2021 Mugello MotoGP Race Result: A Fitting Tribute

A minute’s silence for the heart-wrenching loss of Moto3 rider Jason Dupasquier was the most touching and unsettling way to start the premier class race and it was equally poignant to see Fabio Quartararo stop at turn 9 to dedicate his outstanding victory to the Swiss rider. The poleman was untouchable throughout the 23 laps, after his only rival on paper abandoned the fight early on and Ducati were left to ponder “what if...”. The rest of the podium positions were settled after a game of musical chairs due to track limits infringements for both podium men on the final lap. In the end, Miguel Oliveira turned his best qualifying of the season into second place on the podium and the best placement for a KTM around Mugello, while reigning world champion Joan Mir makes his return to the podium in third.

After a bit of pre-race track action that saw Enea Bastianini bump into the back of Johann Zarco as they were lining up on the grid, the race got underway without the Italian and with the Frenchman pencilling in an appointment with race direction. Blissfully unaware of all that, Quartararo put his brand new holeshot device to good use but it was still no competition for the Ducati, Pecco Bagnaia arriving at San Donato ahead of the poleman. Oliveira had also made an excellent start to trail the favourites ahead of Zarco, Jack Miller, Brad Binder, Mir and Alex Rins, while second row starter Aleix Espargaro dropped to 9th, ahead of Marc Marquez. Having started 13th after the underwhelming drama of qualifying, Maverick Viñales dropped to 16th after the start. The other party to that story didn’t get much luckier either, Marquez tumbling out of contention on the second lap at turn three and giving his shoulder some extra rest.

Before the replays could catch up with the former world champion’s adventures, Pecco Bagnaia unwittingly decided to follow his elder's example and crashed out at Arrabbiata 2 on that same lap, with much bigger repercussions on the world championship. Despite watching his main rival abandon ship early on, Quartararo did not have the win handed on a plate, as Zarco picked up the baton for Ducati and immediately challenged his compatriot. The Frenchmen traded places over the next couple of laps, with Oliveira, Miller and the Suzukis as patient observers for the time being. Aleix Espargaro and Binder dropped about a second back, with the rest of the field almost two seconds behind, which was particularly worrying for Viñales, who was still 12th and about six seconds off the lead already.

Quartararo seemed to have the upper hand in the battle of the Frenchmen, stretching an eight-tenth gap by lap 6, but Zarco kept reducing the distance on the main straight. Oliveira seemed to be the only rider able to keep up with the leaders in the early stages, as Miller dropped a second back while under attack from the Suzukis and relying on straight line speed to get back ahead of them after every overtake. Rins eventually made a move stick early on lap 8 and Mir followed his example later in the lap, encouraging Binder to come through as well. Left down in 7th position and behind a rapid KTM, Miller couldn’t reply going into turn 1 next time around. While losing them ground on the leading trio, the exchanges also allowed Binder and Aleix Espargaro to join the fun.

Meanwhile, Quartararo extended his advantage at the front to over two seconds from Zarco and Oliveira by lap 10, while the Suzuki-led chasing group had another two seconds to find to join the podium festivities. Other than the occasional swap between Mir and Rins, status quo was maintained for the next few laps and the Suzuki men were still steadily closing the gap to the podium positions, leaving Binder, Miller and Aleix Espargaro behind.

Quartararo looked like he was running away with it by the halfway stage of proceedings, his gap always increasing and comfortably over three seconds ahead of the enlarging battle for second, where Zarco and Oliveira were soon to be joined by Mir and Rins. The Suzukis completely bridged the gap with 8 laps remaining and Oliveira promptly moved into second as he sensed the threat. Zarco held onto the final podium position only one more lap, until Mir attacked at turn 11 but the Pramac man was slightly more successful in keeping Rins at bay for the next couple of laps, the Spaniard only making a move stick with 5 laps remaining. Once he got that job done, Rins pushed to catch up with his teammate but didn’t get to complete that lap and crashed out at the final corner.

With Quartararo almost entering another time zone at the front, all eyes were on the battle for second for the final couple of laps, where Mir was looking for a way around Oliveira while Zarco didn't seemed completely out of podium contention just yet. The final lap came and went without any opportunity for Mir to attack and the trio maintained position until the checkered flag. The track limits curse hit the podium in all three classes today and saw Oliveira get demoted one position for exceeding track limits on the last lap but then Mir was found to have committed the same minor infraction so the original order was reinstated. Zarco missed out on the podium by half a second, with Binder, Miller and Aleix Espargaro crossing the line with considerable distance between them. Benefitting from a late crash from Takaaki Nakagami, Viñales advanced to eighth place, with Danilo Petrucci and Valentino Rossi completing the top 10 in an underwhelming day for the home team.

