Aleix Espargaro spoke quite sharply about what happened at the Malaysian Grand Prix between him and Franco Morbidelli (on the last lap, Franco harshly attacked the Spaniard in turn 14, for which he was then penalized – he was deprived of his position). In general, Espargaro expressed his surprise that Morbidelli is still in MotoGP, despite the extremely low results of 2022 and constant mistakes.
The Malaysian Grand Prix race has become a real roller coaster for Morbidelli: starting 7th, he made his way into the TOP 5, then performed two consecutive Long Laps, rolled back to 14th, and then got out of there into the TOP 10. But on the last lap, the fight for the 10th position with Aleix Espargaro did not go as cleanly as everyone would have liked: Franco rushed from the gate slightly opened by Aleix before entering the 14th turn, but at the apex, their trajectories crossed. Alyosha found himself in an unfavorable position – on the external trajectory and almost lost his balance after a hard contact with Yamaha. Morbidelli went ahead and finished the race 10th, and Espargaro finished behind him.
But then the Stewards reviewed the incident and punished Morbidelli for an aggressive attack, giving him 3 penalty seconds – this returned Espargaro to the top ten.
Of course, after the race, Espargaro was upset: the race was unsuccessful from the very beginning, and he did not have the opportunity to fight even for a place in the TOP 5, as a result, he finally lost his chances for the title in 2022.
But the duel with Morbidelli just pissed him off: “To be honest, I don’t understand what this guy is doing this year. It looks like he lives on another planet in his head,” Alyosha said after the race. “It seems that he is penalized at every Grand Prix for this and that, and he continues to do stupid things. He crashed into me twice in Thailand when we were fighting for 11th place. I don’t understand. Today he gave me a great kick in the race. I can’t imagine how I didn’t fall after contact! And it was a fight for 10th place… He was penalized for 3 seconds to give me back important points in the championship, which I lost due to his attack. But in my opinion, he should have been moved to the last line of the starting grid in Valencia.”
P.S. Yamaha Racing expressed to the Directorate its disagreement with Aprilia’s claims and with the decision on punishment for Morbidelli itself, but they did not file an official protest.