Barcelona MotoGP: Morbidelli fastest in FP2 despite crash
Petronas Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli topped the second practice for the MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix despite an early crash, with Avintia’s Johann Zarco also recovering from a crash to finish second. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT Morbidelli took control of the timesheets in the opening five minutes of this afternoon’s session, setting the initial pace at a 1m41.143s on his ‘A-spec’ Petronas Yamaha. The San Marino race winner improved to a 1m40.672s on his follow-up tour, with his next effort of 1m40.573s standing as the benchmark for much of the session.
© Motorsport Images There was a verbal crash between Johann Zarco and Aleix Espargaro in Portimao
At the MotoGP season finale last weekend in Portimao, Johann Zarco withdrew his anger Aleix Espargaro too. In fact, the Spaniard was angry with the French because of several incidents. What happened?
In the fourth free practice session, which traditionally precedes qualifying on Saturday, Zarco suffered a technical defect on his Avintia Ducati. In the long and fast last corner of the Algarve International Circuit, Zarco's bike gave smoke signals. © Motorsport Images Aleix Espargaro
But the Frenchman did not park the GP19 next to the track in the final minute of the training session, but crossed it despite the smoke from the exhaust pipe in order to reach the pits by the shortest route.
Le Mans MotoGP: Smith quickest for Aprilia in wet FP1
Bradley Smith topped a wet first practice for the MotoGP French Grand Prix on the Aprilia ahead of home hero Johann Zarco on the Avintia Ducati. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Bradley Smith, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Smith’s future beyond this weekend is uncertain as Andrea Iannone’s appeal to have his 18-month doping ban overturned will be heard on Thursday and could be in a position to return for the Aragon Grand Prix next weekend.
Then Espargaro expressed his incomprehension to both Zarco and the race management via Twitter: "Once again, the race management did a good job of not punishing a MotoGP driver after crossing the track with a broken engine that was smoking oil ... Incredible!"
In the interview after the race on Sunday, the Aprilia driver went one better. "Nothing against him, but if you see that your motorcycle is smoking, then you can not simply cross the track in a fourth-speed full-throttle curve that is driven through at almost 200 km / h," Espargaro's accusation in the direction of Zarco. © Motorsport Images Johann Zarco
Espargaro criticizes Zarco: "It's just a question of responsibility"
Video: "Sorry, I just can't": Phonzie is kidding teammates (DAZN News)
Aleix Espargaro explains qualifying collision with brother Pol
Aleix Espargaro says the collision with his brother Pol in qualifying for the MotoGP Aragon Grand Prix was a result of him having to avoid a slow Alex Marquez. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini/ Espargaro was on a flying lap ahead of his brother Pol on the KTM in the closing stages of qualifying when the latter ran into the side of the Aprilia rider at the final corner. Pol Espargaro broke one of the wings from his fairing while Aleix’s session was over owing to the hefty knock his right ankle took in the collision.
"If someone else would have come right behind him, and it would have been oil or just water at this point, it could cost someone their life. It's just about responsibility. But this guy doesn't seem to care about any of his colleagues. That's what makes me so angry ", so Espargaro.
But that's not all. In the race on Sunday, Zarco caught the anger of Espargaro again. "The problem with Johann Zarco is that he simply never learns. In the race I saw him touch two drivers in front of me. Unbelievable!" The Spaniard exclaimed.
While Espargaro complained about Zarco in different ways on the Portimao weekend, but did not seek a direct conversation with the French, Zarco does not want to know anything about an unreasonable action with regard to the situation with the smoking engine.
Zarco defends his maneuver and criticizes Espargaro
Zarco defended crossing the track straight away on Saturday, stating: "It always depends on the type of mechanical problem. I've had this problem in the past and knew exactly what was going on I knew I wasn't losing any oil. There was white smoke coming from the exhaust, but no oil. So I crossed the track to get back into the pit lane. "
MotoGP Portimao FT2: Ducati best time, Valentino Rossi only penultimate after a crash
© Motorsport Images Johann Zarco took the lead in the final phase Johann Zarco (Avintia-Ducati) sat in the second practice session for the MotoGP season finale in Portimao strong in scene and secured the best time ( to FT2 result ). Zarco lapped the course in 1: 39.417 minutes and was thus slightly faster than Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia). As in the FT1, the 22 pilots were able to train longer than usual in the FT2.
In the wake of Sunday's race, which he finished two positions behind Espargaro in tenth, Zarco said: "I know I had one contact with [Joan] Me. I can't remember any other contact. Me I haven't seen the race repeated yet. "
Espargaro and his tactic of only complaining via Twitter and the media, but not directly, reminded Zarco of the weekend of the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg. At that time he had the devastating collision with Franco Morbidelli, in which Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales only narrowly escaped a catastrophe.
"When everyone was against me at the time, I went to the meeting of the security commission. But nobody opened their mouths there. People can tell a lot. But when you stand in front of them, they don't say anything," says Zarco and adds: " That's typical Aleix. If he has a problem with me, he should come to me. Then we can talk about it. But he doesn't. "
In this context, Zarco remembers a conversation he had with Aleix Espargaro's younger brother Pol Espargaro after he collided with him at the Czech Grand Prix in Brno
: "I spoke to Pol after the Czech Republic. We were not the same point of view, but at least we could talk to each other. " The opportunity for a personal conversation between Zarco and Aleix Espargaro will probably not arise before the winter test drives in Sepang in February 2021 ...
"Made more mistakes than expected" - Aprilia on Aleix Espargaro's season .
© Motorsport Images Aleix Espargaro was putting too much pressure on himself to achieve good results, according to Aprilia. Aleix Espargaro lived up to his role as Aprilia team leader again last season . The Spaniard was consistently the fastest Aprilia driver. In the drivers' championship, Espargaro did not get past 17th position. This was due to a number of falls. Espargaro landed twelve times in the gravel bed.