Did you watch MotoGP at the weekend? If so, you’ll have no doubt wondered what on earth caused Enea Bastianini’s Ducati to be skating along the floor as the rest of the riders approached the grid. I certainly did. And it wasn’t until halfway through the race that we had an explanation to the Bastianini crash. For those that haven’t seen it, let me explain. Bastianini ‘stoppied’ directly into the back of Johann Zarco with enough force to sit himself on the floor; but not quite enough force to sit Zarco on the floor. Zarco went on to start (and finish) the race. Bastianini didn’t. But who’s fault was the collision?
Well if you were to ask Bastianini that question, he’d tell you Zarco was to blame. That his ‘very, very strange’ hard braking was ‘crazy’ and that it left him nowhere to go. And whilst part of me sympathises with the young Italian lad, I find it hard to agree with him. I sympathise with him because I have been there myself. Well, I’ve nearly been there, anyway. On numerous occasions I’ve narrowly missed people checking their brakes. It’s scary, and it’s also pretty dangerous; in the same way that weaving from side to side to warm your tyres is.
But unfortunately no matter how dangerous and scary it is, people are still going to do it. And, in all fairness, for good reason. Zarco wasn’t just dicking about, causing a nuisance for the sake of it. His hard accelerating and hard braking ritual approaching the grid isn’t just for fun. It’s to keep his tyres hot, get his brakes up to temperature and warm his suspension up. And he isn’t the only one that you’ll see doing it. Most of the MotoGP grid will employ a similar technique. And it’s nothing new. So whilst you could argue that Zarco ought to have checked over his shoulder before jabbing the brakes on, it’s not really going to wash with me.
Bastianini might be in his rookie year, but he’s started enough races in his career to know when to look out for people slamming on. All it takes is a split second of lost concentration, or a slight distraction, and bang; you’re on the floor. But it was Bastianini that lost concentration or got distracted. Not Zarco. It was Bastianini’s mistake, not Zarco’s.
And whilst I did feel for Bastianini, it’s hard to have too much sympathy for him when the first thing he did was blame Zarco for the crash. I don’t really know what sort of a character Bastianini is; perhaps he’s the kind that doesn’t like taking responsibility for things. Sometimes though, you need to know when to own up to your mistakes. When to put your hands up and admit that you got it wrong. Because when you cause an accident that’s clearly your fault, you look a bit silly when you try and blame someone else.
That’s my take on it anyway. I know there are people out there (other than Bastianini) that would blame Zarco for the crash. Are you one of them? If so, do you care to explain yourself?