Factory Aprilia's MotoGP Bharat GP weekend has been, to put it mildly, eventful. First, Aprilia riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales had a close call on the track during Friday's practice at the Indian MotoGP. In Saturday's qualifying, Aleix Espargaro was let out of his garage early at the end of the pit lane due to some confusion in the team. The Spaniard unleashed his emotions in his garage after being taken back by three Moto3 mechanics. Later, Aleix Espargaro crashed in the second-to-last corner of the Buddh International Circuit, following a difficult sprint in the sprint race. After the sprint race, Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro discussed several issues, including the multi-bike accident at turn 1, the crash at turn 13, and the sudden outburst in the team garage during qualifying. Here is what he has to say about it.
MotoGP Bharat GP: What did Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro say?
In the post-sprint race interview, When asked about his Saturday performance, Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro replied, " No, not good. It's days that it's better to stay on the bed. I was not comfortable on the time attack and I finished just 10th. Then I reacted really badly to the mistake that the team made before the qualifying. I'm really sorry for how I react to my team. Obviously, I apologize to them. Then in the start, I was blocked by the crash of Luke and Vets and then recovered from the crash. Everything went wrong today. I just want to go to sleep."
— MotoGP™ (@MotoGP) September 23, 2023
When asked whether the qualifying pit incident affected his run, he replied "That doesn't matter what happened. It was my fault for qualifying. I was not fast. But this type of mistake we need to prevent because you can block the engine because there is no cooling when you are stopped there. Also the tyres. Obviously, I didn't start really focused, but anyway, I didn't react well. The problem, it was not that important. It was more important than the mistake that I made with them."
Aleix Espargaro also gave his view on the Turn 1 incident. He said, "I know the corner is different, difficult. There is a very easy solution. Strong penalty on corner 1. You will see that they will break earlier. It's easy. You just break early."
MotoGP Bharat GP: Sprint Race Crash at Turn 1
The maiden MotoGP race in India began with a reduced sprint contest on Saturday after being delayed by rain for over two hours. After starting in pole position for the Grand Prix of India 2023 at the Buddh International Circuit on Saturday, the Mooney VR46 Racing Team experienced a major setback when Marco Bezzecchi was involved in an accident on the first lap. After being bumped from behind by his VR46 teammate Luca Marini as the riders tried to slow down for the first turn, Bezzecchi nearly lost control and crashed on the wet BIC.
#IndianGP - Sprint
"We are very sorry because Luca suffered a fracture of his left collarbone and will have to undergo surgery in Italy. We wish him the best and look forward to seeing him on the track asap possible to continue fighting with for the top positions" pic.twitter.com/fhHa9JXd17
— Mooney VR46 Racing Team (@VR46RacingTeam) September 23, 2023
At the same time, two more riders crashed at the first turn. Stefan Bradl repeated Marini's error by colliding with the rear of Augusto Fernandez and then Pol Espargaro. Bezzecchi, on the other hand, was able to return to the race from the 17th position and ultimately finished fifth.
Medical inspections on VR46 Ducati rider Luca Marini found a fractured collarbone. According to a brief statement released by VR46, Luca Marini suffered a fracture to his left collarbone. After a further examination, he will be transferred to the hospital.
With only a week till the Japanese Grand Prix, Marini's participation in the Motegi race is also in question. As of Saturday, he is the second rider who will miss the rest of the Indian GP due to injury. Alex Marquez, a rider for the Gresini Ducati team, suffered three fractures to his left rib cage after a heavy crash at the end of Q1. He has subsequently announced that he will miss next week's Japanese GP and hopes to make a comeback for the Indonesian GP in October. A final stewards' decision on the VR46 incident in the India sprint is still pending the results of an investigation by the race director.