Miller’s team-mate calls for tear-off rules after Misano incidents

Jack Miller

Francesco Bagnaia has suggested there should be rules about where tear-offs may be removed after Pramac team-mate Jack Miller’s Ducati sucked one into its airbox last time out.

Miller failed to finish the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix due to his bike ingesting one Fabio Quartararo’s tear-offs, while Bagnaia initially suspected that he had slipped on one when he crashed out of the lead.

Although the Italian has now stepped back from that claim somewhat, he maintains that there should be some regulation governing removal of the plastic strips.

“It’s a thing I would like to discuss in the Safety Commission tomorrow because I think it’s not normal – not for my crash, because we don’t know if it was a tear-off – but for what happened to Jack,” said Bagnaia.

“I think it’s not normal that someone loses a race like this.

“So, I think the marshals have to clean the track every lap every time they see one tear-off on the ground, because you can’t lose a race like this.”

The 2018 Moto2 champion then raised the idea of dedicated tear-off zones on the race track, where marshals could safely clear them.

“I think it’s not possible to clean every time during qualifying or practice, it’s impossible because there are riders on all parts of the circuit,” added Bagnaia.

“But maybe for the race it’s important to make a law that says you can put down a tear-off just in a part of a circuit.

“So, (at) Misano, after Turn 6, like in a straight. Because like this, the marshals can clean it better and they know that it’s just one part of the circuit.

“I don’t know, but for sure it will be important to speak about this because Jack was not fast (enough) to win the race but was for arriving in the top seven and he’s fighting for the championship.

“So, it’s not possible he has a zero in the championship for this reason.”

Miller himself has expanded on his mishap, recounting, “Straight away, the bike lost power. We were getting passed by everybody on the straights.

“The big thing was the acceleration. I was hanging off the back of (Iker) Lecuona and I don’t remember who, and then Alex Marquez ploughed into the side of me at Turns 9 and 10 and that’s when I said to myself ‘You know what? I’m gonna kill myself here for a shit position when the bike is playing up.’

“At that point, I thought the bike was blowing up. I tried everything; switching all the maps and the electronics and it wasn’t too be.

“By the time he ploughed into me and hit me off the side of the track I decided that it was f**ked and came into the box. It’s unfortunate, is what it is, and hopefully it won’t happen again.

“I don’t think (discarded tear-offs) are a problem unless everyone is ditching their tear-offs before the start of the race. When you’re riding, they tend to fly away, whereas at the start they are clearly dropped onto the ground, on the track.

“I never really have the need to dump the tear-off (without the bike moving), only really in qualifying when I notice there might be something on it when I’m in the pit lane. I have enough problems as it is without having to take my hand off the bar during a race.”

Practice for the Catalunya MotoGP round starts this evening (AEST).

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