Marc Marquez calls for rule change after Assen tyre pressure penalty

Marc Marquez calls for rule change after Assen tyre pressure penalty

Marc Marquez has received a post-race tyre pressure penalty at the Dutch MotoGP dropping him from fourth to tenth place.

Gresini Racing rider Marc Marquez suffered a setback after the Dutch MotoGP as he was slapped with a post-race time penalty which relinquished his fourth place finish and dropped him down to tenth.

The penalty came from a violation on front tyre pressure that was below the specified minimum limit (1.8 bar). The Spaniard was docked 16 seconds by the stewards which dropped him to tenth place.

However, Marquez maintained that he was only 0.01 bars over the limit on the lap that came after his collision with Ducati rider Enea Bastianini at Turn 1, as he blamed the incident for the penalty. In his opinion, the rule should be changed in the future.

While Marquez agreed that the penalty was ‘a shame,’ he highlighted that rules have to be followed. Earlier in the race, he had taken everyone by surprise when he seemed to have deliberately allowed VR46 Ducati rider Fabio Di Giannantonio to pass him for third place.

In retrospect, he acknowledged that this had been an attempt to reduce his tyre pressure.

“The only thing we were discussing with the stewards, for that reason it delayed the penalty, because as you saw in the race I started in a good way but suddenly I saw on the front there was something strange and the tyre pressure was super low,” Marquez explained.

“Then I let past Diggia just to control the front pressure, and then I was there behind him all the race. I was controlling in a good way, I was inside, but what I didn’t expect was the contact from Enea at the first corner when he pushed me out.

“And when I was out that lap I was one second slower and I didn’t push well in that Turn 3 and Turn 5 because I didn’t know how the tyre would be after coming from the run-off area.

“It dropped again, it takes two laps to come back and those two laps makes me out of that minimum [pressure].”

Marquez claimed that despite the unpredictable conditions on Sunday, which went from cloudy to sunshine, he was controlling his tyre pressure well before Bastianini’s contact which caused him to go wide and then return, at which point the pressure was yet again too low.

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Furthermore, he felt that Bastianini ought to have been forced to give up a position because he was thrown off track by the contact.

“I expected – honestly speaking – a drop one position [penalty] for Enea, because if you overtook a rider with contact and this rider went out of the track, I expected him to drop one position; not a big penalty, but drop one position and come back,” said Marquez.

“But he didn’t receive a penalty and I received the penalty for the tyre temperature. But rules on the hand, I agree.

“The only fact that takes time for the stewards – and we were speaking and I was in the race direction, because they have the data – they see that my tyre temperature dropped after the contact of Enea.”

Questioned if he thought the stewards ought to consider contact when determining a punishment, Marquez said: “It can be, and it’s what they say to me is that it can be a consideration for the future. But right now, the rules are the rules. And maybe it can change for the future.

“I think yes, especially if somebody hits you and you are out of the track. With these bikes, if you are 1.5s or 2s slower in a lap the pressure already drops 0.05.

“I needed to ask because I was out for a collision with another rider. And they said ‘no, the rules’. And I said ‘I agree with you’. The rules right now are like this.”

Following the rule’s mid-season introduction, infringements have risen significantly towards the end of the 2023 campaign, prompting a reduction in the front tyre pressure limit this season.

While MotoGP did at least avoid the original plan to make the violation result in disqualification, the penalties were also significantly increased in comparison to 2023. The most popular incident of the year involved a penalty at Jerez that cost Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo a sprint podium.

With his 16th place finish in Portugal and his DNF at the Americas GP, Márquez has now finished outside the top five in a race this year. The eight-time world champion remains third in the standings despite the loss of points but is further behind his rivals, Jorge Martin and Francesco Bagnaia.

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