Quartararo’s joy and Bagnaia’s despair means that the Frenchman heads into round 7 with a 24 point advantage and with Zarco as his main challenger. Bagnaia drops 26 points back, with Miller fourth on a 31 point deficit and Mir climbing into fifth at minus 40.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Diff
1 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 41'16.344
2 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM +2.592
3 36 Joan Mir Suzuki +3.000
4 5 Johann Zarco Ducati +3.535
5 33 Brad Binder KTM +4.903
6 43 Jack Miller Ducati +6.233
7 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia +8.030
8 12 Maverick Viñales Yamaha +17.239
9 9 Danilo Petrucci KTM +23.296
10 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha +25.146
11 27 Iker Lecuona KTM +25.152
12 44 Pol Espargaro Honda +26.059
13 51 Michele Pirro Ducati +26.182
14 73 Alex Marquez Honda +29.400
15 32 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia +32.378
16 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha +37.906
17 10 Luca Marini Ducati +50.306
Not Classified
  30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 4 Laps
  42 Alex Rins Suzuki 5 Laps
  63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 22 Laps
  93 Marc Marquez Honda 22 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
  23 Enea Bastianini Ducati 0 Lap
Round Number: 
6
2021
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Comments

Zarco did not exceed track limits, Mir and Olivera did. Why is Zarco behind them? Shouldn't they each be put back a place and Zarco placed 2nd? The point is not how many places Zarco is moved it's that each of the guys ahead of him 'cheated'. Am I overthinking? Seems to me they called 'off-setting penalties' but they neglected the rider with them who played by the rules. This happened last year when Pol went off track ahead of Mir but was not placed behind Mir. I'm not clear on this concept

Im confused by race directions resolution here too. Olivera touches the green, so gets put back one place to 3rd, Mir gets promoted to 2nd. Mir also touches the green and somehow that cancels out both riders infingments? If we've got to have this nonsense track limits penalty, this is surely not how the system should work?

Olivera drops one place, Mir drops one place, ergo Zarco gets promoted to second spot - No?

In that scenario the final results and by simple math would be:

1st FQ

2nd ----

3rd MO & JZ, with JZ dropping from 2nd to 3rd. Not sure how you make JZ lipfrog to 2nd from 4th unless it's specified in the rules book

4. JM dropping from 3rd to 4th 

All and all they need to rethink this track limit penalty 

If you deal with the "offenses" in the order committed Zarco does not come into it.

Offense 1 by Oliviera, penalised one place, Mir second, Oliviera third

Offense 2 by Mir, penalised one place, Oliviera second, Mir third.

McPhee was promoted from 9th to 7th in the Moto3 race after Acosta and (I think) Garcia made track limits infractions on the last lap.

What's the difference between that and this? Surely Zarco should have been promoted to second? 

^ Howdy Brian and Co! I hear you, Zarco was just 5 tenths off Mir. The rule says drop one spot. First Oliveira. Then, same next for Mir. If Mir had done it first, JZ5 would have gotten 2nd. Bad luck for Zarco. It isn't time, and it isn't long lap. Just the letter of the law, this is the method and they have to be consistent. (Context IS interesting though! To be fair, the shape of the green line there, doesn't it look a bit off too? Not sure if those two had warnings, it didn't look like we had repeat offenders).

Mugello did not go as expected for Bagnaia and Ducati. Beautiful holeshot, lovely racing for Pecco until a very costly and upsetting error. A bit off line momentarily changed the limit. On display was the ease that the Ducati and KTM had in passing on straights, then blocking the momentum of the Yamahas and Suzukis. It was really cool to see Quartararo and Mir get proferred a scripted inside pass opportunity entering corners too. Well under control, expected and set up. Cool race!

Being off line was a strong theme today. While the striped paint has good grip and is reasonably smooth, it is different and upsets the bike. Not just Pecco, Nakagami too.
Off line triggered track limits for Oliveira AND Mir together battling for the finish. Mir had little view locked into the KTM tail. The shape of the paint line there looks like it could be improved. It ends with a pointy bit that should be smoothed out and rounded slightly. Congrats to Oliveira and KTM who both looked great. 

