‘A long two minutes’ – Marquez brothers on Morbidelli scare


Marc Marquez’s and Alex Marquez’s recollections of attending to MotoGP peer Franco Morbidelli at the site of his crash at Portimao make it clear it was an even more severe incident than perhaps indicated at first.

Morbidelli and the Marquezes were among those premier-class riders in attendance at the undulating Portuguese venue, where they were riding road bikes in preparation for the start of pre-season testing at Sepang.

After a crash on his Ducati Panigale V4S, Morbidelli – who has gone from Yamaha to Pramac Ducati this season – was first reported as going to the medical centre and then taken to a local hospital for checks and CT scans.

He was released after a two-day stay, but remains in doubt for the Sepang test – and is yet to arrive at the Malaysian circuit where full-grid testing kicks off on Tuesday.

The Marquez brothers – now team-mates at Gresini and Morbidelli’s stablemates within the Ducati camp – were first at the site of the crash, and both Marc’s description of the situation during a recent Gresini press conference for its Indonesian sponsors in Jakarta and Alex’s recollection today at Sepang painted a concerning picture.

“We were in Turn 5, we saw the red flag panels,” said Alex. “Then we arrived between 8 and 9 so in the change of elevation, so he crashed in that point.

“We know that point is dangerous. If you crash there, you get injured, normally.”

Turn 8 is a sharp, slow right-hander immediately feeding into a hill on exit, which then transitions right away into a steep decline – painting a pretty clear picture of how Morbidelli came to have a hard impact with the ground.

“We saw that Franco was completely unconscious on the run-off area, and he was a little bit in a strange position, with his head [looking] up,” said Marc.

The pair dropped their bikes and ran to Morbidelli to put him on the side, in the recovery position, to ensure he was breathing well.

“We put him in a lateral way, just to breathe, and he started to breathe, but the ambulance took like two minutes to come,” Alex said.

“It was a long two minutes.”

It is not clear what specific after-effects are currently keeping Morbidelli as a doubt for the test, although the fact he was unconscious is obviously a strong concussion-like symptom.

It has also been reported by Spanish Motorsport.com that a small blood clot had been discovered in his head during hospital checks.

Morbidelli – a protege of Valentino Rossi’s – thanked the elder Marquez, his mentor’s long-time arch rival, on social media.

“I mean, in the end, we are opponents but at the same time we are mates of profession,” said Marc.

“We are opponents but at the same time mates and we want the best for all the opponents.”

“It’s a human reaction,” said Alex. “I mean, the people say like it’s special – but no, it’s a human reaction, I think everybody would react in that way.”





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