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MotoGP, Marini: “Binder came to apologize, it was just bad luck”

“He started vibrating and his pads popped open, which is why he went long. The second long lap? Maybe in the future, we could have a system like in soccer, with a yellow card, then a red card.”

MotoGP: Marini: “Binder came to apologize, it was just bad luck”

Luca Marini hoped to repeat the good performance he had yesterday in Mandalika today, with a second place in the Sprint after getting a pole position in qualifying. But his glory dreams were unfortunately shattered against the fairing of Brad Binder’s KTM who, with an attack which at first seemed too aggressive, shoved Luca, putting an end to his race. 

The two actually cleared things up after the end of the race, and Marini accepted Brad’s apology, for an accident that was actually caused by a small brake problem the South African rider had. 

“Not falling after that contact was impossible. I only saw a flash and fell. Binder came to my office and explained what had happened. When he cut at the curb at nine, his front started vibrating and his pads popped opened. Unfortunately, it’s something that can happen. It happens, and something similar happened to me right here. It’s just bad luck.”

You then did a long lap penalty, but you didn’t really need to. 
“I didn’t know. In fact, I turned the bike back on for the long lap penalty so I wouldn’t have to do it at the next Grand Prix. But they actually explained to me that it doesn’t work that way because, once you start a race, even if you fall at the first corner, it’s as if you had done it. To dispel any doubt, I did it! I thought about it as I was falling. It seems like a smart thing to me anyway.”

You’re the first rider to speak highly of the stewards. 
“It’s a difficult job for the stewards. We can’t always accuse them and hold them accountable. It’s difficult to make a decision. If you put yourself in their shoes, you understand that their work is difficult.”

It seems like you’ve regained confidence with this Ducati. What has changed?
“I didn’t change much on the bike. I started working on a slightly different position of my body, and now the sensations are excellent and even better than those I had at Le Mans. Let’s see how it goes in Australia but, in the meantime, my collarbone is fine, so I hope to be better there.”

Too bad about the contact. 
“I actually feel worse about the start. I hadn’t started badly, but when Jorge passed me, I had to turn off the throttle, so as not to have any contact. I lost two positions, and that’s why I ended up where I shouldn’t have been. It’s been a good weekend as far as speed is concerned, so I’d say it’s all good.”

In your opinion, was the second long lap for Binder correct after his contact with Oliveira, or should the penalty have been greater?
“Yes, it’s something that we might talk about, because I think it’s the first time something like this has happened. Maybe the second penalty could be slightly more than the first in cases like this, as if there were a yellow card, then a red one. Something like that. We’ll talk about it, because we all want more safety on the track. It’ll be a topic during the safety commission.”

And what do you think of the talk about the minimum salary for riders?
“I think a minimum salary is something really hard for riders to achieve. It seems like a good option, especially for riders in satellite teams. But it’s true that stress is high for riders now. During the race weekend, a rider practically never has breaks. You have continuous commitments, and it becomes difficult. If you’re in good condition with the bike and go fast, then it becomes easier. If you have problems, and you have to spend hours with the engineers in the garage to fix things, it becomes very complex, and you need a few extra hours off. Maybe, with more money, everyone would be happier!”

At the end of the season, do you think the current format works or should it change?
“I think I understand how sprint races work, better than at the beginning of the season. I have a better plan now. I manage it better. With more time and experience, we’ll all adapt. I think the format we have today will hardly change, also because it’s a system that works. The sprint races are entertainment. The spectators have fun. Fans like it. There’s no time to work well on the bikes, but riding a Ducati isn’t a problem for me. Maybe it is for those who have bikes that don’t work so well.”


Translated by Leila Myftija

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