until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


'Talking to a wall' - Quartararo rants over Oliveira crash ruling

by Valentin Khorounzhiy, Simon Patterson
4 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

The MotoGP stewards' decision to rule 'no further action' on Miguel Oliveira and Fabio Quartararo's collision in Mugello went down extremely poorly with Quartararo - who described the situation as "sad" and said speaking with the panel was like "talking to a wall".

Quartararo exited the Mugello sprint after an Oliveira lunge into Scarperia created contact that swiftly caused an Oliveira crash and brought Quartararo down with him.

Like the other collision of the race - the Jorge Martin/Enea Bastianini clash - it yielded no penalties, but this one seemed less of an intuitive 'racing incident'.

Speaking to media after the race, Quartararo was at pains to stress that he wasn't trying to get Oliveira penalised because "I don't care" - but every other thing he said suggested he was at the very least deeply displeased with the process that left Oliveira unpenalised.

"For me, Miguel made a mistake, that happened. It happened to me [in Assen in 2022], Aleix [Espargaro] didn't crash, I got a long lap. But... I mean... for me, the job they are doing is not great.

Fabio Quartararo Aleix Espargaro Assen MotoGP crash

"That it was a racing incident. And what I did [in 2022] was a too-optimistic overtake. So, you know, they play a little bit with the words, but like I said... I don't want any penalty for Miguel, but we just have to realise. Because if I'm playing for the championship and this happened to me and someone is not getting a penalty... it's not the same.

"Right now, it's complicated, we have no data for the [Sunday] race [because of the early retirement] but I think I was not scoring any points today either way. But... it's just a question of improving how the system is working. And we are not doing any steps forward with these people."

Oliveira's explanation

MotoGP crash

"I did 'go for the gap'," said the Trackhouse rider, having had the famous "if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you're no longer a racing driver" quote by Formula 1 champion Ayrton Senna put to him.

"Yeah, it was a shame I crashed with Fabio. Didn't want that to happen.

"To him I said sorry immediately. I tried to overtake him, he saw me quite late, he picked up the bike to try and avoid me, but still we both crashed.

"Of course it's a shame when you, like, take someone out, but I was trying to overtake, I didn't lunge from 15 metres and hit him... I think it was probably a borderline decision between penalty or no penalty."

Oliveira also indicated, however, that he believed it would've been harsh for the stewards to penalise a legitimate overtaking attempt.

Quartararo's rant comes almost exactly a month on from his compatriot Johann Zarco excoriating the stewards' panel, led by former 500cc world champion Freddie Spencer, in the aftermath of his collision with Espargaro in Jerez.

No penalty followed from that incident either, and the incident came up amid Quartararo's irritated ranting. "Aleix and Zarco in Jerez, I was just behind, this is not a racing incident," he said.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha, MotoGP

He said "many, many emails were sent" from the championship's competitors when asked about the seeming lack of confidence in the current stewarding regime and the potential for change.

"They make us a file, 'what do you think about this incident, is this a penalty or not?'. [We answer and] they say 'thank you, it was really helpful'. But at the end...

"I think it must be fair for everyone.

"I wanted to talk to them, just to explain a little bit. But... I'm talking to a wall. To not say any other word.

"I think the penalty comes really easy when the people are on top, you know? But... I mean, I'm not here to say he [Oliveira] has to have a penalty, it's not my job. But it's just an opinion from my side, and looks like my opinion is similar to many other riders."

Quartararo said he "goes out more confused than when I come in" after a meeting with the stewards, and said he wanted to see a "more professional" structure in place before his media session was cut off.

He is the second MotoGP rider to be irritated by a stewards' ruling this weekend, with Pecco Bagnaia describing his three-place grid penalty for impeding Alex Marquez in Friday practice as a "clown penalty" and "useless".

A week prior, Bagnaia's team-mate Enea Bastianini deliberately ignored an in-race penalty in Barcelona in what he suggested was an act of protest.

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