Yamaha: Fabio Quartararo’s penalty ‘harsh, not consistent’

Monster Yamaha team director Massimo Meregalli feels the decision to penalise Fabio Quartararo for the Assen incident with Aleix Espargaro is ‘not only harsh, but inconsistent’
Fabio Quartararo, Dutch MotoGP race, 26 June
Fabio Quartararo, Dutch MotoGP race, 26 June

The reigning world champion will need to serve a Long Lap penalty at next month’s British MotoGP after the FIM Stewards judged he collision with Espargaro was ‘overly ambitious’ and that he was ‘not in a position to successfully complete the move and subsequently crashed, causing contact with #41 and forcing him to run wide’.

Espargaro dropped from second to 15th place, before recovering to fourth at the chequered flag. Quartararo remounted in last place, then made a pit stop before crashing for a second and final time.

The young Frenchman, now a reduced 21-points ahead of nearest rival Espargaro in the world championship, later admitted he had made a ‘stupid mistake’ and apologised to the Aprilia rider.

Meregalli feels that should have been the end of the matter and appears to highlight that no penalty was handed down to Takaaki Nakagami for triggering a multi-rider accident, including a wrist fracture for Alex Rins, in Barcelona.

Meregalli said: “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.”

Quartararo’s second accident is thought to have been caused by damage to his traction control system in the first fall.

Team-mate Franco Morbidelli also crashed out of Sunday’s race.

FIM Stewards: 'Quartararo was overly ambitious'

In explaining their decision, the FIM Stewards released the following statement:

'During the MotoGP race at the Motul TT Assen, an incident between #20 Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and #41 Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) saw rider #20 crash and make contact with #41 at Turn 5.

'The FIM MotoGP Stewards panel deemed Quartararo was overly ambitious in attempting to overtake A Espargaro. #20 was not in a position to successfully complete the move and subsequently crashed, causing contact with #41 and forcing him to run wide.

'The avoiding action undertaken by A Espargaro allowed him to avoid crashing and rejoin. Nevertheless, his race was severely impacted.

Quartararo has been given a Long Lap penalty to be served in the MotoGP race at the Monster Energy British Grand Prix.'

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