Marquez explains controversial yellow flag crash

MotoGP championship leader Marc Marquez has moved to clarify the events of his crash with Pol Espargaro under yellow flags in FP3 at Motorland Aragon.

Marquez explains controversial yellow flag crash
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Pol Espargaro, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Pol Espargaro, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Pol Espargaro, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Nicky Hayden, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
Nicky Hayden, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
Nicky Hayden, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
Nicky Hayden, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS

Marquez lost his bike and collided with Espargaro at Turn 14 midway through FP3, with yellow flags waved in the corner as the marshals were recovering the Honda of Nicky Hayden.

Both Marquez's Honda and Espargaro's Yamaha slid down the escape road, the latter bike making contact with Hayden's machine right after the American himself and Aragon track workers had jumped away from the site.

Marquez was on the receiving end of severe criticism from Pol's brother Aleix as a result, the Suzuki rider questioning the speed at which the championship leader arrived to the corner.

"The crash was strange," Marquez explained in the post-qualifying press conference. "There was some confusion with the yellow flag, it was too late.

"When I realised there was a yellow flag, I tried to brake and I locked the front, and I crashed. Nicky and the staff of the circuit were lucky that they could run [away from Pol Espargaro's bike] and be safe.

Aleix Espargaro mentioned that it was Marquez's second yellow flag infringement - following a penalty for crashing under yellows at Silverstone in 2013.

But, when he was made aware of the Suzuki rider's comments, Marquez insisted Silverstone was a completely different situation,

"In Silverstone 2013 was completely my mistake, but since that time I always slow down when I see a yellow flag, even when I'm coming on the fastest lap, because it's something that I realised there," Marquez assured.

"It's dangerous, and most of the time I do a mistake one time, not more.

"This time I spoke with [race director] Mike Webb and the problem was that, in the corner where the yellow flag normally is, it was not there. I said I didn't see it, and they checked on the cameras, and it wasn't there.

"When I arrived to the brake point, I was planning to overtake Pol because I didn't see any yellow flags. And when I realised there was a yellow flag, I tried to brake and be more safe and not to overtake, but the problem was that I locked the front. So... it was unlucky."

Hayden's point of view

Talking about his view of the incident, Hayden revealed that his own crash had been a result of a reaction to a yellow flag.

"That corner's critical," Hayden said.

"I came over that hill - you don't see that on TV, but that's a blind entry - and I came over that hill and at the last minute I've seen a waving yellow out of the corner of my eye.

"I just, I didn't know what was on the other side, so I braked a little bit harder and just locked the front.

"Also maybe I was on the white line a little bit, but I see other guys braking there on the white line - but the front is really really critical.

"It's a little strange - four guys crashed in the matter of two laps and there was a guy who had run off in front of me, it's why there was a waved yellow."

Hayden also commended the efforts of his Marc VDS team's mechanics after his bike was damaged in the contact with Espargaro's Tech 3 machine.

"The crash was the easy part. I had slid a long way, I was thinking 'let's pick this bike up and get back to the pits', like you would. And all of a sudden, I hear a bike sliding to me - was maybe closer than it looked because the bike was slowing down.

"The shame was that [my] bike wasn't bad, I was about to pick it up and ride it in with no damage. And when I went back for it the second time, it was leaking fluids both ends."

Additional reporting by Lena Buffa

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