until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


'Ridiculous' - Bagnaia gets grid penalty for impeding Marquez

by Valentin Khorounzhiy, Simon Patterson
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Reigning MotoGP champion Pecco Bagnaia will serve a three-place grid penalty in the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Bagnaia was found guilty of having impeded Alex Marquez during Friday afternoon practice, in an incident in which Marquez came up on Bagnaia on entry into the Correntaio corner.

While Bagnaia appeared to deliberately go deep and wide into the corner - something he acknowledged afterwards - his presence had already proven enough to compromise Marquez's lap, leading to an angry reaction from the Spaniard that Bagnaia largely ignored.

But the incident was placed under investigation, and several hours after the session - the timing likely influenced by what MotoGP disclosed had been a failed appeal - it has been announced Bagnaia will serve a penalty.

Both Marquez and Bagnaia had long had their media sessions by then.

Alex Marquez, Gresini Ducati, MotoGP

"I was coming on a hot lap, improving my laptime," said Marquez. "And, I mean, I was seeing Pecco in front from sector two being really slow in the middle of the track.

"I was expecting him to watch behind, to see me, but he never did it, and going into Correntaio he was on the racing line. I was able to avoid him, but my lap was… I mean, I had to cut the throttle, so for me it's quite clear what happened."

Bagnaia had described Marquez's reaction as being "like always".

"I was without blue flags, first of all, and then I was out of the [racing] line.

"But always he is a good showman so he did this movement [gesture] on his bike like always."

Pecco Bagnaia, Ducati, MotoGP

Bagnaia also described Marquez's gesticulation as "useless" to MotoGP.com and said "in case I receive a penalty for that it could be ridiculous", insisting he wasn't expecting one to come his way.

Now that it has, he will lose three positions on the Sunday grid - though he will start Saturday's sprint where he qualifies.

The stewards said the penalty was for "slow riding on-line during the last 20 minutes of practice" and "disrupting another rider and directly affecting progression into Q2".

It is accurate, as Marquez said, that catching Bagnaia robbed him of a likely improvement, although he did get a much better lap in anyway on his final run and will join Bagnaia in Q2 tomorrow.

Pecco Bagnaia, Ducati, MotoGP

Another incident, in which Pramac Ducati's Jorge Martin came up on Trackhouse Aprilia's Miguel Oliveira on a push lap, didn't receive an official investigation despite Martin likewise incensed and likewise appearing to be slowed by Oliveira's presence at Correntaio - and through the Biondetti corners.

Yet in that case the argument may have been that Oliveira was on an outlap and had already begun to push at pace to get his rhythm and his tyres in the temperature window ahead of a flying lap, whereas in Bagnaia's case he pitted right after committing the offense.

Bagnaia was the only rider to dip into the 1m44s range on Friday, so had established himself as a leading contender for pole - but can now start fourth at best in the 23-lap event.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • More Networks