Marquez freed of penalty by MotoGP Court of Appeal

Marc Marquez will no longer have to serve a Double Long Lap Penalty in his next MotoGP Race

Marc Marquez will no longer have to serve a Double Long Lap Penalty in his next MotoGP Race

Marc Marquez will no longer have to serve a Double Long Lap Penalty in his next MotoGP Race, the championship’s Court of Appeal has decided.

The Repsol Honda rider has had the sanction hanging over his head since March, when stewards attempted to modify the penalty such that it would be served in his next Grand Prix Race (as opposed to Sprint) rather than that of Argentina specifically, given he had been ruled out of that round due to injury.

However, that penalty is now deemed to have been served by non-participation at Argentina’s Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.

The MotoGP Court of Appeal decided that stewards had no right to vary the penalty by way of a unilateral ‘Application of Sanction’ because it materially changed the terms of the penalty, without giving the team/rider the right to respond.

A statement from the FIM read, “Following the provisional decision of the MotoGP Court of Appeal pronounced on 12 April 2023 granting the stay of execution of the Application of the Sanction imposed on Marc Marquez, the Court still had to decide on the merits of the case considering inter alia the brief of appeal submitted by Marc Marquez and Team HRC – Repsol Honda Team on 17 April 2023.

“The Court decided to annul the Application of the Sanction imposed on Marc Marquez, which was issued by the FIM MotoGP Stewards Panel in connection with the Original Sanction.

“The Court considered that the Double Long Lap Penalty imposed on Marc Marquez by the FIM MotoGP Stewards Panel during the MotoGP Race of Portugal held on 26 March 2023 has been served by the non-participation of the Rider in the 2023 MotoGP Race of Argentina.

“Marc Marquez is hence allowed to compete in the next race in which he will be able to participate, without any further sanction.”

The saga began on Sunday, March 26 (local time) when Marquez clattered into RNF Aprilia rider Miguel Oliveira on Lap 3 of the first Grand Prix race of the season at Portugal’s Portimao.

As punishment, he was issued a Double Long Lap Penalty to serve in the corresponding race of the Argentina Grand Prix event which followed a week later.

A day after the Portugal event, though, Marquez was ruled out of the Argentina event due to a broken hand and consequent surgery.

Stewards responded on Tuesday, March 28 by issuing an ‘Application of Sanction’ to stipulate that “the double long lap penalty shall be served by the rider at the next MotoGP race in which he will be able to participate”.

A day later again, Honda announced an appeal, arguing in a statement issued to media that the “modification [of the penalty] was issued by the FIM two days after the initial sanction was final and definitive, is not in line with the current regulations of the FIM for the MotoGP World Championship.”

The FIM Appeal Stewards referred the case to the MotoGP Court of Appeal, before the Argentina round took place, without #93 on the grid.

However, in case he might return for the Grand Prix of the Americas, on April 14-16, Marquez was officially issued a Stay of Execution on Thursday, April 13, on the eve of that event in Texas.

He remained on the sidelines that weekend anyway, and also during the Spanish Grand Prix which followed on April 28-30, and the matter has now finally come to a close.

As for the six-time premier class champion’s participation in this weekend’s French Grand Prix, that is also in doubt, with Marquez telling Spanish television it is “a bit up in the air” as to whether he rides at Le Mans.

Entry is dependent on a CT scan which was to have taken place on Tuesday, May 9 (local time), the outcome of which is yet to be communicated.

Oliveira has already withdrawn after being taken out by another champion, Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo, last time out at Jerez, and the Ducati Team’s Enea Bastianini has also pulled out due to an ongoing shoulder injury, with his seat to be taken by Danilo Petrucci.

Join the discussion below in the comments section

Please note: reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]