Binder got hit pretty hard from the inside on the left by Marc. I wonder if that affected his race. Will be looking for interview in which he lets us know if he or his bike had any difficulty. Marc's return has NOT been at all to plan. There isn't clear reason for long term concern. It is still Summer Break before he is expected to be approaching fit. My pick for him to challenge the Championship has looked optimistic, even tipped him to win it just to be contrarian and bring me fun risk. But not changing crystal ball regarding his full return late in the season, even aboard this Crapsol Honduh. 

The Suzuki riders slowed each other up. Mir looked the stronger racer again as Rins delayed passing Miller. Importantly, the patented Rins unforced error under pressure to perform happened spot on yet again. He has something as clear as it gets insisting upon his developing as a rider. Tough to see. Great race Mir! Nice consistency.

Did Zarco change Bastiannini's luck at the starting grid? No. He was braking hard to set the ride height adjuster. While this is a new phenomena, it is the norm. Betting Bastiannini was distracted momentarily. Do the stoppies at the END like Miller mate!

Along with Rins, Vinales unfortunately needs noting. He remains consistent with his inconsistency. He is at a crossroads in his career. Unlike previous seasons the bike is there in the groove, and this is a difficulty most clearly of his own. It can be overcome. He has the potential. These stories are as captivating and compelling as that of the ones that leave mortal orbit. The hows and whys, nuance and detail. Man, machine and circumstance. They are still heroes to me. Sincerely.

The youth of Bagnaia and Quartararo up front is something to expect more of. The Ducati handling has finally broken through a threshold with this 2020/2021 bike. The Yamaha motor is similarly back within limits. Just behind them comes the Suzuki, moreso as the race wears on. The KTM has gotten back to form after a brief struggle with tires. Aprilia has gotten their new machine to form, albeit including a brief recent reliability blip. You can smell two more bikes and a new kid are coming to slot in and grab a podium. Honda? Needs an intervention by loved ones.

Last praise, Orange is back, and this is a good thing indeed. Two of their four riders have more yet to come in a surging trajectory. The bike too, right? If Bagnaia was the heart sinking sorrow if the day, it is Miguel Oliveira that champions the inverse. Fantastic race MO88! Congrats Orange engineers.

Hey Shrink, I believe final lap penalty for etl is lose a place because a couple years ago I-can't-remember-who used the green to slingshot onto the final straight. He hadn't used his warnings so thought it was good strategy. Dorna put a stop to it. I think the curb in question should be extended about a meter. When every race brings the same stupid infraction maybe it's time to look at the rule.

Marc should take off until after the break or better yet 2022. Of course, we don't know what the bike may be by then. Pol certainly wouldn't want the bike to suit Marc, the longer MM is gone the more the bike moves away from him. Plus shoulders...we all know are the worst. I'd hate to see it become career ending but he can't be doing it any good slamming it into the pavement and tumbling through the gravel - although today he had a safe slide.

Couldn't stop laughing at the absurdity of the Basta 'stoppie-ouchy' boner. I've done things just as stupid but my lord that was a perfect storm of uh-oh!

Fabio and Mir are so stylish in their passes, such elegance and ease, wonderful. Hey Hamamatsu, howza bout you poach Frankie and drop the disappointing one? Make it so

KTM's fuel,,,hmmmmmm  /squints

 

 

Rules are rules as they say Brian but totally agree with increasing the length of the kerb. Long enough that by the time it ends the track is the place to be to be fast. Messy ends to races. Funny though...1st it's harsh on Oli then it's tough but 'the right result' on Mir and finally not fair on Zarco. I wonder what people will complain about when they fix this rule to everyone's satisfaction.

I was willing to give him a bye stalking Vinales, honor being what it is, but bashing Binder--in a right hander no less, his admitted kryptonite this year--and ruining Morbidelli's race was ridiculous. How would Marc have reacted if a backmarker with no chance of a good finish made that move on him in the past?

Anyway, I will pat myself on the back for being such a genius as to pick FQ for the championship. Please never mind that I also picked Rins and Vinales for 2nd and 3rd. I figured they would finally mature and turn raw speed into winning. Guess not.   

Always seems odd that whenever Mir overtakes Miller, its usually a bit bargey and sends Miller wide.  Not the first time that has happened this year.  

