A MONUMENTAL mistake cost MotoGP star Aleix Espargaro a place on the podium at Sunday’s Catalonia GP.
The Aprilia racer was fighting for the top spot with Fabio Quartararo when he suddenly started to slow down with one lap to go.
The Spaniard waved to the crowd, unaware that the race was still underway.
And by the time he realized he still had one lap to go, he had slipped from the podiums to fifth.
Espargaro’s pit crew watched in disbelief as he accidentally threw away a crucial podium finish.
The Spaniard was then seen in tears as he came to terms with the costly mistake, but his team quickly rallied in support.
Speaking about the incident after the race, Espargaro said: “It was my fault, I made a big mistake.
“The first thing I have to do is apologize to my team.
“I didn’t have time to see the lap, so I checked out the tower. It was my fault.
“I have to watch out for my people, not the tower.”
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Monster Energy Yamaha rider Quartararo won the race and extended his lead at the top of the MotoGP riders’ standings to 22 points.
The action-packed Catalonia GP was full of drama from the start.
Takaaki Nakagami was lucky enough to avoid serious injury when his helmet shattered completely in a collision with Francesco Bagnaia and Alex Rins.
The LCR Honda racer lost control before falling off his bike at the first corner.
He slid into Bagnaia’s rear wheel and hit his head violently before flying into Rins’ path, taking him with him in the process.
Nakagami and Rins then both flew into the gravel at the side of the track.
Both drivers were conscious after the accident but were taken to the medical center and hospital as a precaution.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5494892/watch-motogp-aleix-espargaro-celebrating-early-catalan-gp/ Watch MotoGP star Aleix Espargaro give away the podium after celebrating a lap EARLY in an epic Catalan GP slip-up