Cal Crutchlow won the Argentine Grand prix but most of the talk after the race was about the accident between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez. The Yamaha driver fell after an attack from his Honda rival. Later he went to Rossi’s garage to apologize under the thunderous booing of the crowd. The Italian did not get out but both drivers had explanations of what happened.
— MotoGP™? (@MotoGP) April 8, 2018
Marquez was first given a ride-through penalty for returning to his grid position aboard his bike after restarting a stalled engine
He complied with the penalty at the end of lap six when he had been leading the way, 1.5 seconds clear of Jack Miller, and re-joined in 20th. The Spaniard was charging through the field to recover when he clashed with Valentino Rossi on lap 20. An additional penalty of 30 seconds dropped Marc from fifth to 18th after the end of the race.
“It was a tricky race, in very tough conditions, with several drawbacks. Just before the start, I had an issue with the engine, which stopped. We’ll look into it later. Anyway, I put my hands up but nobody was there. I was able to restart the bike and then I looked for some input from the marshals, as I wasn’t sure if, with the bike running again, I should go to my place on the grid or back to the pits. One marshal raised his hands, and a second one gave the thumbs up, which I interpreted to mean I could stay”, Marquez said.
“When I saw the penalty message on the dashboard, I didn’t understand why, but I of course complied. Then I obviously tried to push to recover and unfortunately, I made some mistakes, the biggest one I believe being with Aleix [Espargaro]. I approached faster than him. But I didn’t realize it. I tried my best to avoid contact but unfortunately, I wasn’t able. I saw the penalty and, to be safe, gave up two positions, not just one, before starting to push again.”
“With Valentino, it was different, as it was a consequence of the track conditions. I touched a wet patch, locked the front, and released the brakes. I tried to turn, again making my best effort to avoid contact. When he crashed I immediately apologised. It was a racing incident as happened earlier with [Johann] Zarco and Dani [Pedrosa], and then with [Danilo] Petrucci and Aleix. It was a tricky Sunday. Of course, I made some mistakes, which I recognize. Other mistakes were made by Race Direction on the grid, and others were due to the difficult conditions, but one thing I know for sure: never in my career have I intentionally hit another rider.”
“Today was quite difficult” ?
— MotoGP™? (@MotoGP) April 10, 2018
Rossi said after the race that he was physically OK but defined the situation as very bad
“If you take what happened this weekend as an example, one incident can happen to anybody. You can make a mistake in braking, you can touch the other guy. It can happen, it’s racing. But from Friday morning on, Marquez did this to [Maverick] Viñales, to [Andrea] Dovizioso, to me, and on Saturday morning, and [in the race] he went straight through four riders”, he commented.
“If you start to race like this, you raise the level to a very dangerous point. If all the riders race like this, this will become a very dangerous sport and it will finish in a bad way. It’s a very dangerous situation and I hope that what I said to Race Director Mike Webb makes them take more responsibility, they have to do something. I’m scared on the track when I’m with Marquez. I was scared when I saw his name on the board. I’m not Race Direction – they will decide – but like this, he is destroying our sport, because when you do 300 km an hour on the track, you have to have respect for your rivals.”
— MotoGP™? (@MotoGP) April 9, 2018