Ducati: Yamaha engine ruling sets "dangerous" precedent

Ducati fears a "dangerous" precedent has been set by the decision to penalise just Yamaha and not its MotoGP riders for racing illegal engines at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Ducati: Yamaha engine ruling sets "dangerous" precedent

An FIM investigation into the use of non-homologated valves in the engines of Maverick Vinales, Valentino Rossi, Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli at the opening round at Jerez concluded on Thursday that Yamaha has contravened the rules.

The sanction centred on Yamaha having not gained unanimous approval from the manufacturers' association to change the valves from the ones it had submitted with its sample engine design for homologation pre-season.

Yamaha was docked 50 constructors' points, amounting double that of what it scored for Quartararo's Spanish GP win, while both the works Yamaha and Petronas SRT were docked 20 and 37 teams' title points – the latter for points scored at the first Jerez race and the Styrian GP, where Morbidelli used his Spanish GP engine and finished 15th.

However, no points were deducted from either of Quartararo, Vinales or Morbidelli's riders' standings tally, meaning they remain within 25 points of championship leader Joan Mir.

The Japanese manufacturer blamed an "internal oversight" for it using the illegal parts, but insists there was no "malintent" in what it did as the valves it used from two suppliers were designed to the same specification and accepts the ruling.

But Ducati boss Paolo Ciabatti – who also accepts the decision – fears the FIM only punishing Yamaha could lead to manufacturers in the future contravening the rules and claiming a similar case of oversight to that of Yamaha.

"I think the FIM stewards thought it was Yamaha's mistake and made this decision, which we accept because no one will complain," Ciabatti told Sky Italy.

"It is a bit of a dangerous precedent, however, because the riders, [though] not their fault raced with bikes that were not regular.

"A precedent has been set that could be risky in the future, because you then enter into the area of mistakes made in good faith or involuntarily and other kinds of evaluations that could possibly create problems in the future in terms of regulations.

"But we said we would accept this decision, so we will not make any protest."

Suzuki boss Davide Brivio admits the situation is tricky, because a decision to punish the riders and not punish them could "put a shadow over the championship" for whoever ultimately wins it.

"We respect the situation, it's a difficult situation," Brivio told MotoGP's world feed. "Whatever you do under this circumstances, with what's happened, you would put a shadow over the championship.

"If you penalise the riders, then whoever is going to win – if it's not them – you might say: 'Ah that's because of the disqualification.'

"With this sentence it might put a shadow on their championship, because they scored a lot of points, heavy points, in the race where the engine, it looks like, was not regular.

"It's a difficult decision, from our side we respect the decision, we're happy to continue to fight on the track and I like the situation that the riders' situation remains like this and the fight, because we don't want any shadow.

"If we win or lose, we like to do it on track."

Additional reporting by Matteo Nugnes and Mark Bremer. 

shares
comments

Related video

MotoGP unveils provisional 20-round 2021 calendar

Previous article

MotoGP unveils provisional 20-round 2021 calendar

Next article

Vinales handed pitlane start for exceeding engine allocation

Vinales handed pitlane start for exceeding engine allocation
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Teams Ducati Team
Author Lewis Duncan
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Prime

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Prime

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice.

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue Prime

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Prime

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021
Why Lorenzo needs to ditch social media and enjoy retirement Prime

Why Lorenzo needs to ditch social media and enjoy retirement

OPINION: Jorge Lorenzo's status as one of the greatest MotoGP riders of all time is hard to dispute. But his constant social media spats with fellow riders and insistence on listing his achievements to his detractors are running the risk of tarnishing a legacy he worked hard to create.

MotoGP
Mar 20, 2021
Can leaving a factory team end Rossi’s MotoGP win drought? Prime

Can leaving a factory team end Rossi’s MotoGP win drought?

It is over three-and-a-half years since the Italian national anthem rang out to declare a Valentino Rossi victory in MotoGP. To some onlookers his move out of the factory Yamaha squad meant the 2017 Dutch TT could remain his final win, but after an encouraging transition at Petronas SRT hope is far from lost

MotoGP
Mar 19, 2021