MotoGP update: Marquez takes blame for Austin crash

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Update 0700 Friday: Marquez has taken to social media to clarify his comments in yesterday’s press conference, tweeting to MCN’s MotoGP reporter Simon Patterson to say that he didn’t mean that a mechanical problem had been the cause of his crash – and to take full responsibility for the fall in last week’s American Grand Prix.

Marc Marquez has strongly hinted to MCN that his crash out of the lead in last week’s Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas was caused not by rider error but by yet another technical problem with his Repsol Honda machine. The crash ended his streak of six victories at the Circuit of the Americas and leaves Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso the championship leader as MotoGP heads to Europe at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Answering MCN’s questions in the pre-event press conference, Marquez admitted that the crash wasn’t entirely his fault – but says he’s more than confident that his Honda engineers have fixed the issue ahead of this weekend’s race at Jerez.

“The small problem that we suffered with all weekend caused the crash, and it came from Argentina. We changed something for the race in Austin and they expected it would fix the problem, but it didn’t. Now they’ve tried something and tested it with Bradl and it seems to have fixed it, which is important. It’s normal with a new engine that sometimes things like this can happen, but the most important thing is that after a zero in the USA we’re only nine points behind the guy in front.”

The news comes as yet another technical blow to the Japanese manufacturer after a disastrous start to the 2019 season for a firm who normally pride themselves on their reliability over everything else.

Their new carbon fibre swing arm may be causing one of their unexpected problems, with the second occasion of the chain jumping off the sprocket in only two weekends bringing Jorge Lorenzo’s qualifying performance in Austin to a premature end. First a problem for Marc Marquez in Argentina and then again for Lorenzo in qualifying, it could be potentially caused by extra flex in their carbon swing arm allowing the chain to move more than usual.

Lorenzo also suffered a technical problem of his own in last Sunday’s race. Hinting afterwards that it was related to the gearbox, it could well be that the same problem that hit him caused Marquez to crash out of the championship lead.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer