Aleix Espargaro: Zarco ‘doesn’t seem to care’ about rider safety

Aleix Espargaro says he is “furious” by Johann Zarco’s apparent lack of “responsibility” for the safety of other MotoGP riders following an incident in Portuguese Grand Prix practice.

Aleix Espargaro: Zarco ‘doesn’t seem to care’ about rider safety

Zarco’s Avintia Ducati developed an engine issue at the end of the FP4 session at the Algarve Circuit, with the Frenchman deciding to cut across the final corner despite smoke pouring from his bike.

He later said he did this as he knew full well what the issue was and knew there was no fluid leaking from his bike.

But his actions were widely criticised by MotoGP riders, with Aprilia’s Espargaro angry at Zarco’s “stupid answer” for justifying what he did.

“How can he know there was not oil coming out? That’s a stupid answer from him,” Espargaro said last Sunday.

“When the bike is smoking you don’t know what it is. But the problem is Johann Zarco is always the same, he never learns.

“In the race he hit two guys in front of me, it was unbelievable.

“It’s not that I have anything against him, but when you see smoke from your bike, you cannot cross the track at a fourth gear corner, full throttle at close to 200km/h because if somebody came behind and there was a little bit of oil or ever water, this guy can die.

“It’s about responsibility, but it looks like this guy doesn’t care anything about nobody or his mates. And this is what makes me furious.”

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Zarco has been on the receiving end of criticism at several points this season, most notably for his part in the horror collision with Franco Morbidelli at the Austrian GP in August.

The Avintia rider once again defended his action from Saturday in Portugal when Espargaro’s response was relayed to him, and says it’s “typical” of the Spaniard to say these things to the press but not to him directly.

“I know the contact with [Joan] Mir, I remember this contact. Then the other contact I don’t remember,” Zarco said.

“I tried my best anyway. When they were all angry against me [in Austria], I went to the safety commission and nobody was speaking.

“So, they can say a lot of things but when you are in front of them, they don’t say anything.

“So, this I think typical from Aleix and if he has a problem with me he should come to me and we can speak well.

“I did it with Pol after Czech Republic (when the pair collided, for which Zarco was penalised), and from that moment we were not in agreement, but at least we could speak.

“So, what I did yesterday to cut the track with my technical problem I knew which problem it was and I knew I was not losing oil.

“So, there are some other riders who don’t know about mechanics, so they don’t know what’s happening.

“Me, I totally knew what was going on, so I knew I was not losing oil. That’s why I made that decision.

“They all think I’m doing things without thinking, but I’m thinking more than what they think. So, it’s not a problem.”

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Aleix Espargaro , Johann Zarco
Author Lewis Duncan
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