, but to no avail – robbing him of a front-row start in qualifying, and the collision with Zarco on lap 10 ruling him out of potentially taking KTM's first-ever victory.

Espargaro says the collision was a "win-win" for Zarco, because it moved him into podium contention, which he was able to hold onto owing to the long lap penalty at Brno being "a joke".

"The crash was as you saw," Espargaro said. "I was just leaning [into Turn 1], he could have avoided contact, he didn't want to, he gave throttle and he took me away from the line.

"It was win-win [for him]: he took me out and he just do a long lap penalty, which in this track it's a joke. And he got the podium.

"So, imagine, he took me out of the way, I was the one guy in front of him, so he would not be in the podium. I don't want to talk so much about it because I'm hot now."

Zarco served his long lap penalty on lap 14 of 21, and managed to hold onto third place despite dropping back into the clutches of Fabio Quartararo.

The Avintia rider believes his punishment was fair, and expected Espargaro to have seen him at the corner after he ran out wide.

"About my penalty with Pol, I think it's fair anyway with the rules we have," Zarco said.

"But I would see, he went wide and I tried to come in because there was space, and I think I came in quite well, thinking he was going to see me. But when we had the contact it seems he did not see me.

"But in the race, you have to try things and you don't have all the time a big margin to overtake.

"He's always braking very strong and coming hard into the corner. So he's not easy to overtake on the brakes. But that's also why he went wide in that corner."

Ducati was furious with Race Direction's decision to impose a long lap penalty on Zarco, believing the fault for the contact lay fully at Espargaro's door for running wide.

"It was totally the wrong decision from race direction from our opinion, because Pol Espargaro made a mistake," Ducati boss Paolo Ciabatti said.

"He knew, for the first corner after the riders go through the start/finish line and they see a pitboard, so he knew Zarco was zero seconds behind him, and he made a mistake, eventually went wide and Zarco just went inside, his normal line.

"If a rider goes wide and has to come back to the normal line, he should look because he's not alone on track, and Espargaro knew it because he saw the pit board for sure.

"So, we cannot what was the mistake from Zarco, he was in his line, on the inside, could not brake because he was leaning a lot."

Johann Zarco, Avintia Racing

Johann Zarco, Avintia Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
Brno MotoGP: Rookie Binder scores KTM’s first win

Previous article

Brno MotoGP: Rookie Binder scores KTM’s first win

Next article

Vinales feels "very lucky" to have finished 14th

Vinales feels "very lucky" to have finished 14th
Load comments
How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Prime

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021
Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home Prime

Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home

OPINION: Many of the UK’s MotoGP fans would prefer Donington Park to host the British GP beyond the expiry of Silverstone's current deal. But the track's fast, flowing circuit provides the best racing and should be regarded as its best bet for the foreseeable future

MotoGP
Aug 26, 2021
How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP Prime

How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP

The 2020 MotoGP season was an enthralling affair, but few would argue with you if you thought the world championship was a poorer place without Marc Marquez. In an exclusive interview, he explains the challenges he's faced in his comeback from injury and what he makes of the current MotoGP landscape.

MotoGP
Aug 23, 2021
The other Austria 'shock' with major repercussions in MotoGP Prime

The other Austria 'shock' with major repercussions in MotoGP

The headlines after MotoGP's Austrian GP were naturally dominated by Brad Binder's heroics on slicks in the rain. But although seventh was, on the face of it, a fairly average result in the context of his season, that Fabio Quartararo was in contention for victory before the rain at Yamaha's worst venue should sound alarm bells for his rivals

MotoGP
Aug 17, 2021
Why Aprilia is a good bet for Vinales - but won't fix his big problem Prime

Why Aprilia is a good bet for Vinales - but won't fix his big problem

The prelude to Maverick Vinales' move to Aprilia has been his tortured exit from Yamaha. But the Spanish rider must put allegations of sabotage, suspensions and unwanted personnel changes aside once he embarks upon his new journey, while Aprilia must find a way to get Vinales firing on all cylinders once again

MotoGP
Aug 16, 2021
The MotoGP rider dilemma facing Petronas SRT for 2022 Prime

The MotoGP rider dilemma facing Petronas SRT for 2022

The final pieces of the 2022 MotoGP rider market have yet to be finalised as Petronas SRT Yamaha faces several obstacles in replacing Valentino Rossi and Franco Morbidelli. SRT’s preferred option has been locked into a KTM deal he doesn’t want, while its other target is managed by Rossi himself and wanted at his VR46 team.

MotoGP
Aug 10, 2021