Pol Espargaro handed a three-place grid penalty

Pol Espargaro

Pol Espargaro received a grid penalty for an unsafe rejoin in the opening practice for Malaysian Grand Prix.

The stewards have penalized the Repsol Honda rider for restarting during the opening practice session of the Malaysian Grand Prix in an unsafe way.

Pol Espargaro will start from the back of the grid on Sunday at the Malaysian Grand Prix after being assessed a three-place grid penalty following an incident in Free Practice 1. The Repsol Honda rider received a penalty from the MotoGP Stewards after they determined that he put another rider in danger.

The action is deemed to be irresponsible riding and is in violation of Article 1.21.2 of the FIM World Championship Grand Prix regulations. As a result, the Spaniard will start three positions farther back from his qualifying position.

A statement from MotoGP stewards read: “On 21 October 2022 during the PETRONAS GRAND PRIX OF MALAYSIA FP1 session you were observed to have rejoined the track unsafely, causing a dangerous situation for another rider.”

“This contravenes the specific instructions given to MotoGP competitors and teams, disrupting the session, and is considered irresponsible riding causing danger to other competitors.”

“It is there an infringement of Article 1.21.2 of the FIM World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.”

Brad Binder of Red Bull KTM set the tone for Free Practice 1, posting a time of 1:59.749s when the 45-minute session came to an end. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), who finished third, was 0.047s behind Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar), who finished second. Alex Rins had won at Phillip Island five days before.

At the end of the session, championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo) was in a similar position as Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha), finishing 11th after choosing not to switch to new Michelin tyres. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo) placed fourteenth, and Remy Gardner (Tech3 KTM) placed twenty-first.

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