Decision Made on Bagnaia-Marquez Portuguese MotoGP Clash

A decision on the incident between Marc Marquez and Francesco Bagnaia that left both without points at the Portuguese GP has been made

Francesco Bagnaia, Marc Marquez, 2024 MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix. - Gold and Goose

The FIM MotoGP Stewards Panel has declared its verdict on the clash between Marc Marquez and Francesco Bagnaia in the MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix.

Marquez and Bagnaia had spent most of the race in the vicinity of each other, albeit split by Pedro Acosta for a large amount of the race. Bagnaia began slipping backwards in the final 10 laps, and was passed by Acosta on lap 21. The Italian had been visibly struggling to turn throughout the race, and Marquez immediately began pressuring the reigning champion after Acosta made his move.

On lap 23, Marquez tried to pass Bagnaia at turn five, but ran slightly wide. Bagnaia tried to cut underneath Marquez to take away his line on the exit, but the two collided as Marquez tried to close the line on Bagnaia. Both crashed, Marquez remounting to finish 16th, and Bagnaia riding back into the pits.

Following the race, the incident was reviewed by the FIM MotoGP Stewards Panel, who resolved that neither Marquez nor Bagnaia was deserving of a penalty.

“When Marc arrived, he tried to overtake me, but he went wide,” Bagnaia told “I just tried to close the line, he tried to close his line, and we collided. So, unluckily, we ended up scoring zero points, and at the next race we have to fight back to close the gap a bit.”

Bagnaia spoke following his and Marquez’ hearing with the MotoGP Stewards, in which both riders “went on the side of no penalty,” the Italian said. Although, as Bagnaia said, he and Marquez are “two different guys with two different mentalities, so two different points of view,” the incident hadn’t affected their relationship, as it is “something that can happen,” according to the Italian.

Marquez was slightly more outspoken in his view of the clash. “I didn’t expect that mistake from Pecco in this race,” Marquez said, “because we were fighting for fifth position.”

The difference between fifth (11 points) and sixth (10 points) is only one World Championship point, and Marquez felt that Bagnaia’s retaliation to his initial overtake was disproportionate to the amount of points available. “In the end, two points more, two points less - the worst thing is that both of us finish in the gravel, so this is something that can affect the end of the championship a lot.”

Marquez explained that he and Bagnaia had endured opposite races, with the #93 struggling at the beginning of the race, while Bagnaia faded more in the closing stages. “Today, he was suffering a lot in the end, I was suffering a lot in the beginning. In the end, I was catching him. You know that, when you are suffering, within three or four laps the other rider will overtake you, so you must accept this.

“But he came back in a very optimistic way, and in the end we both finished in the gravel.”

Marquez, who is now in his 12th season as a premier class rider, could only agree with Bagnaia on the point that neither of them will agree with each other on the incident itself. “Of course, it’s impossible for there to be agreement between two riders one hour after the incident. But we have a good relationship with Pecco, no problem.

“He knows what he did, he knows what mistake he made. I accept it - these things happen in the race.”

The incident was the first flash point between Marquez and Bagnaia in a season in which they are expected to be title rivals. While neither scored, 2023 MotoGP runner-up Jorge Martin took a commanding win, and opened an 18-point championship lead over KTM’s Brad Binder, who finished the Portuguese Grand Prix in fourth after Bagnaia and Marquez crashed, and Maverick Vinales retired with gearbox problems.

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