Coming into the weekend, Bagnaia commented that he had a “joker” to use in his championship battle with Martin, who already had a warning for riding below the minimum tyre pressure at the Thailand GP.
Bagnaia suggested it would be something he would look to exploit at the Qatar GP next week, but now no longer has that option.
He, as well as team-mate Bastianini – who won Sunday’s grand prix at Sepang, marking his first victory since Aragon 2022 – were found to have breached the minimum tyre pressure rule in the race.
Since it was their first offence, they keep their results. However, should they contravene the rule again, they will be awarded a three-second penalty.
Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro is so far the only rider to have received a sanction for breaking the tyre pressure rule, which was introduced from this year’s British GP.
He was hit with a three-second penalty in Thailand for committing a second offence.
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Alvaro Bautista, Aruba.it Racing Ducati
These are all first offences, and therefore their results from the grand prix still stand.
As of next season, any rider found to have run under the minimum front or rear tyre pressure for at least 30% of a sprint or 50% of a grand prix will be disqualified from the results.
The rule has been met with criticism from riders since it was first touted last year, particularly over the minimum front pressure of 1.88 bar.
They feel they have too narrow a working window before the tyre balloons and starts to cause front grip issues.
Ostensibly introduced as a safety measure at the request of Michelin, many riders agree that the regulation is actually making racing more unsafe.