Zarco cannot be blamed for Bastiannini's error.  As all Motogp riders ritually brake hard on the starting grid to perform 3 functions, that used to be just 2 (Warm the front tyre the last little bit, warm the brakes that last little bit and now engage the front holeshot), Enea should have been paying more attention.

Now that just aout all Manufacturers have the front and rear start devices, i think its time Dorna just says, we are banning the front one based on safety.  Having to brake hard to engage it with other bikes around could be more than enough reason to get rid of them.  I dont think the Manu's will complain too much with losing the front start device.  They of course wont want to get rid of the rear device as Ducati, Yamaha and KTM are clearly using that as a shapeshifter during the race and therefore those Manu's will think it is offering them an advantage.  But the front?  nah.....  just ditch it.

As for track excursions...... cant Dorna just stick to painting the "outside" of the curb green, and leave the ends to how they have always been in the past (curb that ends in grass).  there isnt a need for green at the end of the curb.  the green is supposed to prevent advantage.  clearly the outside offers an advantage as they risk crashing touch grass there, but the end.....?.  

 

Hi Pete, Brian, Poolpirate, Wavey Dave, St Steve, Apical, Peterday, Lilyvani, Bricktop, Ivanhoe et al the usual suspects old and new, and those that might jump in an interesting debate. 

:)

What do you think of the shape of the pokey green paint point relative to the normal line through there? See a safety reason to have the fin poking in at the end vs make a more natural black line befitting carved shape?

Bold call unlikely popular re start devices, maybe as interesting as choosing to run an RC8 Pete. They are for sure cool, just as street monsters in my book. That has a chapter hating big Twins, loving Triples, and tolerating big Fours that tried to throw me off bitterly after about 2004. R1 was sweet, CBR1000RR was nasty bitter, need rid of a Buell 1125R, and ALMOST Momma Bear perfect with the lightened/sorted Triumph 675R. 125cc more plz. 

Mir --> Miller seems one primarily of line convergence. It is classic "rubbing is racing" and called clean as a whistle from over here mate!

Cheers

I can only imagine the green 'gap' between the end of the kerb and the grass is for safety reasons, i.e. riders will push to the very limits of the track whatever is there, so let's make the first thing beyond the limit tarmac rather than destabilising grass or dirt. 

Looking at the exit of the final turn, pit lane entry and large beautifully painted triangle I'd say the 'track' is simply wherever is legal. If it's legal to use the kerbs then the kerbs are part of the track and the green areas are not part of the track.

Kerbs....My guess is that in some strict sense they are not supposed to be used as part of the track and they are there to allow some room for error. You can run wide and not drop it, definitely better than your average street kerb and offering more grip/safety than grass or dirt. Also you wont get a time/loop/-place/+place penalty either. BUT...if 'running wide' on purpose means faster...Obvious result.

So the kerbs are de facto track no matter what the intention of their being there, the intentional use of them only depends on performance. If it is faster to avoid using the kerb then the riders wont intentionally use the kerb where this is the case. Difficult problem, monster kerbs hurt and can be good at rendering gravel traps irrelevant. Too large a change of grip levels between asphalt and kerb means there is nearly no room for error, defeating the point of the kerbs in the first place.

I think you get these certain kerbs on some tracks where because of performance the riders are just nipping the end of legal. Make those kerbs a little longer (not wider) and the bikes are, because of performance, back on the asphalt before the end of legal. Hopefully, given the rules as they are, you wouldn't have a podium swapping this way and that on the 'in lap' after the race has ended.

I heard on a podcast a month or two ago (maybe Simon Patterson/TheRace) that Dorna et. al. are not happy with the start devices due to danger from added complexity and possibility of failure or rider error, especially now that they are being used throughout the lap. They want them gone. 
He was adamant that they only let them run so long to give all manus the time to catch up and get them, and then they will be banned for sure.

As far as the track limits go, the application of the penalties seemed a bit arbitrary this weekend.
Once again some consistency from RD would be nice.

Not sure if a lick of paint would fix it or if we'd just be arguing about a point a little bit further along the track.

 

 

The bikes have evolved enormously since Mugello was designed and constructed. A curb was extended on another track recently (forget where) to make the turn flow more naturally for the motogp bikes. Looks like the same issue here. The guys will bring it up at the next safety meeting for discussion. I'm a fan of more white paint. 

