Romano Fenati Handed Penalty Point For Last-Corner Pass, But Result Stands

The clash between Romano Fenati, Jack Miller and Alex Marquez in the final two corners of the Moto3 race in Argentina has not gone completely unpunished. The Italian rider has been issued a penalty point for the misdemeanour, but the race result will stand unchanged.

The incident happened on the last lap at the final section of the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, turns 13 and 14. Miller had taken the lead from Marquez braking for turn 13, when Fenati came through, bumping both Marquez and Miller out of the way. Fenati held on to take his first victory of the season, Marquez taking 2nd and Miller demoted to 3rd. Miller was incandescent afterwards, saying that he felt he had been robbed of victory, as he had been planning the move to take the lead all lap long, and had the situation under control. Fenati said that his problem had been his front tire, he had lost control which had forced him to enter the corner too hot and bump both Marquez and Miller wide.

Race Direction announced immediately after the race that they would investigate the issue.  A hearing was held with all three riders involved, the result of which was that Romano Fenati was issued a penalty point. The race result was allowed to stand, Fenati keeping his win, Marquez remaining 2nd and Miller 3rd. Miller decided not to appeal the result. 'Do you really think a protest would change the result?' Miller asked rhetorically.

Similar last-lap incidents have gone unpunished, setting a precedent to allow riders a little more leniency in the heat of battle on the very last lap. Marc Marquez' clash with Jorge Lorenzo in the final corner at Jerez was a similar incident, but that passed without penalty points being issued. Race Direction later took the view that it may have been better to have awarded Marquez a penalty point at that point in time, but by then it was too late. Awarding Fenati a penalty point while not changing the result of the race appears to be a compromise, discouraging excessively wild passing attempts while still allowing riders to attempt to win a race if they still have a chance.

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These riders don't go out to play bumper-cars, but in the heat of battle (especially going for a win), these things happen.
A point in this situation to remind the guys that they have a duty of care for their fellow competitors is necessary, but it would have been wholly wrong to penalise Fenati further in my opinion.

Obviously it's a shame for Miller, but he needs to just take it on the chin and get on with it now... it probably won't be the last time he gets a bump and somewhere along the lines he will probably benefit from a bump. Still, the young guys are all learning at the moment.

Can't wait for the next installment of Moto3, it's brilliant!

Once the point penalty system was established, would there be a way to overturn a result? The points and the associated penalties apply to to coming races, right? Is there even a mechanism in place that could have removed Fenati's win in this race? The TV announcers were questioning whether the victory would stand, but is "disqualified from the race under investigation" even one of the penalties in this relatively new system?

BTW, I would have preferred no penalty in this case, but I can see some logic for awarding one point.

That made me actually look up the rules. For the infringement of 1.21.2 (riding in a responsible manner), only one penalty can be imposed. So it would have been either a penalty point or a loss of position (or one of several other punishments). Other infractions (such as overtaking under a yellow flag) may have multiple penalties imposed.

Thanks for the info, David. So in theory, a rider *can* be penalized in this race if his transgression is deemed sufficient, or be given points for future. I stand corrected.

I think that's a fair outcome. Moto3 is certainly not Dancing With The Stars (whatever the $#@^ that is) and occasionally blows will be traded; all concerned understand this, and a week from now Jack won't give a rats arse what went on in Argentina. All good :)

It wasn't the most egregious bump I've ever seen but on those tiddlers it doesn't take much to punt you off line. Jack will learn from that and I dare say there will be a situation where he will have the opportunity to return the favour. He has been rather gentlemanly to date and whilst he races tight he is not noted for banging fairings and the like. That will no doubt change as he spends more time at the pointy end defending possible podiums.
Pity Honda didn't give him that weapon last year...........

hmmm, if Mr Miller had not run the slightest bit wide, the situation would have been different. As for his comment that he was planning to overtake, I quess even Livio Loi would have had that on his mind......and Marquez as well as Fenati, otherwise you might as well start playing with daisies