Bagnaia “angry” after Marquez Portugal MotoGP clash, accepts racing incident verdict

The reigning double world champion and the eight-time title winner collided on lap 23 of 25 in Sunday’s grand prix at the Algarve International Circuit while battling over fifth place.

Marquez threw his Gresini Ducati up the inside of Bagnaia at the Turn 5 left-hander, but ran slightly wide.

As he tried to cut back to the racing line, Bagnaia moved to try to retake the position on the inside and the pair connected. Both crashed and failed to score, but the stewards elected to take no further action following an investigation.

Bagnaia accepts the verdict, but admitted to his frustration at tallying up a non-score in the second round of the season just as he did last year when he slid out of second in the Argentina GP.

“I was confident before the start because yesterday and this morning my feeling was good,” Bagnaia explained.

“I was feeling better with the grip and everything was better and better. So, I was thinking about a race of attacking and trying to have a good control of the tyres.

“But as soon as I started I was more in trouble, I expected to be faster and the guys at the front were too fast for me.

“So, I just tried to avoid everything, I was just trying to manage the tyres but [it] was difficult.

“I tried to be as in front as possible, but when Pedro [Acosta] arrived, he was too fast. And when Marc arrived, he just tried to overtake, he went wide.

“I tried to close the line. He crossed his line and we collided. It’s something that makes me angry, but it’s normal.

“It’s a racing incident and we have to move on to the next one.”

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing, Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing, Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia, who is now 23 points adrift of Portugal GP winner Jorge Martin, added: “It makes me angry because I finished with zero points.

“Last year in the second race I did the same [in Argentina], finished with zero points from my mistake.

“This year for a racing incident. We know perfectly with 38 races still the championship is very long.

“But I was expecting and I wanted to be more constant with results and not starting having zero points already like last year in the second race.”

Bagnaia denied that his retaliation effort during the battle was «risky”, as he felt Marquez left the door open by running wide.

“When a rider in front of you who you are battling goes wide, what do you want to do?,” the Italian ventured.

“Overtake him again to take more points. So, for me, it wasn’t risky.”

Before the crash, Bagnaia was quickly cast adrift of the podium battle and explained that he struggled for grip in the left-handers of Turns 4 and 5, losing around 0.2s per lap in both corners.

“I was struggling behind the guys in front to close the line with the same amount of grip,” he revealed.

“They were very fast on corner four and five. I was gaining in other parts, but in corner four they were gaining like two tenths every acceleration.

“And in corner five I was losing like two tenths every lap.

“It was difficult to understand, I was trying to make different lines, trying to have the same corner speed as them but was always going wide. We have to understand it.”

Bagnaia also noted that he did have some rear chatter from lap seven onwards, a complaint GP24 riders have had at various points this year.

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