I have a topic up for thoughtful discussion. A lot of talk was made about whether or not the race should have continued after Dupasquier's fatal accident. We are all human, but different people process matters of the heart differently. Some of us get a cloudy mind. The one thing that every rider is very aware of and very adept at compartmentalizing was brought to the forefront of their consciousness on Sunday just before the race. Bagnaia said it was impossible to concentrate. Bastianini admitted to being not very focused. One crashed on the warmup lap and other on lap two. Should the race have continued knowing that the impact of the event can marginalize the rider's ability to race a motogp bike?

I am of the opinion that the proceedings should proceed. And I say this knowing I am of the cloudy mind variety. Sometimes a guy has to muddle on through life when he wants a lie down. Life doesn't stop even when the mind is not functioning optimally. But I cannot imagine wrestling a motogp bike and my own demons at the same time. Sounds very tough. I'd choose a shamanic ceremony over that any day.

Even though I cut my teeth (and broke a few) on the IOM, I have no issue with track markings, where they make sense. The placement and shape of this one though, is a mystery to me.

So, while I am mystified that someone, somewhere felt that this strip of track posed a greater rider safety issue than a blind crest on the exit of a corner, I can't abide race results being decided after the event, in an inconsistent and arbitory manner.

When the rule is applied in one way in Moto3 but in another in MotoGP, those in charge should make an effort to explain to us, the viewer/fan/supporter, why that ruling was arrived at.

G'day Shrink

The tapering off of the ripple strip could have been done better. Exceed track limit's probably wasn't an issue that was considered when the exit of Borgo San Lorenzo (turn 5) was designed and constructed. I would say it looks dumb. The grass area could be reshaped. then a new bit of tarmac could be added to allow the white end of the rumble strip and the green VERBOTEN area to make some sense to the racers and us fans.

Our beloved officials and volunteers, without whom there is no racing, will continue to be human.

Condolances with Jason Dupasquier. Jason lived a good life!

You hate big Twins Motoshrink, I hope you get over that. Does 996cc count as "Big" ? 583cc would be OK then?

Don't fear the reaper, it's only a Van Gogh painting.

i wasnt implying the pass wasn't technically "clean" but Miller did lose an additional (if not two) places because of that pass.  Just noticiing a trend with Mir's passes is all.

As for the RC8.  I no longer have it (ride a late model R1 now), but it wasnt by choice.... unfortunately I crashed it after 80,000 clicks of pure enjoyment.  One of the best handling bikes I've ever riden, change of direction was sublime, ergonomical but slightly firm setup, great grunt, loads of character, great brakes.... the only negative was it was excessively vibey and the grearbox wasnt that smooth, but KTM seemed to solve that for the superduke which is quite smooth all round.  The RC8 was also the only bike I've ever owned where i never went on ride that some stranger didnt come up and chat to me about the bike!!

Here’s the FIMMotoGP Stewards update of 21 September 2019 on exceeding track limits on the last lap. It’s clumsily drafted but the final sentence is perfectly clear:

‘At the Gran Premio Michelin® de Aragon and following consultation with the Safety Commission, it has been decided to update the protocol for track limit infractions that occur on the last lap of a race.

From now on, an infraction on the last lap that has affected a race result must indicate that the rider in question was disadvantaged by exceeding track limits. If the Stewards deem there is no clear disadvantage, the rider will be penalised with a change of position or a time penalty. This is to ensure that any rider exceeding track limits on the final lap must be in a worse position than the rider or riders with whom they are directly competing for a finish position.

Decisions regarding track limits are the sole responsibility of the FIM MotoGP™ Stewards Panel and are final, with infractions confirmed by video. There is no possibility of protest or appeal.’

In my opinion the authorities are wrongly considering at what point last lap infringements take place. This is irrelevant. The stated purpose of the regulation ‘ is to ensure that any rider exceeding track limits on the final lap must be in a worse position than the rider or riders with whom they are directly competing for a finish position’. Zarco was directly competing, Zarco was second. 

 

I notice that it mentions 'infractions confirmed by video'. Is it possible the rule was modified when the pressure sensors came in for this year?

Pure speculation on my part, admittedly. 

'an infraction on the last lap that has affected a race result'

To me this is the heart of the problem. Mir and Oli were in very close order, Zarco a small gap. Very small sure. The question is, the tiny advantage that Oli gained, would that have made a difference between Oli and Mir ? Possible, that small difference, that small difference in exit which tips Mir between having a go and thinking better of it. Only a possible but a possible. Same could be said if only Mir exceeded limits, overtook Oli and then it's possible that Mir's tiny advantage tipped the same decision the other way. Furthermore, would that tiny advantage have made a difference to Zarco ? Less so. Difficult to judge in all cases but it's a judgement.

