Marquez should be placed "on probation" - Schwantz


Marc Marquez should be placed "on probation" for his dangerous riding in last weekend's Argentina MotoGP race, according to grand prix motorcycling legend Kevin Schwantz.

Reigning champion Marquez was the subject of harsh criticism for his riding in Termas de Rio Hondo, where he attracted the attention of the stewards for colliding with both Aleix Espargaro and Valentino Rossi, causing the latter to crash.

For 1993 500cc champion Schwantz, Marquez's behaviour in Argentina means he should be placed on notice for the remainder of the season, with any further contact he initiates met with disqualification.

"I think he’s been penalised for what he did," Schwantz told "But I think he should be on probation for the rest of the year.

"He needs to be told that if for any reason whatsoever, if he comes into contact with anyone else by his own doing, then he gets parked."

He added: "The thing is, even if they were mistakes where he outbraked himself and carried too much speed for the track conditions, he’s a champion, he knows what he’s doing - so he’s gonna know that he’s too fast even before he needs to commit to the inside of another bike and make contact.

"And if he knows that, then his judgement should be, ‘I’ve gotten in here too hot’ and then stand the bike up a little and run out wide before the apex and there’s no need to involve the other rider at all.

"You can’t just dive in, hit the other guy, and then say, ‘Oh, sorry, I made a mistake.’ We all know that’s not right.

"Everyone makes occasional mistakes in critical situations, but he shouldn’t keep creating his own critical situations where his mistakes then have consequences that put other riders in harm’s way."

The root of the controversy was Marquez having to make a comeback after being handed a ride-through penalty for taking his grid slot having just stalled and restarted his bike - instead of starting from the pitlane.

Schwantz suggested that the Honda rider should simply have been disqualified for ignoring an instruction to start from the pitlane.

"If he didn’t do what Tony [Congram] from IRTA told him to do, he should have been disqualified from the race within the first couple of laps," he said. "End of discussion.

"It should be, 'You stalled, I told you to start from pitlane, you didn’t do what you were told to do. That’s it, boy, you’re out.' And that would have stopped him doing all the stupid s*** he went on and did."

The Suzuki ambassador also said that MotoGP should rethink the practice of handing out ride-through penalties, if they lead to riders seeing "red mist" like Marquez did in Argentina.

"Maybe we don’t need ride-through penalties, going forward," said Schwantz. "Maybe they just get 30 seconds or 60 seconds added to their race time.

"Maybe you don’t need to be given the opportunity to be out there once you get that penalty. Because anybody a rider sees when they’re that crazy-angry could get hit. 

"Nobody should have to be worried about their safety when they’re racing. This is not a contact sport, and a rider should be looking over his shoulder worried that he’s gonna get beat, not worried that he’s gonna get hit."

Asked what he would say to Marquez, Schwantz replied: "Calm the f*** down. He doesn’t have to do every lap where he’s pushing the front, sliding the back, almost crashing, just about saving it.

"Smooth is fast, not ragged. Almost crashing all the time is what leads to you running into people.

"He needs to rethink his outlook. We know he’s a great talent, we know he’s fast, and if he could ever learn to be smooth and fast, I think he’d be amazed how quick he could be."

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Argentinian GP
Track Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo
Drivers Kevin Schwantz , Marc Marquez
Teams Repsol Honda Team
Article type Interview