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Spanish MotoGP | From bad to worse - did Fabio Quartararo deserve Jerez penalty?

Fabio Quartararo, Monster Energy Yamaha, Yamaha M1, 2023 MotoGP, Spanish MotoGP, Jerez, action, portrait, crash [credit: 2Snap]

Fabio Quartararo says he is at a loss to explain why he was singled out as the culprit of a nasty red flag-necessitating incident involving Miguel Oliveira and Marco Bezzecchi at the start of the Spanish MotoGP at Jerez.

In a repeat of Saturday’s Sprint Race melee, Sunday’s main GP was brought to a halt on the opening lap following the Turn 2 accident that left Miguel Oliveira nursing a dislocated shoulder.

Triggered by the nose of Quartararo’s Yamaha getting wedged between Oliveira’s leaning RNF Aprilia to his left and Bezzecchi’s VR46 Ducati to his right, the subsequent tangle sent both the Frenchman and his Portuguese rival barrelling off track.


With Oliveira stretchered away, Quartararo made it back to the garage to take the restart, only to discover just as he was starting the warm-up lap that he’d copped a long lap penalty as punishment for causing the accident.

With no opportunities to appeal it, Quartararo - already on the back foot from 16th on the grid - took the penalty early on, but was judged to have touched the outside white line upon re-entering the track, meaning he’d have to take it a second time.

“I didn’t try to make an overtake, I was just trying to survive the corner,” Quartararo said after the race. “I had Bezzecchi on the right, Oliveira on the left, i touched their bikes because I had no space and it was just a matter for me to make the corner. 

“Lin [Jarvis] went to Race Direction to have an explanation and find out if I really deserved to have the penalty but there was no answer.  There is no reason to have this kind of penalty because I was trying to make my best.”

While Quartararo eventually battled back to tenth place, it simply compounded a dismal afternoon for Yamaha after team-mate Franco Morbidelli was also forced to take the same penalty as punishment for triggering the Turn 2 pile-up in the Sprint Race.

Indeed, the rulings left Yamaha’s top brass baffled, with Massimo Meregalli even stating the video evidence he was shown by Race Direction simply corroborated the team’s - albeit futile - protests 

“We went to Race Direction because we didn’t understand why they penalised Fabio with a long lap, after talking to them we were even more convinced they made a mistake. 

“They showed us images and different views, but in the end they did not convince that their decision was right. 

“I am disappointed because the race was compromised, yesterday [with Morbidelli] in my opinion they took another decision that was very appealable, but apart from that we received information on the TV that there has been a poor quality of professionalism.”

CLICK HERE to view 2023 MotoGP World Championship standings after Spanish MotoGP

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