MotoGP

Jorge Martin critical of ‘senseless’ COTA MotoGP penalty

Martin was battling with factory Ducati counterpart Francesco Bagnaia in the latter stages of the race at Austin over the final spot of the podium when he cut the track at Turns 3 and 4.

He was hit was a long lap penalty by race stewards, which ultimately dropped him to fifth behind Suzuki’s Alex Rins after Bagnaia easily picked off the Pramac rider before he could serve his penalty.

But Martin has questioned the penalty as he said he had no choice but to go off track as he’d lost the front-end of his Ducati going through the corner.

ANALYSIS: Is MotoGP becoming over-regulated?

In these instances, the rules state a rider must cede a second in lap time or be hit with a long lap penalty for gaining an advantage – though Martin felt losing eight tenths on that lap was already a major hindrance.

“We had been quite close to the podium and surely I could have done it, I had everything under control,” Martin said after Sunday’s race at the Circuit of the Americas.

“The pity is that I had a scare that me jump the chicane. At the end of the race I had a lot of holes in the tyre, I also suffered a lot of chattering and all this added to the physical condition has contributed to me losing the position to Pecco.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Dorna

“To begin with, it makes no sense that if you have a scare and you go straight [through a corner], where you are already wasting time, [that] on top of that they penalise you.

“The problem is that I cut [the corner] and I was already in the first sector, I could not slow down anymore.

“I simply lost eight tenths of my best test and you have to lose a second. So, for only two tenths I had to do the long lap.”

Martin added: “The sanction is unfair, but more than anything because I have not cut [the corner deliberately].

“I had a scare and I had no other option, and that is why I see it as unfair. But, hey, Race Direction is not very fine lately and we can’t do anything.”

Penalties for track limits infringements have been the centre of many an outburst from riders this year, with some believing Race Direction has to take a more human approach to incidents.

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