Marc Marquez has revealed an electronics problem was what originally caused his bike to stop on the grid during the controversial Argentina MotoGP race.
The reigning champion’s decision to start from the grid at Termas de Rio Hondo, having stalled and jump-started his bike, resulted in a ride-through penalty, dropping him outside the points and leading to his collisions with Aleix Espargaro and Valentino Rossi.
Marquez came in for widespread criticism for his aggressive riding, and was accused by Rossi of “destroying the sport” with what the Italian perceived to be a deliberate attempt to make him crash.
Reflecting on events in Argentina ahead of this weekend’s third round of the championship in Austin, Marquez explained the cause for the stoppage, and said Honda stablemate Cal Crutchlow suffered a similar problem in practice.
“Honda analysed very deep why the engine stopped on the grid,” said Marquez. “It was like something on the gearbox with the dashboard, some [problem with] the electronics there.
“They will try to fix in the future. For example, it happened to Cal in practice but they didn’t consider [it a problem], they thought it was just a mistake.
"Unluckily it happened [to me] on the grid at the start of the race. It was a shame, but anyway it was like this. It's experience for the future.”
Marquez added that he was in fact intending to return to the pits before he successfully jump-started his Honda back into action.
“I realised when I stopped the engine I was going to the pits, because normally in MotoGP with one rider it’s impossible to [make the bike] run again alone,” he recalled.
“I was going to the pits because there we have the mechanic with the [starter] machine, but I tried and the engine ran. Then it was a bit confusing with Race Direction, also in the past that was possible – to run the engine again and come back on your [grid] position.
“There was a misunderstanding there and it was a bit confusing for everybody. But now everybody [has] learned about that situation.”