How a “false” brake stopped another brutal Indonesia MotoGP crash

Six-time MotoGP world champion Marquez was forced to sit out last Sunday’s Mandalika race after suffering a concussion on a violent highside crash in the warm-up session.

Aleix Espargaro was following the Honda rider at the time of his Turn 1 crash and got “really scared”.

On the Saturday, Espargaro had two similarly big rear-end scares and decided to stiffen his Aprilia’s rear brake so that it basically did nothing when he stepped on it to avoid the rear coming round on him in a similarly spectacular fashion.

“I was two seconds behind him and I saw him fly,” Espargaro told DAZN of Marquez’s horrifying accident.

“I got really scared and actually cut the gas because I saw him on the ground like a dummy.

“When I got back to the box I told my guys that I had never seen a crash like that in my life.

“On Saturday I had two very big scares at that same point.

“And that’s why I decided to play with the rear brake spring [I stiffened it], so that when I stepped on it, it practically didn’t act; it was false.

“When I saw Marc’s crash I remembered that.”

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team after his crash

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Honda riders had suffered rear grip problems all throughout the Indonesia weekend, as concerns about tyre safety in February’s Mandalika pre-season test prompted Michelin to bring a construction from 2018 to the event.

The old tyre carcass was designed to better manage extreme temperatures, but some manufacturers suffered horribly from a lack of rear traction.

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As a result, Honda’s Pol Espargaro admitted on Saturday after qualifying 16 – having topped the February test – that he wasn’t sure he would even finish the race, because the lack of rear grip was forcing him to over-stress the front.

In the wet Indonesian GP, Pol Espargaro struggled to 12th, while his brother Aleix was ninth on the Aprilia having had early contact with LCR’s Alex Marquez.


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