Marquez Sparks Controversy Despite Leading Friday Times

Marc Marquez will start this weekend’s season finale at Valencia from the back of the grid after a controversial incident with Simone Corsi in afternoon practice. The newly crowned champion was fastest overall but the incident with Corsi has all-but ruined his chances of bowing out of the intermediate class with a win.

The flashpoint occurred four minutes from the end of the session with Marquez on a lap set to overtake Pol Espargaro at the top of the leaderboard. The Spaniard came through the left kink at turn nine with Corsi on a lap ahead of him and Marquez scythed up the inside of the FTR, wiping Corsi out.

The Italian rider was sent for a painful trip through the gravel trap, landing heavily on his head, but luckily escaped uninjured. Marquez took to Twitter to apologise, saying “I am really sorry about what happen during the free practice and I hope that Simone can accept my apologies”. Those words didn’t earn him any leniency from race direction though who have sent him to the back of the grid, whatever he does in qualifying.

Unlike Corsi, Marquez continued in the session and did indeed beat Espargaro’s time, doing so on his final lap. Pol was three hundredths behind in second but two tenths clear of Scott Redding in third. Andrea Iannone was fourth ahead of Johann Zarco although the Frenchman did take a tumble in the afternoon after outbraking himself at turn eleven.

Thomas Luthi was sixth ahead of local favourite Nicolas Terol with Julian Simon, Dominique Aegerter and Mika Kallio completing the top ten. Bradley Smith, another rider racing in Moto2 for the last time, was 22nd with Gino Rea three places ahead, although the Gresini rider was much more competitive in the wet morning session.