Alex Marquez has been handed a three-place grid penalty for the Italian MotoGP as punishment for disrupting Brad Binder’s race on the opening lap of the French MotoGP at Le Mans.
The Gresini Ducati rider ducked into a tight inside pass on Johann Zarco at Turn 5, but entered at such an angle that he was spat out wide on the exit into the path of Binder.
With Binder forced out further wide in avoidance, the South African was demoted from sixth down to 18th place in the aftermath.
Though Marquez explained that he was forced to the inside to dodge an early-braking Zarco, stewards took a dim view of the move and subsequently gave him a three-place grid for his next race at Mugello.
“I was behind Johann and after turn 5 I was not expecting him to be braking really soon,” he said. “Then I was trying to avoid him on the inside. They closed the gas so early and then I touched just a little bit Brad.
“Brad's line is really inside there and he was trying to defend and I just touched him a little bit, but I saw that he lost some positions.
“So I'm sorry for that because it was not my intention to go against Brad. I just touched him just a little bit, but you know, for him it was a big one because he went really, really off [wide].”
While Binder went on to recover to sixth place, despite a long-lap penalty for corner cutting, Marquez suffered his fourth DNF in six starts when he thumped into the side of Ducati counterpart Luca Marini as the VR46 rider was attempting to save a low-side.
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