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Melandri under investigation after Aprilia protest

5 August 2012

Marco Melandri could face the wrath of the stewards after Aprilia submitted an official protest claiming the BMW team were still adjusting his bike on the grid after the allotted time.

With the changeable weather conditions creating a lottery at the restart for the opening race, it was suggested that Melandri's bike was still being worked on less than 3mins before leaving for the formation lap.

As such, Aprilia have entered a protest, a move that could prove crucial since Melandri went on to finish the race in seventh and its rider Max Biaggi crashed out on the final lap, reducing the latter's lead in the standings to 14 points.

The protest will be considered after the second race, though it isn't certain what penalty could be handed down if Melandri was found to be in breach of the rules.

Ironically, however, Infront chief Paolo Ciabatti has since referenced Biaggi as also potentially contravening the rules after it was noted that he didn't have a tyre fitted after the 3min deadline, though no official protest is believed to have been submitted by another team.

Officially, no adjustments to a bike can be made less than 3mins before the start of a race, though leeway is considered if the work has begun before the deadline and completed just after it has passed.


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