MotoGP crash list consisting of nine riders from the Americas GP react to their falls which came one after the another at COTA.
It was a grand prix of attrition in Americas GP at COTA in the third round of 2023 MotoGP season where as many as nine riders had a crash where one managed to continue on, while there were nine retirements in all among the 22 entrants.
Out of the nine retirements, only one was due to mechanical issue while eight of them were down to MotoGP riders crashing. The first ones were Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin and Gresini Ducati’s Alex Marquez, where the former’s slide took out the latter too.
It was mostly Martin’s fault and Marquez was just a passenger. Following them it was KTM’s Jack Miller crashing out from third but the biggest came when Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia did so from the MotoGP race lead, losing a chance to retake the points lead.
While RNF Aprilia’s Raul Fernandez retired due to a mechanical trouble, it soon saw a crash for Honda’s Joan Mir. Following them were KTM’s Brad Binder and LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami, but the former managed to continue on to finish 13th and score points after a last lap fall for Honda’s Stefan Bradl.
Here’s what the MotoGP riders said –
Bagnaia: “I don’t know what happened. Sincerely, I don’t know how many laps I did this weekend. Maybe 80, maybe 100. Pushing, controlling, understanding… And then in the race when I was in total control, I crashed. So I’m very angry, not with myself, because I’m 100% sure that wasn’t my fault. In Argentina, I recognise that I was a bit on the limit. But today, no. Something happened, but not in terms of a cold tyre or the wind. Something we have to understand from the bike. Because it’s true that our bike is the best. We have the best bike in the grid, but then if you crash and you don’t know why, it’s useless because we lost 45 points in two weekends.
“So we have to understand that we have to maybe prefer a more unstable bike. But maybe I prefer to go one-tenth slower but understand better everything. Because right now it’s very difficult. I feel unbeatable. I feel I can do everything. Like today I was going fast but without taking any risks, without doing crazy things, I was entering very calmly in corner two, because I knew that it was more slippery. And I still crashed. So I have to really hope that my team will help me on that because I’m sure that the potential and the performance of the GP23 is incredible.
“It’s the best bike I’ve ever ridden. But for the race, there is something we have to understand what is happening. Maybe it has too much feedback filter because it’s so stable. Maybe we have to lose a bit of this stability, to lose a bit of filter, just to be more feeling on the tyres. Because sincerely like this, it’s perfect the bike, but if you crash and you lost 45 points in the last two weekends something is not perfect.”
Miller: “Not what we wanted. We were there having a red-hot crack at it. The bike was working pretty decent, I was able to reel Bagnaia and Rins in each lap in that Sector 2. I was just sort of settled in, had swapped the maps over probably 2 laps prior. I felt pretty comfortable and those other boys were starting to come back to me. Their pace was starting to rise just a little bit once the tyres got to the point where we needed to start nursing them. Checking the data, I did hold a tighter line in turn six beforehand, and then as I changed direction, I sort of paused on the change before putting it in there because I was coming from a bit wider.
“Then the team think it sort of loaded the rear and when she’s unloaded it’s put a little bit more on the front. So that could have had something to do with it. That’s all it takes around here. Once it tucked, I held it on the elbow there for a bit, but there’s no saving it. It is what it is. We were competitive today. We have decent pace there with those other boys. I felt comfortable but she got away from me. This track’s slippery and it’s unforgiving. You had to ride with that little bit of margin and it looked like Rins was able to do that throughout the weekend.”
Binder: “I expected a lot more from my race. I had a really good jump off the line. Turn 1, I made the wrong decision to go on the outside. It really hurt my progress. The first lap was chaotic, I couldn’t get going. Five or six laps in, I felt more normal and was able to ride the bike how I wanted to. Unfortunately I just tucked the front in one of the small corners. I ended up picking up the bike, coming home, and scoring three points. I’m happy with three points despite the mistake. A really bad start put us in a bit of a rough position. When I was trying to come through the field, it was tricky. I’ve made my mistake. I’ll learn from it. I’ll try not to do it again.”
Marquez: “It sometimes happens like this. It happened to Jorge, tomorrow it could happen to me. We are on the limit. We are humans. We all make mistakes. In this sport if you brake half a metre late, you pay. He made a small mistake, going wide then trying to recover. He lost the front. He made a mistake, he knows what he did. For me, it’s closed. This is something that can happen. I don’t want to criticise. I am disappointed to lose crucial points. On Saturday, I made a mistake, crashing alone.”
Martin: “It is a pity that we lost the race on the first lap. It was a difficult weekend for me, in terms of my physical condition. But I was solving the problems that were coming. Every day I felt better. P3 in the sprint race, then I was already in front after the start. At Turn 3 I lost the front. I am sorry that Alex crashed with me. I hope to improve from my mistakes in the future.”
Espargaro: “We did a good job this weekend. Unfortunately I couldn’t finish the race. From the start, I had a problem with the rear height device. It didn’t come in the standard position after corner 1. I did the first part of the track with a rear low. When I braked in the back straight then accelerated, it was the same problem. So I crashed. It’s a shame because we were strong and fast at a difficult track for us. So I am disappointed.”
Mir: “Coming from the back is difficult, difficult to overtake. Trying to overtake Franco Morbidelli, I lost the front. That’s what happened. It’s a difficult situation. We are not in the position to fight for the victory. This is tough.”
Nakagami: “Unfortunately I had a crash while I was P9. I had some issues, then a crash. I am a bit disappointed. But I gave my best. Sometimes, this happens. I tried to keep pushing, head down, I will try to get motivated for the European run. Jerez is one of my favourite tracks.”
Bradl: “Once it tucked, I held it on the elbow there for a bit, but there’s no saving it. It is what it is. We were competitive today. We have decent pace there with those other boys. I felt comfortable but she got away from me. This track’s slippery and it’s unforgiving. You had to ride with that little bit of margin and it looked like Rins was able to do that throughout the weekend.”
Fernandez: “We are unlucky. I did an amazing start. I was 13th, catching the group of Maverick Vinales and Miguel Oliveira. I had a mechanical problem, I had to retire. The team did a good job, Aprilia also. This sometimes happens. Sometimes we have mechanical problems. We need a good result for my feeling with the bike. We will try in Jerez, I am optimistic.”
Here’s crash for Francesco Bagnaia: https://www.motogp.com/en/videos/2023/04/16/must-see-bagnaia-blunders-and-crashes-out-of-the-lead/452889
Here’s how MotoGP panned out in Americas GP
Here’s how MotoGP Sprint in Americas GP panned out