Zarco to miss Friday, FFM urge media ‘caution’ over crash reporting

Johann Zarco's wrist surgery puts him out of action for Friday running at the Red Bull Ring as FFM backs him ahead of crunch FIM meeting over crash

Franco Morbidelli, Johann Zarco
Franco Morbidelli, Johann Zarco

Johann Zarco won’t be on track for the start of the 2020 Styrian MotoGP after undergoing surgery on his wrist following his collision with Franco Morbidelli at the Red Bull Ring.

The Frenchman was discovered with a fractured scaphoid in the wake of his shunt with Morbidelli, which led to the spectacular accident that almost involved Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales in their subsequent near-miss with the wayward bikes.

Undergoing surgery on Wednesday, it is now confirmed Zarco won’t be in action on Friday around the Red Bull Ring, but is hoping to be back for Saturday to make the most of his recent familiarity with the circuit to get up to speed quickly on the Avintia Ducati.

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Additionally, Zarco returns to the Red Bull Ring today to meet with the FIM governing body over his role in the aforementioned accident.

He in particular has come under fire from fellow riders for what Rossi dubbed ‘a serious error of judgement’ by appearing to move across Morbidelli and brake directly in his path, even if they accept his part of in the incident was in no way deliberate.

However, Zarco has received significant backing from the French Motorcycle Federation, who have spoken out against the critical rhetoric being levelled at him for what it calls an unfortunate accident, adding that the media should show more ‘caution’ when discussing it.

“Last Sunday, an accident with potentially dramatic consequences involved two riders, Franco Morbidelli and FFM rider Johann Zarco, during the Austrian MotoGP Grand Prix,” read a statement.

“While a large part of the Grand Prix riders present or past consider that this accident is an unfortunate fact of racing , the French Motorcycle Federation wonders about certain accusations, the motivation of which is not well defined, concerning the responsibility of Johann Zarco in this accident.”

The President of the FFM , Mr. Jacques Bolle, added. "When you view the images, nothing shows that Johann had any responsibility in this accident, on the contrary. So the media should be cautious in this matter. In any case, the FIM Stewards will study the issue within a few days and I have full confidence in their analysis.”

Zarco’s Avintia Ducati team have also backed him, revealing telemetry showed he braked later than in previous laps, suggesting he wasn’t ‘brake-testing’ Morbidelli to catch him unawares.

"After the dispute of the Austrian Grand Prix, telemetry has shown that, at the time of the accident, Zarco brakes later in Turn 3 than in the rest of the laps of the race, so from this analysis it follows that at no time is his intention to impair Morbidelli's braking and close his line."

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