Motorcycle Racing

MotoGP stewards offered “no clear explanation” of Jerez penalty

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Quartararo collided with RNF Aprilia’s Oliveira on the opening lap of Sunday’s main race at Turn 2, which led to the red flags being shown.

The Yamaha rider was able to restart the race, while Oliveira was taken to the medical centre where he was diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder.

On his way to the grid for the restart, Quartararo was given a long lap penalty for the incident.

Speaking about the penalty, Quartararo said: “[I was] surprised and we don’t see any reason why.

“Maio [Meregalli, Yamaha boss] went to race direction to have an explanation, but no clear explanation was said.

“From our side, I think we don’t see anything strange and I think it’s clearly not a penalty. But, it’s in the past, and I made it twice.

“I mean, first I think they said that they are stressed in this situation, they are in a rush.

“But it’s difficult to say ‘you are penalised’ when you are not sure and after the race you are not fully agreed it’s a penalty.”

Quartararo had to serve the long lap penalty a second time as he strayed outside of the designated loop, which he says he didn’t realise he’d done. He was eventually classified 10th.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

MotoGP stewarding has been a hot topic since the opening round of the season following the controversial Marc Marquez/Oliveira collision in the Portuguese GP.

In Sunday’s Spanish GP, Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia was ordered by the stewards to drop one position for a hard overtake on KTM’s Jack Miller.

Miller made a similarly hard move on Pramac’s Jorge Martin not long after, but escaped punishment.

With complaints about inconsistencies in stewarding often being raised, the FIM stewards panel will meet with the riders at the French GP to explain its position on decision-making.

“I mean, I would love to say what I think, but we will just have a discussion and see how it is possible to take this kind of decision,” Quartararo said when asked about what he would say in this meeting.

Explaining the incident, Quartararo says he was forced into the collision as he was squeezed in the middle between Marco Bezzecchi and Oliveira.

“Bezzecchi was in front, I was in the middle, I had no other solution to do that,” he said.

“I could not escape this crash. I just tried to brake and stop, but I hit – I don’t know who was first – but the bike of Miguel took my clutch and I hit the bike of Bezzecchi….

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