The MotoGP track limits controversy returned on Sunday at Mugello where penalties were awarded after all three races.

In Moto3, Pedro Acosta and Sergio Garcia were docked one position (to eighth and ninth respectively) for final lap infringements.

But the most costly penalty came in Moto2, where Joe Roberts was stripped of a first podium of the season for making slight contact with the green paint, outside of the white line, on the exit of Turn 5 on the final lap.

Joan Mir and Miguel Oliveira then committed the same infringement, at the same corner, on the last lap of the MotoGP race, but by penalising them both one position they ultimately remained second and third.

If riders exceed track limits during most of a race, warnings are issued via the dashboard, followed by a long-lap penalty for repeat offenders.

But because it's too late to issue a long-lap penalty on the final lap, the offending rider is instead docked one position after the race, if they are judged to have run wide and therefore gained an advantage while in a close battle.

The biggest complaint from the riders on Sunday was that the green paint in question on the exit of Turn 5 – for which the Roberts, Oliveira and Mir penalties were given – should not have been considered a track limits area.

That's because riders had already turned the corner by that stage and were simply accelerating in a straight line, with the bike upright, from the kerbing back onto the asphalt.

But rather than gently merging the allowed kerb area back to the track via a tapering white line, there was a sharp cut-off, creating a corner of green paint which the offending riders rode across.

"It's true that the rules are the rules, but sometimes we need to be a little bit more flexible, because for me Joe Roberts did nothing wrong," said Maverick Vinales, who was penalised for a small track limit infringement in Portimao qualifying earlier this year. "Also Miguel [and Mir].

"For example, if where Roberts touched the green paint there was grass, nothing would happen, because he's really straight by that point.

"If you go out of the track while you are still exiting the corner, for example in Turn 9 [Arrabbiata 2], it's normal to have a warning. But [not] there in Turn 5.

"It's tough, because it happened to me in Portimão and it destroyed my result and actually we didn't even know. Nobody said, 'you touched the green'.

"We should work and sometimes be more flexible. Today Joe Roberts should be on the podium, because he did nothing wrong."

Ducati's Jack Miller agreed that the way the Turn 5 kerbing suddenly ended created the track limits issue.

"I think the kerb should've been painted all the way, or more of an angle, not sharp, a more natural line," he said. "At the end of the day, Joe Roberts losing that position was in my opinion bullshit.

"He deserved it 100%. He fought for that win. He didn’t gain anything. Even if it was grass or wet astroturf [rather than green paint] nothing would’ve happened by riding across it like that.

"We discussed [track limits] in the Safety Commission on Friday here. I’m sure it’ll be at the next one also. The problem is when you put rules it creates grey areas. But we’re trying to make it safer, and we clearly need to work harder and do better."

World champion Mir recognised  there must be limits in place to stop riders exploiting what should be 'emergency' run-off areas on the outside of kerbs for greater speed.

"I didn't even realise that Miguel was touching the green, and that I touched the green. I need to look at the images. But track limits is something that if we don't put a limit, it can be really dangerous," he said.

"Because you can go every time [further] out of the track, and after the green, there's grass. And if nobody says anything about the green, we will touch the grass, and we will make the track wider."

The Suzuki rider's main suggestion was that the FIM Stewards use more discretion in their last-lap decisions, rather than relying totally on the sensors located outside the kerbing that measure even the tiniest touch of a tyre.

"It's not easy, because they will say 'no, it's better if the machine decides', but in the last laps, if you know about racing, you understand if a rider gained time or not," he said.

"So maybe a bit more of the human side, this is what I mean. Discuss a little bit. Because we give 100% all the weekend for the race, and just for 1mm, 2mm, we can lose the podium, so it's not fair.

"I agree with the yellow flags, I agree with all of that, because it means safety, but I'm a rider and I know that there are sometimes things that are not really fair. So yes, a bit of human side would be better."

For his part, Roberts - who only found out he had lost the podium as he was about to ride into parc ferme - was philosophical about the penalty.

“We had done an excellent job and the podium was ours. Unfortunately I touched the green and the race direction penalised me by taking away a position. That's the way it went, but let's take what's positive: we had a great race after a difficult weekend," said the American.