Aleix Espargaro has escalated his war of words with Franco Morbidelli by claiming his rival has “crossed a sacred line”.
Espargaro was hit with a €10,000 fine and a six-place grid penalty for slapping Morbidelli’s helmet on Saturday in Qatar.
Morbidelli accused Espargaro of “disrespect” then said “I wonder what he will say to his kids”.
Espargaro raged to AS: “What really bothered me a lot is that, in his statements, he included my family and my children.
“There he crossed a very sacred line for me.”
The Aprilia rider injured an ankle in Saturday’s sprint race and ended a nightmare day with his leg in plaster.
He battled through the first few laps of the Qatar MotoGP, serving his grid penalty, before retiring early then reopening the debate over slapping Morbidelli.
Having apologised on social media, but also claiming the punishment was too harsh, Espargaro said: “No, no, my version does not change.
“Obviously, I was wrong, my exit was absolutely disastrous.
“I can give you my word that I never wanted to hit him in the helmet, I wanted to push him away.
“If you only see the final part, I deserve that sanction, I’m not going to argue with it, it’s very ugly.
“And I already know that I’m going to eat a lot of hate now, because what I did is very ugly, I admit it.
“But it’s a bit unfair because Franco has been walking around the circuits for a year and a half, each race bothers one or the other.
“I almost fell twice because he was walking, and when I tried to enter again he acted like a bully, not letting me enter.
“And I lost my nerve there.
“Last week he called Marc like a dog with his hand…
“Yes, I was very wrong with my reaction, I feel very bad for myself, for my team, for my family, but it’s not worth it, I think, to just look at the last part.”
The injury to Espargaro’s ankle could threaten his participation in next weekend’s season-finale in Valencia and the postseason test.
Keyword: Angry Aleix Espargaro: Franco Morbidelli “crossed a sacred line” by mentioning my family