Joan Mir felt his Long Lap penalty, imposed by the FIM Stewards for a clash with Johann Zarco during Sunday's Malaysian MotoGP, was 'not correct', 'unfair' and 'because I'm a rookie'.

The pair tangled after Zarco became backed-up behind Jack Miller, allowing Mir to close in and make an inside move at Turn 14 on lap 17 of 20. But Zarco tried to pass Miller at the same moment and the pair made contact, leaving the Frenchman on the ground.

Mir overtook Miller for eighth soon after but was then given a Long Lap penalty, dropping the Suzuki rider to tenth place, where he finished.

"I was on the inside, then Zarco tried to overtake Miller and he didn't see me, that I was coming from the inside," Mir said. "It's normal, it's not his fault, obviously. And we both touched.

"He crashed, unfortunately, he was doing a great race, so I'm sorry for him, but it was not my fault. It was something that can happen in the race.

"If we look back at all the problems that I had - at Mugello with Valentino, in Brno with Zarco also, who hit me on the first lap and my race was over. All these type of things and they didn't get anything, and to me a long lap.

OK, because I'm a rookie, it was probably the easiest thing to do. 'Zarco crashed, so we will give him a long lap'. But I think it was not the correct thing, and we have to talk about this, because at the end, it was not my fault.

"I think that Davide [Brivio, team manager] went to speak with the FIM stewards, but what shows it was not my fault is that Zarco came to my garage and said 'sorry for this'. I said also 'sorry' for my part because I couldn't avoid him.

"So we both understand the situation, but Race Direction not. But anyway, rookie – easy [to give a penalty]."

It wasn't an easy race for Mir even without the penalty, with his healing lungs – following the massive Brno testing accident in August - struggling with the stifling humidity.

"I still have problems with the lungs after the crash in Brno. When the humidity is high, I cannot breathe, and it was the worst moment of my life probably, this race, I struggled a lot," revealed Mir, who had been fastest in morning warm-up.

"If you look at the lap times in free practice, the pace that we had is not to be fighting for eighth position, it was much higher. And on the data, we can see I was not able to brake, because I was getting tired. But our time will come, I'm not worried.

"If we avoid the problem that we have with the humidity, I think that we can be able to fight for the top five [in the Valencia finale], so we will see."

Team-mate Alex Rins, who avoided a penalty for earlier contact with Jack Miller, finished fifth.

 

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