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Bagnaia critical of “no plan” MotoGP sprint races

Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia says some MotoGP sprint races see "no plan" overtakes and felt this played a part in his early exit from Saturday's Spanish Grand Prix contest.

Pedro Acosta, Red Bull GASGAS Tech3

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The reigning world champion was taken out of the 12-lap sprint at Jerez on Saturday when he got sandwiched between Marco Bezzecchi on the outside and Brad Binder on his inside.

It has put Bagnaia 42 points back on Pramac's Jorge Martin, who won the chaotic sprint.

The incident was placed under investigation by the FIM stewards but no further action was deemed necessary, a call Bagnaia hinted that he didn't agree with.

"Racing incident," he said when asked about the collision. "This is the decision by the race direction and it's their job. It's like this.

"For me, to overtake two riders on the kerb is not the correct line. But I'm not here to penalise someone."

While not directly taking aim at Binder, Bagnaia said the fault lay at the feet of "the guy on the inside", but was also critical of how little thought he reckons is put into overtakes in sprint races sometimes.

"For sure it was caused by the guy on the inside, but we have to say that it was quite crazy," he added.

"I just did two laps and a half corner and I saw four, five contacts in this first two laps.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

"I have to say that the sprint race sometimes is like no plan overtakes – just let the bike go in and if you touch the rider on the other side, it doesn't matter.

"Just try to overtake. This is why we saw many contacts during the race."

Binder says the incident started when he lost the rear of his KTM exiting the final corner at the end of lap two, which allowed the factory Ducati of Bagnaia and VR46 Ducati rider Bezzecchi to flank him on the run into Turn 1.

 

As Bezzecchi tried to outbrake Binder, the Italian ran deep himself and Bagnaia was taken slightly wide too – opening the door for the KTM to make a move.

"I was on the normal line," remarked Binder, who crashed out late on while battling for the podium. 

"Well, on the entry. I saw the video and at the centre it was tighter than normal for sure.

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"But I had a little highside coming out of the last corner and they [Bagnaia and Bezzecchi] split me.

"One went left, one went right and I thought there was chaos coming before there, when the bike on the inside [Bezzecchi] looked like it was going straight to me.

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

"I thought both were going straight, so I turned in on my normal line and it looked like to me he just got sandwiched between the two bikes."

Bezzecchi, who also crashed out later, says he felt he could still complete the overtake despite running wide because "if you go wide [at Turn 1] you have the big kerb and there is not much space to make an overtake back".

He says Bagnaia "could do nothing to avoid me" but refused to lay blame on Binder, stating: "I don't want to express myself because every time [I do] people break my balls".

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