“They have no idea, I don’t know what they’re doing” - Quartararo slams stewards

Fabio Quartararo has hit out at the MotoGP stewards after he feels inconsistent penalties were handed out at the season-opener in Portimao.
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha MotoGP Portimao 2023
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha MotoGP Portimao 2023

The Yamaha rider was part of an incident during the inaugural MotoGP Sprint race when Joan Mir collided with him.

The Repsol Honda rider crashed out as a result, while Quartararo managed to remain aboard his M1 and finish tenth, but not before losing five places. 

Another incident took place when Luca Marini crashed into Enea Bastianini, which caused his fellow Ducati rider to also hit the tarmac.

And while Mir was given a Long-lap penalty for his mistake, Marini was handed no such punishment. 

Asked about the penalties and whether he understood them, Quartararo added: "No. They have no idea. We said ‘if someone hits someone and makes them lose lap time, or hurts someone, it’s a long lap penalty’. 

"Joan got a long lap penalty. Marini, I am sorry that he crashed, but he hurt someone else. He broke [Enea’s] shoulder - and nothing [happens]. 

"I don’t know what they are doing. We must change. In the briefing, this was the main thing - we stayed for two hours to talk about one thing, then they didn't do it!"

An even bigger incident took place during the Grand Prix on Sunday when Marc Marquez hit Jorge Martin - resulting in the Spaniard dropping from P3 to 15th - before taking out Miguel Oliveira and causing injury to the RNF Aprilia rider and himself.

Marquez was then given a double Long-lap penalty for Argentina, but after being ruled out this weekend, the eight-time world champion will serve the penalty when fit to race.

"He was on the limit," said Quartararo about Marquez’s misjudgement. "But it can happen. A mistake, yes. But [on Saturday] Joan Mir touched me. He got a long lap penalty. 

"If you’re far, and you want to score points, you have to take risks. It’s a half-point so what do you want to do? For me, it’s better to be in two races because 12 laps is the jungle. 

"Being aggressive is not a problem. Having two starts is a bigger risk, because the biggest risk is on the first lap. In the end, it doesn’t matter because we are here to race, and I don’t want to be a rider who complains about everything."

Fabio Quartararo , Sprint Race, Portuguese MotoGP, 25 March
Fabio Quartararo , Sprint Race, Portuguese MotoGP, 25 March

Quartararo scored just eight points from a possible 37, the same number Francesco Bagnaia took home after completing a double at Portimao.

However, Quartararo’s pace in both races was better than the tenth and eighth place finishes he achieved.

The problem, overtaking. Quartararo struggled to get past the rider in front and stated that you have to be at the limit on a much more consistent basis than before.

"There are 37 points in one weekend, everyone wants as many points as possible," said Quartararo. "You have to be at the limit - but then you’re closer to a mistake. Also, with two days of testing here, everyone started FP1 on the limit. The pace this weekend was extremely fast."

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