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MotoGP Austria: Crutchlow apologises, but penalty 'harsh'

"Sorry to my team. I made a mistake and let the clutch out too early... I thought the penalty was very harsh" - Cal Crutchlow.
Cal Crutchlow was one of five riders to receive a jump start penalty in Sunday's Austrian MotoGP.

Given that the Englishman was the highest qualified of the jump starters, in seventh, it is assumed the others - Hector Barbera 10th, Yonny Hernandez 16th, Alvaro Bautista 19th and Stefan Bradl, 21st - wrongly reacted to his movement.

Indeed, Crutchlow later explained that he had already stopped the bike by the time the lights went out.

MotoGP rules allows some discretion if a rider moves, but is stationary again when the lights go out and does not gain an advantage. However since the other riders received a penalty, Crutchlow admitted it would have been branded unfair if he did not get one as well.

"Obviously I'm really disappointed. I want to say sorry to my team, I made a mistake and it's as simple as that. I let the clutch out too early," said the LCR Honda rider.

"I thought the penalty was very harsh, but I suppose with the other people jump-starting if I didn't get the penalty then there would have been complaints. I stopped, and then the lights went out, and promptly lost ten places on the track."

Crutchlow - riding with a special helmet design to celebrate the birth of his daughter during the summer break - finished the first lap in 15th, dropping to 18th after his ride-through. He returned to 15th on the final lap, scoring a single point.

“When things got going I was actually one of the fastest out there, the leader was in 1m 25.1 and we were in 1m 25.4," he said. "I made sure I brought the bike home though, that was the main thing.

"It's been a great summer break for me, and a good one for the team too. So to take an average result when there are so many positives is a bit hard. I don't know where we would have finished, maybe in between Marc [5th] and Dani [7th], but we didn't and that's it.”

Tagged as: Cal Crutchlow

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August 15, 2016 10:16 AM

When the rule says The motorcycle must be stationary at the time the red lights are turned off. Anticipation of the start is defined by the motorcycle moving forward at the time the red lights are turned off. In the case of a minor movement and subsequent stop whilst the red lights are on, Race Direction will be the sole judge of whether an advantage has been gained. And Crutchlow moved forward, stopped before the lights went out, then lost 10 positions.. i'd be pretty annoyed at the ride through...


August 15, 2016 1:13 PM

I think if it had been an isolated incident, then common sense may have seen Cal recieve no penalty as he stopped and lost so many places. However, as it triggered other riders to jump start it is less clear cut. Possibly why Cals penalty was handed to him after the others, as he didn't gain an advantage but was the cause of the other jump starts/penalties, so would, as Cal said, seem unfair for him not to recieve a penalty as well.

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