People can't stand this, they go crazy, they want more rules, more rules of rules and more consistent application of rules (I'm not referring to anyone here). So if Zarco was 1 second back ? 1.5 ? 0.9 ? 5 ? Do we look at if Zarco was catching the rider ahead ? Compulsory time penalty ? I even read someone on twitter saying that the time has come to replace the stewards with lawyers....god help us ! No no no it doesn't matter if Zarco was a minute behind, rules are rules !!! AGH ! These rules, will kill the sport slowly. Worth noting that the chorus of disapproval on rules is seemingly directly proportional to the number of rules.

Admittedly at the finish 0.9 seconds from 2nd place is close, but at the same time, that's a long way at 300k, did Oli's crime really gain him a second ? Or rules are rules despite any attempt at fairness. 0.5 to Mir, hmmm tricky, 0.9 to Oli....less tricky.

 

I agree, my friend, over regulation is indeed the road to madness and ruination. And so is the involvement or at least the unwarranted involvement of lawyers (it’s a pity rule makers without competent support so often fail to discharge their function effectively) and Twitter. Last lap track limits infringements bear strict liability under the protocol unless the rider has disadvantaged him/herself as a result eg lost time, lost a place or two or (my interpretation). If riders are directly competing for a finish position and they are not disadvantaged - no need to get into advantage, fine limits, ifs or buts - then the penalty applies. Time or place. Or should do. 

 

 

I appreciate what you're saying really. The thing for me is...if it had been grass or dirt Oli had run over, Zarco would still be behind, most likely. So you have green paint replacing grass/dirt for safety but now with the rule book the green painted area may be a bigger disadvantage than the loss of traction resulting from running over grass/dirt. It just depends on how long you spend in that area, can also be that a penalty is a whole lot better than a DNF because the green paint saved a crash.

My own tendency is to look at it from the perspective of a finishing order as if the green paint was not there and it was grass/dirt. When in doubt, give the benefit to the rider who stayed within track limits. Mir/Zarco...probably Zarco because of the doubt. Oli/Zarco...probably Oli because he was far enough ahead of Zarco at the finishing line and at the time of the transgression.

I fear the lobbying of rules. How many Ducatis on track soon enough ? How much money and investment ? Teams and riders effectively lobbying via social media not in the name of cricket but in the name of advantage ? Also agree with what Brian is saying below...it's an infuriating subject. Children are very adept at seeing the lack of consistency in rules...but life isn't always fair.

Thank you Cloverleaf.

"An infraction that has affected a race result " so if Blind Freddie can see that there was no affect on the race result there ain't no reason to penalize anybody! Even; And I want to make this Quite Clear! Even if they DO touch the green!

Jeehosaphat!

Rulings by RD are final as far as being able to appeal but I hope they overrule themselves and do the right thing for Zarco. And I'm a Mir/Suzuki fan all the way thru, I just want the rules to be applied equally. I have seen other sports (NBA) where you get 'superstar calls' or 'rookie fouls' that aren't at all fair to anyone except the superstar. I'd hate to see even the appearance that somehow one rider is favored over another. With equal application of the rules this won't happen.

 

I'd hate to see even the appearance that somehow one rider is favored over another.

So why wasn't Marquez given a penalty for screwing up Vinales' qualifying? (something he doesn't need much help with, granted ...)

What Marc did was low-down, mean and dirty but it's not against a rule. Mav is the perfect foil for it, too. No one I've seen lately would let that eat at them like he will. Remember, these guys have raced against each other all through the classes. They know each other better than they know themselves and while Marc is one of the mentally strongest, Mav,,,,,,isn't. These things used to be settled with fisticuffs and the threat of losing some teeth was usually enough to curtail it but this is 2021 and there aren't enough pearls in the sea for the clutching that would go on if there were a fist fight. What Mav should've done was put in a lap that Marc couldn't keep up with, he has that kind of pace but instead of concentrating on himself he focused on something he couldn't control and let it control him back to 13th while his teammate was on pole. Plus I'm sure Marc has towed far more than been towed in his career so if anyone has 'earned the right' to a tow it's him. But he still shouldn't have done it.

