Quartararo cops second penalty for race suit breach

Fabio Quartararo with race suit open. Picture: Fox Sports

Fabio Quartararo has been issued a second penalty in the Catalan MotoGP, after his leathers opened in the final laps of the race.

Quartararo dropped from third at the chequered flag to fourth due to a three-second penalty already hanging over his head for a shortcut, but is now officially sixth after a further three-second penalty.

The front of the Monster Energy Yamaha rider’s race suit was seen to be unzipped early on Lap 21 of the 24-lap contest, at which time he tossed his chest protector away at Turn 3.

He continued to ride with an exposed chest until the finish at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and while there was no official communication regarding the matter at the time, Quartararo has now been penalised.

Having been 17 points up in the championship once the first penalty was accounted for, his margin over Pramac Racing’s Johann Zarco at the head of the standings has dropped further to 14 points.

“On 06 June 2021 during the MotoGP race of the Grand Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya you were observed to be riding with your leather suit not correctly fastened and without the required chest protector,” read the stewards’ Notification of Sanction.

“This is an infringement of Article of the FIM World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.”

Article states, in part, “The equipment must be worn, correctly fastened, at all times during on-track activity.”

How and why the incident occurred remains a mystery, with Quartararo unable to shed any light on the matter.

“I don’t know what happened,” he said before the penalty was handed down.

“I just know that I had the leathers completely open in the first corner and I just tried to put [the zip] back in a normal position again. I couldn’t do it. When [the zip] is totally down you need to stretch [the two sides together to pull the zip back up], like a zip on a pair of jeans.

“So it was difficult to ride but unfortunately it happens. Alpinestars are looking into how it’s happened because at the end of the race it was possible again to close the zip [like normal]. But it’s like this. It was not our day but I can be happy with this fourth position.

“I was just thinking to try to ride normally, because it’s not easy to ride with the leathers open at the end of the straight, you probably just go backwards!

“I was just thinking to try to keep the podium alive, but anyway I had a penalty [for the shortcut]. It’s the rules but I think now it’s starting to be a little bit too much.”

The man who is the championship leader did, however, suggest that the race suit matter did not warrant penalty.

“Well, I think I already had a penalty [for Turn 2], demoted three seconds from P3 to P4,” he noted.

“I think this penalty is quite enough. Let’s say we finished the race and everybody is safe so that’s it.

“I think right now it’s not [worth] talking anymore about a penalty because the race is finished.”

Suzuki Ecstar rider Joan Mir had a different view, asserting that Quartararo’s throwing away of his chest protector was indeed dangerous.

“The thing that is not normal is that the chest protector, in Turn 3, he moved his hand from the handlebar and threw it,” observed the 2020 champion.

“There were riders coming and the chest protector is plastic so you can make a super dangerous situation in Turn 3 opening the throttle.

“I don’t know what the rules say about this, but if your leather suit is open you cannot race.

“Of course it’s only dangerous for him, but it’s really dangerous. Let’s see what they decide.”

Another champion, Marc Marquez, thought that a penalty would be tough, but also that Quartararo should have stopped to address the issue.

“We discussed it with the team,” said the Repsol Honda rider.

“I think it will come up in the Safety Commission, and I think it’s unfair if you black flag him.

“But it’s a dangerous thing. It’s like when you have a thing hanging off the bike; you have to stop, you have to make it [safe] and if you can’t, you have to retire.

“That’s what I think they should have done. Either you pull off, lose three or four seconds and tie your overalls, or you have to stop.”

Quartararo took to social media once confirmation of the penalty had come through, expressing his unhappiness at what had transpired.

“Congratulations to all the people that go to complain for another penalty,” he wrote on Instagram.

“I put nobody in danger, like a rider say[s], and it was already tough for me to ride.

“But great to see the real faces of some people. Just want to thank all the people that support me and help through difficult moments. See you in the next one.”

Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) was the beneficiary of the first penalty, while Joan Mir and Quartararo’s team-mate Maverick Viñales moved up due to the second sanction.

The MotoGP field remains at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for an official test day today.

Race results: Catalan MotoGP Updated

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 40:21.749
2 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Pramac Racing Ducati +0.175
3 43 Jack MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +1.990
4 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +5.325
5 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +6.281
6 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +7.815
7 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +8.175
8 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +8.378
9 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +15.652
10 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Avintia Esponsorama Ducati +19.297
11 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +21.650
12 10 Luca MARINI ITA SKY VR46 Avintia Ducati +22.533
13 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +27.833
14 89 Jorge MARTIN ESP Pramac Racing Ducati +29.075
15 32 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +40.291
DNF 27 Iker LECUONA ESP Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 8 Laps
DNF 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 9 Laps
DNF 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 14 Laps
DNF 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 17 Laps
DNF 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 19 Laps
DNF 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 20 Laps

Race winner: 24 laps

Championship points Updated

Pos Rider Nat Pts
2 Johann ZARCO FRA 101
3 Jack MILLER AUS 90
4 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA 88
5 Joan MIR ESP 78
6 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 75
7 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR 54
9 Brad BINDER RSA 43
11 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 31
14 Alex MARQUEZ ESP 25
15 Alex RINS ESP 23
16 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 23
17 Jorge MARTIN ESP 19
18 Marc MARQUEZ ESP 16
19 Valentino ROSSI ITA 15
20 Iker LECUONA ESP 13
21 Luca MARINI ITA 13
22 Stefan BRADL GER 11
23 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA 4
24 Michele PIRRO ITA 3
25 Tito RABAT ESP 1

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