Lecuona apologises for KTM friendly fire

The moment Iker Lecuona slid into Miguel Oliveira (right). Source: Fox Sports

Iker Lecuona has accepted responsibility for a late-race crash with fellow KTM MotoGP rider Miguel Oliveira that cut short the Algarve Grand Prix.

In the closing stages, Lecuona attempted a move down the inside of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing #88 into Turn 13, only to lose control and wipe both bikes out.

With concern surrounding the duo, the race was called on the penultimate lap.

Soon enough, both riders were seen to be moving, with Lecuona remorseful for his blunder.

“After some mistakes the top group was gone but I thought a good result was still on the table,” said the outgoing Tech3 KTM Factory Racing rider.

“I had a lot of fights with Brad [Binder] and Miguel and when I tried to overtake Miguel there was a bump, I crashed and we were out.

“I went straight to see him to apologise and checked if he is okay. I’m very sorry for him.”

Oliveira had been the early star of the race, rising from 17th on the grid to be running inside the top 10 of his home grand prix by Lap 2.

Making matters worse for the KTM fleet, Lecuona’s team-mate Danilo Petrucci crashed out on the opening lap.

“I have really no words because it’s the second time in a row that another rider takes me out of the race,” said the Italian.

“This time, it was even a KTM. I don’t know if it was Brad or Miguel, but the result is the same.

“I did four corners and crashed without any fault by myself.

“This was the second time in two races and the fourth time this year. It’s really bad luck, as we have been truly in good shape this time.”

Binder thus was the only finisher of the four KTM entries, making it home in 10th place.

“A difficult weekend for us in general,” he admitted.

“The team did a great job overnight and in warm-up I was much happier with my set-up.

“I felt stronger and more confident going into the race but it took me too many laps to understand how to ride well.

“I made too many mistakes and it took too long to come up to a good pace.

“By the time I got a good rhythm and made some passes the red flag came out. A tough time but the team worked so hard. We’ll definitely be stronger next week.”

Binder has now drawn level with Marc Marquez for sixth in the championship, with one round remaining at Valencia on November 12-14.

Having missed Portimao due to concussion, it’s not yet clear whether Marquez will be back for the season finale.

While Red Bull KTM Factory Racing will retain the services of both Binder and Oliveira next year, Tech3 will swing a double change with Moto2 title contenders Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez being promoted to replace Petrucci and Lecuona in 2022.

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