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MotoGP Indian GP

“Strong penalties” only way to stop constant MotoGP Turn 1 pile-ups

Leading MotoGP riders, including Aleix Espargaro, say “strong penalties” are the only way to stop Turn 1 pile-ups from continually happening after another occurred in the Indian Grand Prix sprint.

Luca Marini, VR46 Racing Team Crash at the start of Sprint

At the start of Saturday’s delayed 11-lap sprint at the Buddh International Circuit, five riders ended up tangling into Turn 1.

VR46 Ducati duo Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini collided into Turn 1, with the latter suffering a broken collarbone while his polesitting team-mate dropped down the back before recovering to fifth.

At the same time as this incident, LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl touched the back of Tech3’s Augusto Fernandez, which sent the former crashing into the sister Tech3 GasGas of Pol Espargaro.

This is the third time in four races that there has been a pile-up into Turn 1 in a race, after similar wrecks at the start of the Catalan GP and the Austrian GP sprint.

Marini has since been handed a long lap penalty for his collision with Bezzecchi, which he will serve at the next grand prix in which he is fit enough to participate in, having been ruled out of the Indian GP. 

However, this punishment is the standard one for causing such an incident, with Enea Bastianini awaiting to serve a long lap for his Barcelona Turn 1 pile-up and Pramac’s Jorge Martin serving one in the Austrian GP.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro – who got disrupted by the Turn 1 chaos in the Indian GP sprint – says harsher penalties need to be dished out to dissuade these incidents.

“The solution – there is a very easy, easy solution,” he began.

“Strong penalties on corner one. I say it in every single safety commission. Stronger [penalty].

“Very strong. We will see everyone brake earlier, you will see. You just brake earlier, it’s easy.”

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team Crash at the start of Sprint

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team Crash at the start of Sprint

Photo by: M Saad

Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo echoed this sentiment, adding: “Well, you know, we talk about it in the safety commission.

“But the ones who does something strange in Turn 1 must have a big, big penalty.

“And at the end, it was two team-mates. So, not really lucky for Marco, but in the end it’s super difficult.”

KTM’s Jack Miller believes what happened at Turn 1 was “inevitable” and “normal” for a tight corner like that, which has been catching riders out all weekend.

Tech3’s Pol Espargaro felt the incident he was involved in is “always inevitable” and riders can “always do something” to avoid it.

And while he felt his clash with Bradl was simply a racing incident, with the German escaping punishment, he agreed that stronger penalties have to be dished out in future.

“We all said that if this happened this weekend, or if things like today happen, it has to be punished with a bigger [penalty],” he said.

“It can’t just be one long lap penalty, because if you kill one rider’s race or if you injure one rider, what is one long lap penalty? So, this mistake has to be more punished.”

 

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