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Morbidelli: Zarco is ‘half a killer’

Daniel Herrero

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Monday 17th August, 2020 - 2:51am

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Franco Morbidelli (left) and Johann Zarco (right) pic: MotoGP.com

Franco Morbidelli has labelled Johann Zarco “half a killer” for his part in the crash which saw both Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales nearly hit by flying motorcycles.

The horrific incident on Lap 9 of the Austrian MotoGP ultimately occurred because of contact between Zarco and Morbidelli through the Red Bull Ring’s Turn 2 kink which put both off their bikes.

Zarco’s Ducati speared through an infield air fence and leaped over Viñales at Turn 3, while the Italian’s M1 bounced through the gap between his factory Yamaha counterparts.

“He’s half a killer,” asserted a livid Morbidelli of the Frenchman on Sky Sport Italia.

“I’m fine, but it was very dangerous. For me and for him, but also for Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales, who saw a bike come in their faces at 280km/h.”

Replays suggested that the clash had occurred due to Zarco drifting to his right, with Morbidelli recounting, “I’m sorry because I wasn’t able to do anything.

“The moment I started braking, Zarco changed trajectory, perhaps to protect himself.

“When he went towards the outside, I was sucked into his slipstream.

“Braking like this, at 300 (kilometres) per hour, means having little love for those who are racing with you.”

According to Crash.net, Zarco wrote in an Instagram post which appears to have since been deleted, “I have seen Morbidelli also and we were both sorry about what’s happened.

“It was a racing incident that is sometimes difficult to avoid at this speed. Also, our bikes didn’t touch anyone, so very lucky today.”

While Morbidelli was initially carried away on a stretcher, before stepping into the waiting medical vehicle under his own power, both riders were declared fit following checks at the circuit.

The Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso won the race, leading the latter half of the 20-lap contest which followed the red flag.

Zarco and Morbidelli clash (top of shot) pic: Fox Sports

Franco Morbidelli’s Yamaha and Johann Zarco’s Ducati cartwheel through Turn 3 after nearly hitting Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi pic: MotoGP television world feed

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