Quartararo rages against MotoGP stewards over Assen penalty

Championship leader Fabio Quartararo has raged against MotoGP stewards for giving him a long lap penalty for his clash with Aleix Espargaro in the Dutch Grand Prix.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team, Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing crash

The Yamaha rider crashed trying to overtake Aprilia’s Espargaro on lap five of Sunday’s Assen race and collided with the Spaniard.

The contact forced Espargaro off into the gravel and dropped him from second to 15th, with the Aprilia rider losing 8.5s trying to recover before eventually going on to finish fourth.

The incident was placed under investigation by the stewards and resulted in him being given a long lap penalty for August’s British Grand Prix.

It was a penalty that was widely condemned on social media, with Quartararo taking to Instagram to vent his frustrations – taking aim at the inconsistency shown by stewards this season.

“Well… a long lap for the next race,” Quartararo began.

“Now you cannot try and overtake because they think you are too ambitious.

“From the beginning of the year some riders made a‘racing incident’ but apparently mine was too dangerous.

“Congratulations to the stewards for the amazing job you are doing.

“Next time I will not try any overtake to think about not taking a penalty.”


This latest penalty has reignited the debate surrounding consistency in punishments with stewards, after LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami escaped without a penalty for a Turn 1 collision that wiped out Alex Rins and Francesco Bagnaia in Barcelona.

This was deemed a racing incident, as was his collision with Rins the week before at Mugello which also took the Suzuki rider out of the race.

Rins raged at what he deemed was incompetency from the current stewards’ panel after the Nakagami Barcelona incident.

Riders have long expressed frustration at the track limits penalties that have been dished out in recent years.

Ex-World Superbike rider Chaz Davies posted on Twitter on Sunday evening that the recent stewarding will only dissuade riders from engaging on track.

“FIM MotoGP stewards panel: doing an excellent job of deterring riders from actually racing in future,” Davies wrote.

“A basic failure to recognise an unfortunate racing incident vs blatant reckless riding.”

Ducati’s Jack Miller also blasted a long lap penalty he received at Assen for impeding Maverick Vinales in qualifying as “bullshit”.

Quartararo re-joined the Assen race after his Turn 5 spill, but would crash again on lap 12 at the same corner due to a broken traction control sensor.

He later questioned his Yamaha team’s decision to send him back out again after he’d initially come into pitlane a few laps earlier, and said he was “lucky” not to injure himself.

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Yamaha boss Massimo Meregalli felts Quartararo’s penalty is harsh, adding: “We started the race hoping to be able to put in a good performance.

“We were, anyway, well prepared for this race, but this is racing. “We view the first crash of Fabio as a race incident and feel that Race Direction's decision to give him a sanction for the next race is not only harsh considering he took nobody down with him and Aleix still scored points, but it's also not consistent with race incidents we've seen in earlier GPs that were left unpunished.

“We will use this break to digest this GP and come back ready to fight in Silverstone in one month‘s time.”

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