MotoGP yellow flag penalty should be harsher – Aleix Espargaro

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro believes stricter penalties should be imposed on riders who repeatedly set fast lap times under yellow flag conditions in MotoGP following qualifying controversy in Portugal.

MotoGP yellow flag penalty should be harsher – Aleix Espargaro

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia posted a record-smashing lap time to initially claim pole in Saturday’s Q2 session at the Algarve circuit.

However, his pole time was stripped from him after he was deemed to have set it while travelling through a yellow flag zone at the Craig Jones corner where KTM’s Miguel Oliveira had crashed.

Bagnaia was dropped from pole to 11th as a result and claims it was “impossible” to see the yellow flag to his right as he was leaning to the left at that point.

MotoGP tightened up its yellow flag rule last season, with any lap set by a rider who has passed a caution automatically having that time deleted.

Espargaro sympathised with Bagnaia, but feels the rule has to be enforced because “you can kill a marshal” if you crash while pushing through a yellow flag zone.

“You cannot go in the brain or the eyes of Pecco, so I will trust him is he says he couldn’t see it,” Espargaro said. “But we have rules for safety. [On Friday] I crashed in Turn 11 I think and a lot of riders closed the throttle.

“Pecco was wide in that corner and went wide when I was in the gravel trying to pick up the bike with marshals.

“So, the rule is the rule and I think Dorna has to be even more strict.

“If there is yellow flags, it’s because somebody is on the ground. If they crash, you can kill a marshal.

“So, I feel sorry for them because I know he did an incredible lap and achieved the pole position. But it’s very dangerous.”

Yellow flag

Yellow flag

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

When asked if harsher punishments should be dished out for those who repeatedly push through yellow flag zones, he added: “100% sure because tell me what more Dorna can do?

“They have more yellow flags than ever, they have LED panels.

“[So do we] start using radios or put the yellow flag on the dash? It’s difficult to do more than this.

“So, yes, for me I think they have to be stronger.”

Bagnaia’s Ducati team-mate Jack Miller has fallen foul of the yellow flag rule on a number of occasions since its introduction and has repeatedly been critical of its enforcement.

Read Also:

Following Saturday’s drama, Miller once again questioned the rule, saying: “I’ve been on the receiving end of that penalty a few times.

“It’s like there’s no point even arguing with them [Race Direction] because there’s no real logic to it, especially when it’s like that.

“It makes no sense because these tyres don’t work at all, you have a very narrow window of when they do work, let’s say, and if you’ve already pushed that lap – like Pecco, for example, he’s already far round on that lap – you’re not going to have the same chance again on that tyre.

“At Aragon last year, it cost me a Q2. I don’t agree with it.”

shares
comments

Related video

Bagnaia: "Impossible to see" yellow flags which cost MotoGP pole
Previous article

Bagnaia: "Impossible to see" yellow flags which cost MotoGP pole

Next article

Portuguese MotoGP: Quartararo wins as Rins crashes late on; Marquez seventh

Portuguese MotoGP: Quartararo wins as Rins crashes late on; Marquez seventh
The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him Plus

The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him

Prior to the summer break, the 2022 MotoGP title looked like it was Fabio Quartararo’s to lose. But a crash at Assen and the consequential penalty he had to serve last weekend at Silverstone stopped him from capitalising on a main rival’s injury woes, while a resurgence from another, plus the rise of a former team-mate, look set to conspire against the Yamaha rider

MotoGP
Aug 8, 2022
Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time Plus

Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time

On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy

MotoGP
Aug 6, 2022
Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge Plus

Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Autosport - he faces with his eyes wide open…

MotoGP
Jul 27, 2022
How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature Plus

How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature

The hiring of technicians from Formula 1 has clearly contributed to a recent change in the MotoGP landscape, with the role of engineers gaining greater significance relative to the riders. Here's how this shift has come about

MotoGP
Jul 19, 2022
The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader Plus

The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader

Coinciding with the arrival of Massimo Rivola as head of its MotoGP division, Aprilia has undergone an internal revolution that has spurred it from occupying last place in the team standings to leading the table in the space of just two years. Those entrenched in the project reveal how the ex-Ferrari F1 chief has achieved the dramatic turnaround

MotoGP
Jul 15, 2022
The battle Yamaha's wayward son is fighting to be fast again in MotoGP Plus

The battle Yamaha's wayward son is fighting to be fast again in MotoGP

Franco Morbidelli was long overdue a promotion to factory machinery when it finally came late last year, having finished runner-up in the 2020 standings on an old Yamaha package. But since then the Italian has been a shadow of his former self as he toils to adapt to the 2022 M1, and recognises that he needs to change his style to be quick on it

MotoGP
Jul 13, 2022
Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era Plus

Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era

The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. Key paddock figures explain why.

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2022
Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star? Plus

Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star?

Valentino Rossi’s protégés stole the show at Assen as Francesco Bagnaia stormed to victory to arrest a recent barren run. But it was the rider in second, on Bagnaia’s old bike, who had all eyes on him. Securing his and the VR46 team’s first MotoGP podium, Marco Bezzecchi has all the characteristics that made his mentor special

MotoGP
Jun 27, 2022