The Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira regretted today having abandoned the Portuguese MotoGP Grand Prix, held at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, in Portimão, after being hit by Spaniard Marc Márquez, in an “overambitious maneuver” that prevented him from fighting for the “first podium” of the season.
Speaking to journalists outside the pits, Miguel Oliveira (Aprilia) said that the incident "is easy to explain".
“It was a bit of an ambitious overtaking attempt. [Marc Márquez] had no room to stop, he avoided the rider in front of him [the Spaniard Jorge Martin] and came up against me”, said the Portuguese rider.
Miguel Oliveira, who has already spoken with Marc Márquez (Honda), said he knew that "it was not on purpose" and that, "obviously, the apologies are accepted".
Even so, he did not fail to criticize the “too ambitious” maneuver of the Spanish pilot, who reportedly told the Portuguese he had suffered brake problems.
“When you have problems with the brakes, you brake before, not after, and we don't try to overtake”, stressed the Portuguese Aprilia rider.
Oliveira also lamented that Márquez “has been injured [fracture in his right hand]” and leaves doubts as to his recovery for the next race, within a week, in Argentina.
“I don't know if I'll be at 100%, but I'll try. I have a very big bruise on my right leg. We know that there are no fractures in the femoral neck but we are still going to do an MRI to rule out possible ligament injuries”, explained Miguel Oliveira.
The driver from Almada considers that the outcome “is even more frustrating knowing that he could have a good result” in the Algarve race.
“I had a good start, the opening lap in first place, and when Pecco [Bagnaia] passed me, I knew I had room to improve because the tires were still cold. It is too inglorious for the race to end so soon, with so much expectation that was generated”, lamented Oliveira.
Marc Márquez admits error and accepts penalty
Meanwhile, Marc Márquez admitted today that he made a mistake in the accident with the Portuguese Miguel Oliveira (Aprilia), after being penalized with a double long lap at the Argentine Grand Prix, the next race of the championship.
“Right now, Argentina worries me little. Today, the most important thing is that Miguel is well. For me, today this is the most important thing. I made a big mistake in the first part of Turn 4 and that created everything. I braked and had a massive lock on the front wheel, when I released the brake my idea was to go to the left side, but the bike leaned over and I couldn't avoid going to the right side. I still managed to avoid Martin, but I couldn't avoid Miguel”, he said.
Speaking to journalists, the six-time MotoGP world champion assured that he was “very worried” with Miguel Oliveira, “because the contact was very strong”.
“I already told him personally, but I want to apologize to him, the team and the Portuguese fans. I've already been penalized for that mistake, with a long double lap in Argentina, and I completely agree. I have some injuries on my hand, on my knee, which we need to assess. But my situation is not the most important thing right now,” he said.
Márquez says that no driver ever wants to “have these types of incidents” or “end a race like this”, assuring that he did not make an attempt to overtake.
“If you look at the previous corners, I was far away, I wasn't thinking of overtaking, it was a massive block. We can explain it with many things, but in the end it was my mistake that caused another rider to crash. I was penalized and I deserve it”, he said.
Assuming that "he has to brake later to gain time", as his bike is not yet at the level of the Ducati and Aprilia, Márquez said that his penalty falls within the regulations, when asked about the requests of some riders for a punishment harder.
“At the [driver] briefing on Thursday, they said what the penalties were. If, when overtaking, you cause an accident, you have a long double lap, the second time, I think it's a departure from the pits, and, the third, a 'drive-thru' [passing through the pits]. According to the regulations, [my punishment] is a long double lap. But if the regulations said it was heavier, I would accept it, because it was my mistake. But the regulations say that's the punishment,” he said.