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MotoGP Argentinian GP

Quartararo unhappy Nakagami wasn’t punished for ‘destroying’ his Argentina MotoGP race

Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo says he doesn't understand why Takaaki Nakagami escaped punishment for ‘destroying’ the Frenchman’s MotoGP Argentina Grand Prix on the opening lap.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

The 2021 world champion was nudged off track at Turn 7 by LCR Honda’s Nakagami on the opening lap of Sunday’s wet Argentina GP and dropped from 10th to 16th.

This forced Quartararo into a recovery ride, with the Yamaha rider finishing just behind KTM’s Jack Miller in seventh.

The incident was placed under investigation, but the FIM stewards deemed no further action was necessary.

Quartararo was left bemused by this decision and highlighted how a tamer move in the Moto3 race on Sunday resulted in Ayumu Sasaki being demoted one position by the stewards.

“No, I don’t understand what they are doing,” Quartararo responded when asked if he understood the stewards’ penalty decision on Nakagami.

“I watched the Moto3 race: Ayumu in Turn 5 make an overtake that was really clean, but he slightly touched [another rider and got a penalty], where in MotoGP we are doing it all the time.

“He [Sasaki] got dropped one position and he [Taka] just destroyed my race in one corner and didn’t get anything.

“I don’t know, it’s still the same people doing these things.”

Takaaki Nakagami, Team LCR Honda

Takaaki Nakagami, Team LCR Honda

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

This follows on from widespread criticism of MotoGP’s stewarding during last week’s Portuguese GP.

Without the Nakagami clash, Quartararo believes he could have joined fourth-placed team-mate Franco Morbidelli inside the top five and was pleased with his pace in the wet.

But at the end of a difficult weekend for the Yamaha rider, Quartararo admits the Japanese marque is yet to find a true base set-up on the bike having only had one ‘real’ day of testing in pre-season.

“I mean, ‘lots of positives’, I wouldn’t say that,” he said about his weekend in Argentina.

“But it is positive that in the wet we showed great pace, we showed that in the dry actually, our first day of test we had was the last day of Portimao [test] and we don’t have our base.

“FP1 we tried a bike, FP2 we wanted to try but it was still difficult. In the sprint race I started with another setting.

“If the [main] race was dry I would have tried another bike. We are still not ready.

“I’m always angry because I want to be up there, but I know there is a lot of work to do to be on top.”

Quartararo is only 32 points down on new championship leader Marco Bezzecchiwho won the Argentina GP – after all main title challengers struggled in Argentina.

Despite this, Quartararo refuses to talk about his own title hopes, stating: “If I start to think about the championship right now without fighting for a top five, I think it’s bad.

“So first I want to work as much as possible to find a solution [to fix the bike], and then we can talk about the championship.”

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