The crash between Tech 3 Yamaha’s Johann Zarco and Honda’s Marc Marquez in MotoGP’s Australian Grand Prix could have had big consequences but both riders were unscathed as they explain.
It was a typical start to the Australian GP at Phillip Island with a group of riders fighting for the lead of the race involving Zarco and Marquez. Both had a mixed run in the opening few laps with the latter leading at one point before conceding to Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso.
Marquez then had Pramac Racing Ducati’s Jack Miller, Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone, Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and Zarco around him for track position. Miller, Marquez and Zarco were together in Turn 1 when the clash took place.
The Australian was ahead of Marquez with Zarco behind – the trio were in the slipstream of each other when Zarco clouted the back of Marquez. The Spaniard made a slight movement to adjust his line unaware that Zarco was behind him.
The two retired from the race which was termed as a racing incident. Explaining the situation, Zarco said: “I am totally OK. The race was tough at the beginning, I was feeling good [still]. I had a great exit in the final corner, I was next to Marc.
“Then I got the slipstream of Jack. He also got a slipstream but then we had to brake, it was so close that I touched the rear wheel. So, at that speed touching the wheel of somebody else, I totally flew away, but the most important [thing is] physically, I am OK.”
Marquez was surprised with the hit and his first reaction was of anger inside the helmet. Upon coming back, hew reviewed the video and also had a chat with Zarco which made it clear it was just an unfortunate situation.
“When I was on the bike, first of all, I understood nothing and honestly speaking, I was angry because I had some contact from the rear,” he said. “When I arrived in the box and saw a little bit of the situation on a video, then I understood [the scenario].
“I understood it was completely [that it was] a race incident because in that part of the track we arrive really fast and even there was Miller in front, I was behind him getting the slipstream from him.
“I then braked [for the corner] and I braked a little bit late, I just tried to stop more but then I feel the contact. It is just a racing incident for me, I already speak with Johann, I feel really lucky because even me and him, we are OK, so this is the most important thing.”
The incident happened right in front of second placed Iannone who termed the clash as ‘really scary’. He said he was coming in like usual – fast – but then had to to brake quite hard to avoid the rear of Zarco when he saw him flying over onto the grass.
It ended being a terrible race for Tech 3 Yamaha and Honda as not only did Zarco and Marquez crash out but their teammates Hafizh Syarhin and Dani Pedrosa also retired after a fall – the former was running in the Top 8 when he crashed out.