Smith felt "sheer panic" in clash with Aprilia MotoGP team-mate

Aprilia MotoGP test rider Bradley Smith says he was in "sheer panic" when he realised he was going to wipe out his team-mate Aleix Espargaro in the Catalan Grand Prix

Smith was making the third of his five schedule wildcard appearances in 2019 at Barcelona when he crashed into Espargaro at Turn 10 on the opening lap of last Sunday's race.

Espargaro had to be take to hospital, where he was diagnosed with a femoral fracture to his left leg, while Smith was handed a three-place grid penalty for his next race.

Explaining the accident, which left him "heartbroken", Smith says it was triggered when KTM's Johann Zarco lunged past Espargaro - leaving Smith with "nowhere to go" at the turn where Jorge Lorenzo caused a multi-bike pile-up on the following lap.

"That type of corner, as we saw on the next lap, it's like a bottleneck unfortunately," said Smith.

"It's like coming from two lanes into one, and especially if someone goes up the inside, the guy on the outside is a sitting duck, and has to reduce so much more speed.

"Unfortunately for me I tried to make a pass on [Miguel] Oliveira, he was already quite to the inside of the clean line and I was then forced onto the dirty part.

"Everything was more or less under control until Zarco dived down the inside of Aleix.

"Aleix then had to stay wide and then I had nowhere to go. I did everything I could to avoid the accident.

"Obviously you can imagine my sheer panic when I realised I'm going to wipe out my own team-mate, but there was just nowhere to go."

On the following lap, Lorenzo lost the front of his Honda under braking at Turn 10 and caused a collision with Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso and works Yamaha duo Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi.

Lorenzo escaped punishment, and Smith thinks the three-time MotoGP champion "got away very leanly" - though says he "fully understands" Race Direction's decision.

"I can't control what Race Direction do," added Smith.

"I think, and I feel, that what happened with me was very, very similar to what happened there [with Lorenzo]."

He pointed out that he "took out one guy" while Lorenzo hit three.

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