Binder, Aleix Espargaro and Martin were nose-to-tail respectively in their battle for third.
But while Binder’s error, a repeat of his Saturday Sprint mistake, again cost him the podium when he was docked one place after the finish, Martin’s infringement went unpunished.
That’s because the automatic one-place penalty for a last-lap track limit breach applies if a rider behind is within ‘striking distance’ (such as Espargaro to Binder) or if the offending rider then makes an overtake.
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In Martin’s case, he had a ten-second lead over sixth-place Alex Marquez, meaning a one-place demotion would have been out of all proportion for a mistake measured in millimetres.
However, touching the green still had consequences for Martin, who knew any chance of trying to overtake Espargaro was effectively over.
While Marquez was too far behind for Martin to receive an automatic demotion, a rider cannot be seen to gain an advantage from running off track. Indeed, the rider should show a clear disadvantage.
Therefore, had Martin overtaken Espargaro in the remaining corners, he is almost certain to have been docked a place after the race (unless Espargaro ran off track or fell for example).
“I tried to be super-close [to Aleix] and when you have someone in front, you don’t see too much, just their bike. That’s why maybe the last lap was the only time I touched the green today,” Martin said.
“I think it was the same [as Binder's mistake]; a [one place] penalty, but the rider behind was ten seconds away so it made no sense to give me ten seconds for that.
“But also because of that [mistake], I did not try so much after, because they [FIM Stewards] would put me back [one place] again.
“I did this mistake, that’s why I didn’t try [to overtake Aleix], but I think even trying it was going to be really difficult.”
Martin was officially given a 'track limits warning' by the Stewards but received no punishment.
The best way for Binder to avoid his penalty would have been to deliberately back off and let Espargaro overtake (ie show a clear disadvantage), then try and re-pass before the finish, but the South African was unaware of his mistake.
Espargaro later confirmed that, having seen Binder touch the green, he knew there was no need to attack the KTM: "This is why I didn’t try in the last corner."
MotoGP's Track Limits protocol on the final lap of a race
Speaking in 2021, Race Director Mike Webb explained how track limits penalties are applied by the FIM Stewards on the final lap of a race, when there is no time left to serve the usual Long Lap:
"The key part is that for riders closely contesting a position on the last lap, a rider who exceeds track limits must not only gain no advantage, they must show a clear disadvantage compared to a rider who stays on track with whom they are closely contesting the position.
"The [FIM] Stewards use the concept of “within striking distance” to ascertain 'closely contesting’.
"Obviously the target of the regulation is to avoid a race result based on a passing move made (or fended off) illegally by being out of track limits.
"Therefore the change of position penalty only applies to riders who were close enough to have a reasonable chance of making a pass.
"There is not a hard-and-fast time difference applied [between riders] as circumstances are different depending on the track and corner. As with most Stewards' decisions, it’s a judgement call.
"The same protocol is always applied and explains why a rider following some distance behind does not automatically move up a place in case of an infringement.
"It applies only to the riders closely and directly contesting the position, with a reasonable chance of a pass being made."
Martin: "If I can improve Saturdays, I’ll fight for the win in every race"
Meanwhile, Martin admitted he was unaware that Espargaro was riding with wing damage from the opening lap.
“I didn’t know. And he was riding really well. Sometimes he was running wide on the left-hand corners, only the left, so maybe it was because of that and he was missing downforce,” Martin said.
“But he was fast and I tried my best. I’m happy with the speed and I’m feeling strong for the second part [of the season].
“What hurts a bit is that yesterday P6 was the maximum but today I had the speed to win. I’m happy about this but not happy about the result. I think if I can improve Saturdays I will be fighting for the win in every race.”
Martin, left tenth on the grid after a crash in qualifying, heads for the summer break second in the world championship, 35 points behind Assen Sunday winner Francesco Bagnaia.
VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi, winner of the Sprint and second to Bagnaia in the main race, is just one point from Martin.