With hindsight, Fabio Quartararo feels he should have been black-flagged in Sunday’s Catalunya MotoGP race, still disagrees with the other Turn 2 penalty.
Having had time to reflect on the pair of penalties he received after Sunday’s Catalunya MotoGP race, world championship leader Fabio Quartararo admits he should have been black-flagged for riding with his leathers open.
However, the Yamaha star still feels the other 3-second penalty, for failing to lose more than one-second when he straight-lined Turn 2, was unfair.
“I think looking back at what happened… It’s difficult to admit, but for me it was a black flag,” Quartararo said after Monday’s post-race test at the same Barcelona circuit.
“It’s true that I put myself in danger, and also with what happened last week [to Jason Dupasquier], that [black flag] would have been the correct thing.
“The only penalty I don’t agree with is the short cut, because I don’t feel it’s fair. I lost seven tenths, but if I lost one second, the penalty was gone. And how can I know on the bike that I lost seven tenths and not one second?
“So that was a little bit stupid. But I admit the second penalty [leathers]. I was angry of course, but I mean, better this than zero points.”
Quartararo was forced to cut Turn 2 after losing the front of his Yamaha as he pitched into the first corner on lap 22 of 24, moments after losing second place to Johann Zarco.
Meanwhile the zip on the front of Quartararo’s leathers had come undone, for unknown reasons, through the same Turn 1-3 area on the previous lap.
After reaching into his leathers and discarding his chest protector, the Frenchman rode the rest of the race bare-chested, with obvious safety implications should he fall and slide on his stomach.
The MotoGP rules state that safety equipment, which specifically includes leathers and chest protector, “must be worn, correctly fastened, at all times during on-track activity.”
Yet, for reasons that remain unclear, Quartararo was not black-flagged and instead allowed to finish the race, in third place. The penalty for cutting Turn 2 then dropped him to fourth, behind Jack Miller.
Later that evening, a further 3-second penalty was applied for ‘riding without his leather suit correctly fastened and without the required chest protector’. That demoted Quartararo to sixth.