Pramac Ducati MotoGP rider Jorge Martin has lambasted Honda rival Marc Marquez for the Portuguese Grand Prix crash that injured both of them and Miguel Oliveira.
Marquez lost control of his Honda on the third lap of the race at Turn 3, tagging Martin before piling into Oliveira, who took the brunt of the impact.
Marquez and Oliveira retired on the spot, with former suffering a suspected right thumb fracture and the latter escaping with a leg contusion, while Martin continued on. However, Martin was also hurt – and after exiting the race in a crash later on, he was diagnosed with a fractured toe and unspecified damage to his ankle, both of which he put down to the initial “big impact” rather than the crash.
“It’s not the first time he destroyed my race,” said Martin, who was sent wide by the contact and then lost positions because he was struggling to get his right leg in the right position over the rest of the lap, unable to bend his knee.
“I don’t know, maybe in the future he can manage to avoid me – or at least race direction makes something. Because I never destroyed a race for him, or even injured him. And it’s already the second time, and I hope he improves.”
Home hero @_moliveira88 couldn't see it coming! 💥@marcmarquez93 clipped @88jorgemartin and wiped the @rnfracingteam rider out of contention ⚠️#PortugueseGP 🇵🇹 pic.twitter.com/ij6lawV1Jt
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) March 26, 2023
Martin’s reference was to the time he was wiped out by Marquez back in 2021 at Silverstone, in an incident Marquez described at the time as “completely my mistake”.
And Martin was far from impressed with how the Honda man approached the start of the race, with Marquez having a moment under braking at the same corner on the opening lap – which then led to him perhaps unwittingly lunging down the inside of Martin for the lead, and then having slight contact with Martin as their lines intersected on corner exit.
“I saw him already first laps too enthusiastic, because he lost the front, I was in first position, and I had to pick up the bike to not crash and then we had a small impact but I was in front so I couldn’t see,” said Martin.
“And then the second time, I mean, I just received a big impact, I tried to avoid the crash… Also too enthusiastic, for a second time in a row.
“I don’t know. When you have riders in front, you need to understand that there are riders in front and manage a bit the braking point.
“For sure you cannot brake as when you are alone. It’s what we do, all the riders. And I think he needs to improve this.”
Martin pointed out that he on lap three was managing the distance to Oliveira ahead as “if not, I would’ve done the same”.
For his part, Marquez was fully apologetic.
“Honestly speaking, I’m not very worried about Argentina,” he said when asked about his suspected fracture and whether he would be racing the following weekend.
“Today the most important is that Miguel is OK. And for me that is the most important because I did a big mistake in the first part [of the corner]. And then this created everything.
“I braked and I had a massive lock with the front tyre. That massive lock created that I released the brakes. My intention was to go on the left side, but the bike stayed with that lean [angle] and I couldn’t avoid to go on the right side. I was able to avoid Martin but I wasn’t able to avoid Miguel.”
After Marquez’s print media session, The Race told him Martin had also been hit by him and was hurt, which elicited surprise and further disappointment.
“It’s true that right now, when we have a small mistake on the brakes, like we have some lock or some movement, it’s so easy to increase the speed, especially in tight corners,” Marquez had also said.
“Recently we saw in Phillip Island [last year] for example, with [Fabio] Quartararo, that he was able to avoid [hitting anyone and run wide] but my brother [Alex Marquez] was not able to avoid [Jack] Miller. We are braking so late.
“But even like this, yesterday I was able to control during all the weekend. And you never want to crash, and I don’t want to finish the race like this. But maybe that hard option [tyre] in the front was not ready enough or something.
“I go out from Turn 1-2 and I was far from them. I was not even close to think to overtake. I was not thinking to overtake them.”
He insisted that he was “calm” during the start, even in that first-lap initial contact with Martin.
Marquez has been assessed a double long-lap penalty for the incident, which he said he fully agreed with. He also said he would’ve accepted a harsher penalty, but pointed out the double long-lap was now the agreed-upon standard sanction for such an offence outlined in a pre-weekend briefing.
Martin was reluctant to say whether he felt the penalty was appropriate.
“But… what they said in the briefing is, if you keep doing things, you will get stronger penalties, no?” he added.
“So… he keeps doing the same, so maybe he needs to get stronger penalties. But, you know, we all know it’s Marc so they will do nothing.”