The press conference ahead of the British Grand Prix was the first opportunity to ask the riders present if they agreed with the Long Lap penalty imposed on Fabio Quartararo for delaying Aleix Espargaro when he crashed in Assen.
The words are unanimous…
Aleix Espargaro : “I completely agree with Fabio, in the sense that he is not happy and he cannot understand the penalty. I completely agree with him as we have seen different examples this year that were more aggressive than him and did not receive a penalty. So if you give a penalty in these cases and then you give a penalty to Fabio, I think Fabio would have understood and gone ahead. All the pilots who come to the safety commission go in the same direction: we try to understand where the limit is and we try to make everything equal for everyone, because if one day you punish and another day you do not punish , then it is difficult for us to understand.
I think we will continue to ride aggressively and fight hard in the races. I think that when Fabio says he won’t double anymore, it’s not true: he will double a lot (smiles). But what we are asking the stewards is that they must penalize the same way, whether it is for Jack (Miller) in Portimao, Taka (Nakagami) in Barcelona, or for this one because it was not very different while some got penalties and some didn’t, so it’s hard to understand. »
Alex Rins : “I think there are two kinds of crash: one is where you start overtaking and you lose the front, and the other kind is for example the one at Montmelo. The question is “why didn’t they punish him in Montmelo?” “. I don’t know and I don’t know what needs to be changed to make it work well. Personally, I don’t completely agree with the penalty for Fabio, but they have to start with something. »
Francesco Bagnaia : “for us, this kind of penalty is very difficult to understand, because in Qatar I did more or less the same thing as Jack, which was very similar to what Fabio did and I did not have any penalty. In Barcelona we saw a big big crash and it was really irresponsible driving, and ‘Taka’ didn’t get a penalty. It is therefore very difficult for us to understand and I do not agree with the penalty imposed on Fabio, although of course we must take advantage of this situation during this race. He has to do the Long Lap penalty and of course we have to try and get more points. It’s clear, but I don’t agree with the penalty. »
Jack Miller was not questioned.
It was then asked to Fabio Quartaro if he had changed his mind about the penalty?
Fabio Quartaro: ” Not at all ! I don’t want to talk and say anything about the previous crash that didn’t result in a penalty. Of course, after the Barcelona crash which was important, I understand that they wanted to change the rules a bit so that we were less aggressive, but I think we have to find the balance between irresponsible driving and an incident of race. Of course, I know that I crashed and that Aleix Espargaro could have done a better result, but I don’t see that as a penalty. They just have to find a balance between a penalty and no penalty: that is in my opinion the main thing to not make our sport boring! »
At the very least, a clarification from the FIM MotoGP stewards would seem welcome…