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MotoGP Catalan GP

MotoGP riders split on what's to blame for Barcelona Turn 1 pile-up

MotoGP riders are split on whether they believe the Catalan GP Turn 1 pile-up could have been avoided by Enea Bastianini or if the start line is moved in future.

Enea Bastianini, Ducati Team crash

Ducati rider Bastianini crashed under braking for Turn 1 at the start of last Sunday's Barcelona race as he tried to recover from 14th following a grid penalty.

He skittled a fleet of fellow Ducati that featured Johann Zarco, Marco Bezzecchi, Fabio di Giannantonio and Alex Marquez.

Bastianini suffered fractures to his left ankle and hand, which required surgery and will keep him out of this week's San Marino GP.

This is the second round in succession where a multi-rider tangle has occurred at Turn 1 of a race, with Jorge Martin triggering one in the sprint in Austria.

It's also the second year in a row it has happened in Barcelona, while numerous incidents like it have taken place at the track over the year.

Yamaha's Franco Morbidelli suggested moving the startline, one of the longest runs down to a Turn 1 on the entire calendar, forward would go a long way to solving this problem

"I think they need to make the start closer to the first corner," Morbidelli said.

"It's going to make the difference. F**k, you arrive in fifth gear at 200, I don't know how many, mph, there is a big mess and braking is more difficult.

Enea Bastianini, Ducati Team crash

Enea Bastianini, Ducati Team crash

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

"For sure it's going to make the difference. This is straight away a big thing.

"Then, this could improve a lot. But it can happen anyway. Maybe if the start is closer it could happen, but I think the chance is lower."

Yamaha team-mate Fabio Quartararo agreed, adding: "I mean, we arrive pretty fast and every lap when we arrive, we know the braking reference is there.

"But actually we never really [practice the] start and we arrive close to 300km/h. To find a good braking reference it's complicated.

"[In the sprint] I was lucky not to hit anyone because I braked too late, hit a little bit of dust and went wide.

"And I think it's what happened to Enea. But he was already on the inside, he braked and the rear was going up. He was on the limit but I think it's not a bad idea."

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

But others disagree with this, with Catalan GP winner Aleix Espargaro saying the onus is on the riders to be more mindful in the first corners of races.

"I think that we are good enough to try to brake in the right point, not to try to overtake 25 riders in the first corner," he said.

"So, it's not about where you put the start – it's about who rides the bike. It's not that difficult.

"We have to be a bit more relaxed in the first corner. Eight riders crashed today in the first corners, it's dangerous.

"It's difficult to learn, but believe me it's not about where you put the start. If you put the start in the corner but somebody doesn't want to brake, he will not brake."

Eight-time world champion Marc Marquez echoed Espargaro's sentiments, also noting that Turn 1 in Austria is much closer to the startline and the same thing happened.

"Just the riders need to be more careful," Marquez said.

"If you see the second start everybody was more careful, because everyone saw what happened and everybody was more careful.

"It doesn't matter that it [Turn 1] is too close; it's too close in Austria and we saw what happened, a big crash.

"In the end, it's the riders who need to decide and understand you cannot brake [where you want].

"Enea he took experience from it, but he's not crazy. He's not going over his limits, but sometimes it happens.

"They are super-fast bikes, sometimes it happens and it's not necessary to push this point."

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