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MotoGP Portimao: Mir cops long lap penalty, Marini escapes punishment

Joan Mir will be forced to take a long lap penalty as a punishment for wiping out into Fabio Quartararo while attempting to overtake him during the Portuguese MotoGP Sprint Race, but Luca Marini has escaped sanction despite a similar incident that injured Enea Bastianini.

Mir - on his debut with the Repsol Honda team, - suffered a low-side while attempting to pass Quartararo at Turn 13, the 2020 MotoGP World Champion forcing the Yamaha rider to take to the run-off in an attempt to untangle himself.

The move was described as ‘over ambitious’ in a MotoGP tweet, with Mir - who starts 14th for the full length Grand Prix - required to take the long lap penalty at Turn 5.


“Starting in 14th is a lottery, you have a lot of riders around you who are very eager to recover positions as quickly as possible,” Mir admitted. “It was a very aggressive start to the race because of this, I think if we were starting up higher then we could show our true pace.

“We have good pace for the race tomorrow, so this makes me feel more confident if everything is more calm at the start. I also want to apologise to Fabio for the contact.”

Marini, meanwhile, has escaped a penalty despite committing a similar indiscretion in his low-side at Turn 5 on lap two.

The VR46 Racing rider took out Ducati stablemate Enea Bastianini in the incident, causing the Italian to break his shoulder blade, an injury that rules the factory rider out of this afternoon’s main GP and next weekend’s Argentina MotoGP.

Marini - who described the aggressive tactics in the shorter race as a ‘jungle’ - was apologetic to Bastianini, but was among the riders who believed the Sprint Race would result in incidents such as these.

“For me, it’s a pity. I just made my line. I was leaning one degree more to avoid any contact with Enea and I lost the front.

“Then my bike hit him. It’s a pity also for him. These things can happen. It’s always a problem. I am sorry for this. It was a racing incident

“There was no contact between riders. One rider crashed, the bike hit another rider. This is impossible to avoid.”

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