Morbidelli says Zarco ‘must pay’ over MotoGP crash; Zarco for surgery

Franco Morbidelli ups the criticism of Johann Zarco following their huge coming together in the Austrian MotoGP at the Red Bull Ring

Franco Morbidelli, Johann Zarco

Johann Zarco will undergo surgery on his wrist after it was discovered he has in fact fractured the scaphoid in his huge accident during the Austrian MotoGP, as Franco Morbidelli ramped up his critical rhetoric of the Frenchman on social media.

Zarco was hit from behind after coming across the Yamaha rider as they hit the brakes from high-speed towards the Turn 3 right-hander. The ensuring smash led to Morbidelli’s Yamaha and Zarco’s Ducati to spiral back across the track, just missing Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales.

Though originally thought to be simply battered and bruised, further assessment revealed a scaphoid fracture that will require surgery on Wednesday.

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For now, Zarco plans to race in this weekend’s Styrian MotoGP but is prepared to miss sessions if he needs to because he has already competed at the Red Bull Ring.

“On Monday I did some controls on my right wrist because it was still some pain, and I got a little fracture on the scaphoid. I will go to Italy to do the operation on Wednesday morning, with a doctor that has very good contact with Ducati, this is the doctor that many times operates riders. Then we will come back to Austria, and I will be on Thursday at the track to have a meeting about the big incident that happened on Sunday. 

“If the feeling is OK on the wrist and the medical center declares me fit to ride I will try and see if I can ride the bike.  The advantage this weekend is we already have all the references from the week before, so this is not a big drama if I miss few sessions and I can take one more day to feel if my wrist is ok. Now, the main thing is the operation, and after that see if my feeling improves.

“The team is working on the bike to prepare it, and I know everything will be ready if I come back on the bike. Maybe there will be some rain, so also this is a chance because on the rain we have less effort on the bike and for me will be really a good chance with the rain if I can race without much effort on the wrist.”

Criticism mounts on Zarco as Morbidelli says he ‘must pay’

With the huge accident making headlines around the world, the shock of the incident has now subsided towards whom should be blamed.

For context, Zarco had just used the superior straight line speed of the Ducati to get in front of Morbidelli on the long stretch from Turn 1 to Turn 3, but the Yamaha man moved to the right off line to attempt an out-braking manoeuvre into the bend. Zarco moved across in one continuous movement as is allowed, but appeared to not realise just how close the Italian was as he started braking.

The incident wasn’t subject to a stewards’ inquiry at the time but Zarco and Morbidelli will need to attend a meeting with the FIM on Thursday in which a penalty or clarification may be delivered.

Zarco himself has protested his innocence and insisted it was a racing incident, discussing it directly with the affected parties. However, while the Frenchman has intimated that they relented from their initial criticism, it appears the bad feelings haven’t dissipated.

Morbidelli revealed as much when he responded to a discussion with journalists on Twitter in which he declared Zarco ‘must pay’ for his actions.

“I think that every time two riders fall it is common practice to call it a race accident and the situation is resolved… but this ‘race accident’ happened at 310km/h and only by great luck we are still whole, someone has to pay for his mistake.”

He went on to add “You can push to the limit, but if you make a mistake you pay.”

With the riders racing at the Red Bull Ring again this weekend, this is an argument that is set to rumble on.