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MotoGP Portugal GP

Aleix Espargaro: Marquez should have one-race ban for Oliveira Portugal MotoGP crash

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro believes Marc Marquez should be handed a one-race ban for his collision with Miguel Oliveira in the MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Miguel Oliveira, RNF MotoGP Racing

Marquez wiped out RNF Aprilia rider Oliveira on the third lap of Sunday’s grand prix at the Algarve International Circuit when he misjudged his braking and touched Pramac’s Jorge Martin.

The incident took both Marquez and Oliveira out of the race, left the latter with bruising on his right side and has potentially caused a fracture in the Honda rider’s right hand.

Marquez has been given a double long lap penalty for next week’s Argentina GP, but Espargaro feels that punishment is not strong enough.

“For me, they have to ban him for one race, minimum, like they [should have] with [Takaaki] Nakagami in Barcelona [last year],” Espargaro said when asked for his opinion on the incident.

“For me, it’s ridiculous. I hope, but I don’t care, I don’t put the rules.

“I hope Miguel is good because the speed he hit Miguel you can destroy the knee, I know because Bradley Smith hit me in Barcelona [a few years ago] and he broke my knee. I had a lot of pain for one year.”

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Miguel Oliveira, RNF MotoGP Racing

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Miguel Oliveira, RNF MotoGP Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Race direction has once again come under scrutiny this weekend for how it has judged several incidents on track.

After a collision with Fabio Quartararo in Saturday’s sprint, Joan Mir was handed a long lap penalty for the grand prix.

However, Espargaro feels the fact Alex Marquez wasn’t similarly punished for making contact with his Aprilia team-mate Maverick Vinales in the sprint is highlighting major inconsistencies in the stewarding process.

“There is one thing that I don’t understand: We have one million cameras on the bike,” he added.

“I always say to Dorna I don’t want anymore because of the weight, but I have three or four cameras on my bike. Why can they not see these cameras and analyse them? It’s not that difficult.

“We are not 100 riders, we are 20. It’s just about to repeat everything. For me, the action between Mir and Fabio and Alex Marquez and Maverick were exactly the same, but Joan crashed and Alex didn’t crashed.

“But Maverick yesterday lost five places, eight places.

“Why did Joan get a penalty and Alex not? I’m not saying Joan needs a penalty, but if you give a penalty to Joan, you need to give it to Alex.”

Miguel Oliveira, RNF MotoGP Racing, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team crash

Miguel Oliveira, RNF MotoGP Racing, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team crash

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Espargaro also noted that the aggression levels on track this weekend have left several riders with injuries and that “we cannot continue like this”.

“Sincerely, it’s first race and we have a lot of riders in the hospital. We cannot continue like this,” Espargaro, whose brother Pol was hospitalised after a practice crash with multiple fractures, said.

“But this is not about race direction, teams. This is about the riders. If there is a last lap, you can be aggressive, you can touch another, it’s ok. But come on, it’s race one and we have four riders in the hospital.”

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