"I’m fine. I feel good," Franco Morbidelli's first words were accompanied by a smile. Despite the frightening accident he was involved in, the Petronas rider was almost unharmed and the only visible sign is a gauze on his right wrist.
“Monday was the toughest day - he said - I was all swollen, all sore and I struggled to get up from bed. I started immediately to work with our physiotherapists. They were able to 'deflate' me. Here I am on Thursday feeling alright, good and anxious to start the weekend."
You were summoned by the stewards, what did they tell you at that meeting?
"They had different camera angles about the accident. The images talked for themselves. I have to tell you that from a different angle it looks even more nasty," Morbidelli said.
Have you changed your mind about the responsibility?
"Before you ask me, I will tell you that I am sorry about what I called Johann after the race. It was a too strong a statement. The fact remains that Johann made a mistake and it could have ended way worse than how it ended. I don’t know his feelings. I’m not in his head. I can’t judge what’s going through his mind. I can just judge his actions."
Did you also see the images of your bike’s camera?
"Probably my bike was so smashed... Or maybe the images from my bike are not for underage people! We saw it from a different angle where you can clearly see the exit of T1, the entry of T2 and then what happens throughout T2 and 3. From these other angles it’s even more clear and even more nasty."
Can you explain?
"Johann took a funny line, a line that nobody has been going – never, not even once in the weekend – a super tight line just to cut ground to overtake me. The problem is that when he cut the ground he didn’t overtake me completely and he still went wide after the corner. We couldn’t avoid the collision. I couldn’t avoid because I couldn’t go any further on the right. I couldn’t go anywhere else. I couldn’t go on the inside because there was no space to go inside."
His team said Johann braked later than usual at that point…
"The moment I touched Johann I’ve been braking for 50 metres. The problem is that Johann is changing his line in a super unnatural way, leaving me no space while braking. Presenting the fact that he braked two metres later means nothing because the approach to the corner was wrong, the overtaking manoeuvre was wrong and the exiting line was wrong."
How would you react if he weren’t penalized?
“I don't know, but I don't think it will happen. Four riders risked getting very, very, very badly hurt; when something happens at that speed and that way it means that someone made a mistake ”.
Didn't the Stewards wait too long before calling you?
“If they called us today it's because it was the earliest they could do it, I don't have enough experience to comment on this point. I'm sure they have a lot of work to do, starting with Moto3. But they listened to us and now they are judging what happened ".
Don't you think it would have been better to sort it all out on Sunday?
“I don't want to go against the Stewards, it would just be a criticism from someone who doesn’t know what they do. I found three people of great experience; I don't care when they called us but that they did. After the race, Uncini assured me that we would be heard ”.
There is a lot of controversy about the safety of the Red Bull Ring, what do you think?
"I believe it’s a nice track and the layout is cool, but we have to speak about turn 2 and 3 because it’s getting more and more dangerous because of the level MotoGP is reaching right now. The gravel is quite fine and smooth because I was rolling in it at 300kph and I’m still walking away. Whereas we have seen at Jerez people rolling around in the gravel and not being as lucky as me.