Pol Espargaro will have to start the final round of MotoGP at Valencia from pit lane. The Spaniard exceeded his allocation of nine engines per season, by taking a tenth engine out in his final run of FP2.
Espargaro is a victim of the pace of development by KTM. The Austrian manufacturer switched from a screamer engine configuration to a big bang configuration at the Le Mans test before Jerez, electing to use it from the Jerez race. The two engines used until then were discarded.
Chassis development has also been just as rapid for KTM. Until Aragon, the team have got through 18 different iterations of chassis. One of the new chassis had different engine mounting points, meaning that existing engines no longer fit the updated chassis. As a result, Pol Espargaro has a number of engines with relatively low mileage on them sitting in the KTM truck, but unusable, as they don't fit the new chassis.
As a result, KTM has decided that Espargaro will simply take the penalty, and start from pit lane. The penalty for exceeding the allocation limit is starting from pit lane 5 seconds after the rest of the grid has departed.
The FIM press release appears below:
FIM MotoGP Stewards Panel Notification of Sanction: Pol Espargaró
Please find attached the Notification of Sanction for MotoGP rider Pol Espargaró.
The infringement is using more than 9 engines during the season, as they fitted engine number 10 to Pol’s bike for FP2 (MotoGP is limited to 7 engines per rider per season, but teams with Concessions are allowed 9 engines per rider per season).
The standard penalty is to start the race from pit lane with a 5-second delay from the time the pit lane exit would normally open.
He will do a sighting lap and go to the grid, but will then enter the pit lane on the warm up lap and starts the race from pit lane.