Perhaps the track limits infractions are applied instantaneously? Unless, as we saw with Nepa in Moto3 who had 3 seconds added since he did not complete the long lap before the end of the race, a rider has some choice as to when to take that long lap.

If the track limits penalties are applied at the time of the infraction, then Olivera was demoted to 3rd for a fraction of second before Mir was re-demoted back to 3rd. However, it does seem that Race Direction rulings are of the "black box" type.

I have not posted in a very long time, unable to participate whilst coping with a tragedy. I'm slowly getting back to normalcy and... motomatters. this race weekend was so full of commotion and emotion ... one precious life lost, and there is nothing that anyone can do about it. That kind of incident can never be eliminated unless we stop racing altogether. 

I appreciated both reactions from Quartararo and Bagnaia, one thinking at this lost life on every lap, the other who candidly says that he wanted to go home. One won, the other binned it in less than one lap: my total respect to both.

With that terrible, dark event weighing on everyone, it's almost a welcoming thought to be cavilling about that obscure track limits rule... IMO, as very often is the case, the stewards never miss an opportunity for showing their utterly erratic line of thought. Yes, probably Zarco should be on the podium, but the rule in itself is written in a way that it does not contemplate a third party in the mix. This should become a problem solving when passing an IQ test... full disclosure i'm unable to solve it... 

What bothers me is that the ruling body shows unflinching determination when discussing 1cm on/off the track but has no ruling on someone who blatantly follows for 15 minutes another rider highly disturbing his quali on purpose. If I had been in Vinales leathers I would have stopped in pitlane. my loss, his loss too. They punish them in moto3 for this, why not in the bigger class? Are we going to see this again next week? And the week after? but everybody will be too busy watching slow motions of track limits to notice?

I'm waiting for David's round up to react about the race : I look forward to understanding the Zarco/Bastianini incident... I guess some new ruling will be announced soon on the limits of lining up before the start...

 

 

Missed you!

I keep trying to think up solutions to the green paint. First, what if there were no track limit rules? Would carnage ensue, or just more exciting racing? Fewer rules as the solution? Or, how about connecting the green paint sensors to the offending bike's ECU? Oliveira would lose spark in one cylinder for a few seconds.

The Zarco argument is an interesting one, which did not occur to me until reading it here. But honestly, no one thinks he would have gained two places if 88 and 36 had been a few inches to their right exiting that corner.

Thank you.

What a  dreadful year... 

I'm still working on the maths about zarco and the two ahead. I'm spicing up the calculation and thinking 5 riders very close, the first the 3rd and the 5th exceed track limits... What happens then?  But... Wait! The second too exceed track limits and the 5th maybe did not... 

 

 

If this had happened to any other rider but Viñales we wouldn't be having these discussions.  Why? No other rider would have let Marc into their head like this and it wouldn't have happened.  They would have put their head down and done the best lap they could no matter who was getting a tow.  Marc's actions only seem egregious in light of how Mav handled the situation. 

That said, I think we're going to see more of a slightly desperate Marquez staying within the rules but not worrying about appearances.

We are having this discussion not because it was Vinales. any other fast rider would have had the same problem. 93 can still do a very fast lap and we saw that in the first run basically took advantage of the tow and slipstreamed to get a better position. No matter how fast MV went, MM would have done better (speed difference between Honda and Yamaha?) given it was a lose lose situation  he should have done the opposite of giving Q2 to MM on a silver platter. He should have done nothing.

As for worrying about appearences... Did he ever? 

1) Green Paint: wasn't the reason for this rule to penalize a rider 'gaining an unfair advantage'? Tell me how he gained an unfair advantage? Miller said it perfectly: Oli was vertical when he 'touched' the line, not at 45 degrees. If the green would have been grass, nothing would have changed. You have a rider working his ass off for 45 minutes and then some penciled dick stewart(s) making a decision about a .05 sec 'infraction'. Ridiculous!!!!
2) HRC: is there some soul searching at HRC? Your bike is a pile of crap! Without a healthy 'Superman', Aprilia finished in front of you and kicked your ass! They have benefited (understatement of the decade), that in the last 10 years, they've had TWO 'freaks' riding their bikes. I'm not just picking on HRC....Ducati been doing the same since Stoner. 
3) Folks handle/process things 'differently' then others. I was SWAT my entire LE career and saw several unable to deal with the aftermath of some 'operations'. No judgements, just a different processing pathway.