RNF Aprilia: Oliveira injury ‘a punch in the face’, Honda found ‘loophole’

Razlan Razali, Team Prinicipal of RNF Aprilia, believes the stewardship in MotoGP ‘needs to be discussed’ after confusion led to Honda appealing Marc Marquez’s double Long-Lap penalty, which was set to be served during this weekend’s Argentine MotoGP.
Miguel Oliveira, RNF Aprilia MotoGP Portimao 2023
Miguel Oliveira, RNF Aprilia MotoGP Portimao 2023

The double Long-Lap penalty was awarded to Marquez after the eight-time world champion recklessly took out Miguel Oliveira at the MotoGP season-opener in Portimao last weekend.

A penalty that was accepted by both Marquez and Repsol Honda, was set to be enforced during this weekend’s second round of the season, before injury ruled out Marquez.

Injury has also forced Oliveira to be out of action, however, when it relates to Marquez and his penalty, the FIM then changed the time of its sanction to the next race that Marquez competes in.

But Honda have since appealed that decision as the timeframe of the penalty was scheduled for the Argentine Grand Prix, and not any race beyond that - FIM stewards have since referred the case to the MotoGP court of appeal.

Razali, who is without his main rider, has been the latest to voice his frustration at what happened: "We were angry. It was another punch in the face, a disappointment and a frustration.

"Look at the replay - it’s a big hit. This kind of reckless racing needs to be dealt with more. We reached out to the FIM, not the Stewards. I felt that, with all that has happened, there would be more proactiveness from Stewards to sit down with stakeholders to discuss what’s going on.

"In modern MotoGP with faster bikes, aerodynamics - we know MotoGP riders are crazy! In a good way! The stewardship needs to be discussed, refined. We need transparency. Speak to everybody, don’t have secretive meetings."

Discussing the stewards, Razali then went one step further in his criticism and said that Honda were right to challenge the penalty after exploiting a loophole.

Razali added: "The actions from Stewards on Sunday speaks for itself. If only [the rule] was worded differently. We have data and incidents in the past that we could have learned from. For Honda and Marc, it’s a loophole in the wording. They have every right to challenge it. 

"After that? What happens next? We need to sit down and engage to address this. Not sweep it under the carpet."

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