MotoGP Assen: Quartararo rues ‘rookie mistake’, slams stewards

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Fabio Quartararo had a disastrous Sunday in Assen after crashing twice and collecting both Aleix Espargaro and a British GP penalty in the process.

The Monster Energy Yamaha rider went wide into turn one as the 26-lap race fired up, forcing him into the clutches of the Aprilia man with the duo locked in battle for position as the race unfolded. Running third, behind the RS-GP, a fastest lap on the third revolution provided the momentum to attack but an overly-enthusiast turn five move saw him slide out, taking Espargaro with him.

“I just made a rookie mistake and I will have to learn from that one,” Quartararo said after the race on Sunday evening. “Of course my apologies to Aprilia and Aleix for bringing them to the gravel. Unfortunately we made a bad race but it is what it is and we have to learn for the second part of the season.”

While the Frenchman remounted, he was quickly back in pitlane with concerns over the condition of his YZR-M1. The factory team sent him back on track in case the potentially threatening rain decided to make an early appearance, but the fifth corner had other ideas. The reigning champion succumbing to a highside seven laps later.

“Well, the team just told me to go out to see if it was raining or something but if I came in is because I had a problem on the sensor on the bike,” the 23-year-old explained. “We go out again and had another crash so that’s it, nothing more.

“It was not my mistake,” he said of his race-ending fall. “On the second one, for sure was something not working on the bike because I felt when I stopped, but they told me to push, to try to find something but I was already one lap behind. I didn’t see that the sense of going out again.

“I feel pretty lucky I haven’t broken anything,” he continued. “I could save the first moment, but as soon as I moved, I had another one and fell. I feel a bit sore in the shoulder. But it’s my fault, I could have done a better result than crash in the third lap and crash again later. I crashed only twice in the first ten rounds of the season, and today I crashed twice in ten laps. We spoke with the team before the race. The strategy was that if I was in front, I would push. If I was behind, I would try not to make any mistakes. But I did the opposite. Not something I would do on purpose. It was just a stupid mistake.”

The initial incident with Espargaro was reviewed post race by the FIM Stewards with a long lap penalty headed down for the returning action after the summer break, Silverstone’s British GP at the start of August.

Both Quartararo and the team attempted to dispute the decision, to no avail.

“Well… a long lap for the next race,” Quartararo wrote on social media. “Now you can not try an overtake because they think you are too ambitious.

“From the beginning of the year some riders made ‘racing incident’ but apparently mine was too dangerous. Congratulations to the stewards for the amazing job you are doing.

“Next time I will don’t try any overtake to think about not taking a penalty. Great holidays and see you in Silverstone!”

Picture: GeeBee Images
Picture: GeeBee Images