Maverick Vinales felt that Francesco Bagnaia “could have left more space”, though ultimately conceded the clash between the pair at Le Mans could be chalked up to a racing incident.
Vinales was keen to reach the front of the French Grand Prix having made a decent start from sixth, the Aprilia pilot carving through the front pack across the early laps before attempting to snatch away third from Bagnaia at Turn 10 on lap five.
The Spaniard ran slightly wide while diving through on the Ducati man though, the two making contact as Vinales held his line on the inside as Bagnaia tried to sweep back around the outside – the clash causing the Aprilia to run on and collect the reigning premier class world champion – seeing them tumble into the gravel and out of the race as a result.
While Vinales conceded that the collision was ultimately a racing incident, he felt that Bagnaia could have perhaps left a little more room considering his initial move was “very clean.”
“It’s difficult to describe the incident, there are different points of view but I overtook him very clean and then I changed direction and I find the crash,” explained Vinales.
“Maybe he could have left a little more space in this case, but I can understand the point of view of Pecco (Bagnaia.)
“However I think we were emotional (after crash) but afterwards out of the track you can see the respect, we are racing of course.
“For me it’s more about respect with the riders because during the first laps some of them are really going over the limit all the time and this is not good, so hopefully the stewards can do something.”
Bagnaia – who now sits just a point clear in the overall points following his third grand prix non score in the first five of 2023 – meanwhile reckoned that both riders “shared the same view” of the accident in that it was a racing deal, though felt that both “could have managed better the situation” in order to prevent the collision from occurring in the first place.
“They were unlucky circumstances and for sure a racing incident, for sure we could have managed better the situation because he maybe had to be more on his line and I had to perhaps close off more, but these things can happen,” added Bagnaia.
“I didn’t like the situation after the crash, but other than that I was fast and was going slower in that moment to be safe behind them and to wait for a bit before I started to push, but I never had the possibility so I’m disappointed for that.
“Now we have three weeks before Mugello and I’d like to achieve more consistency there.
“We were just sharing our point of view (in race control) and we finished the meeting with the same one, which is good because there is always a penalty for a crash or contact and its important speaking with the riders and stewards as we can sort these things out.”
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