AustrianGP: Espargaro: “I’m sorry if you are out of Q1 with the bike that has won the last 4 years!”

Published on August 15, 2020
By Short Shift News

Danilo Petrucci and Aleix Espargaro have continued their spat on social media following their qualifying one incident when Aleix Espargaro pulled in front of Danilo Petrucci and remained in front of the Ducati rider for the remainder of sector four.

Aleix Espargaro was cruising in sector four, coming to the end of his out-lap before diving in behind Valentino Rossi (looking for a tow, once again…) however, Espargaro wasn’t aware that Danilo Petrucci was on a flying lap, pulling across and in the way of the Italian, forcing Petrucci to miss out on a spot in Q2.

Petrucci immediately showed his frustration, passing Espargaro into turn three, sitting up in front of the Aprilia rider and gave him some gestures.

The pair continued their spat on Twitter, with Aleix Espargaro tweeting:

“In the Sector 4, Petrux did his record on the lap that he said that I disturb him… It’s funny, isn’t it? I’m sorry if u are out of Q1 with the bike that has won the last 4 years [in Austria]!”

The Spanish rider also put a picture of the timesheets, stating that Danilo’s final sector was faster than his previous best set on lap three. Sector four on his third lap was a 16.515 and the lap that Espargaro blocked the Italian, Petrucci set a 16.386s in the final sector.

Petrucci was quick to reply, comparing his MotoGP stats to Aleix’s – which won’t go down too well with the Spaniard!

Speaking to the press on the incident, the pair said:

Aleix Espargaro – P14

“He’s just stupid, all the show he did. I don’t understand. If you analyse the timing, his best sector four of all weekend has been set in that lap. So, [I have] nothing more to say. And then he closed [the gas] on the middle of the straight, he destroyed also my next lap. He tried to do stupid things when he arrived in the pits. He was just trying to justify that he was P13 in the winning bike of the last four years, but it’s not my fault.

I’m sure they need to penalise him because he closed in the middle of the straight. We actually talked also two races ago about the gesturing, they said to us ‘please be careful, be polite’. We talked about this at Jerez. So, I hope he gets a fine.”

Danilo Petrucci – P13

“For sure, it was a really good entry to Turn 9 when I saw Aleix coming on my line and then I had also Aleix in front of me in last corner. I had to wait a little bit to open the throttle because he was really close. Maybe I could be in Q2 [without this run-in]. At the moment I’m quite okay about the feeling I had in FP4, I had a good pace with the used tyre. I want to focus on this.

I maybe talk with Race Direction later, they call us, but I don’t know what they have to tell me. For sure my middle finger to him was too much, but we are always trying to do our best. It makes me laugh because he [Espargaro] always writes on Twitter that ‘I prefer to talk directly to the person and talk on track’. So, he is always the same.”

To make things more exciting, the pair will line up alongside each other on row five for the Austrian Grand Prix – starting at 14:00 local time.


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