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VR46 duo rage at stewards following Martin Austria MotoGP sprint clashes

Marco Bezzecchi says MotoGP’s stewards were “wrong” to not issue an in-race punishment on Jorge Martin for triggering a pile-up on the first lap of the Austrian Grand Prix sprint.

Crash at the start

Photo by: Team Gresini

The VR46 rider was taken out of Saturday’s 14-lap sprint at the Red Bull Ring when Pramac’s Martin clattered into Fabio Quartararo, who in turn hit Maverick Vinales into Bezzecchi, Johann Zarco and Miguel Oliveira.

The incident is currently under investigation and no outcome has been met yet, with Martin going on to finish third in the sprint having also escaped punishment for a collision while overtaking Bezzecchi’s team-mate Luca Marini on lap seven.

Bezzecchi says he has not been to see the stewards about the incident and feels it was “wrong” for them to wait till after the race to investigate.

“Just immediately after the crash I didn’t know what happened and when I saw the video I understood,” Bezzecchi said when asked about the crash.

“Well, angry a little bit but it’s more sadness because today it was important to finish the race to see something for tomorrow. But it’s like this.

“For sure, it’s a corner that’s quite tricky. But there are many ways to approach a corner if it’s tricky.”

He added: “[It was] wrong to decide after the race, because you need to decide during the race.

“To be honest, in that moment [of the incident] I didn’t know, so it’s difficult for me to judge.

“Also right now, I don’t want to judge, it’s not my job. If they [the stewards] think it’s good like this, it’s their job to decide what to do. But I don’t agree.”

Luca Marini, VR46 Racing Team crash

Luca Marini, VR46 Racing Team crash

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marini joined his team-mate Bezzecchi in raging against the stewards’ decision-making during the sprint, and feels Martin should never have been in a position to cause contact with him for what happened at Turn 1.

“I think about this case the problem is that it’s not clear another time about why and in which cases the stewards take the decisions about the penalties, because in my opinion Jorge should not have been there in that moment [when he touched me] after the incident at Turn 1,” Marini began.

“That was more dangerous than what happened with me. With me it was bad luck because with his foot he touched my handlebar and I crashed.

“For sure he didn’t want me to crash. I was just trying to make a wider line and avoid any contact, and for him it was the same I think because we never want to crash into each other.

“So, it’s strange that what happened after Turn 1 that the stewards didn’t take any decision, while with Fabio they took a decision very quickly to give him the long lap penalty.

“I think what happened in Turn 1 needed a penalty, and then my incident wouldn’t have happened.

“Jorge in that moment made a mistake in braking for Turn 1, because also for me every time braking into Turn 1 of a race is very difficult for everyone.

“So, it’s important at that moment to avoid any crashes in that specific moment.

“So, in the moment this kind of thing happens, the stewards must be prepared to analyse the situation in the best way possible to let the race be fair for everybody and continue in the best way.”

Under current rules, riders are meant to be punished for any moves that are considered to have created a dangerous situation for a competitor – as was stated back in March during the fallout from the Marc Marquez/Martin/Oliveira Portugal tangle.

But Marini feels like the stewards have relaxed how they dish out penalties, but have maintained inconsistency, noting how Martin escaped punishment for their sprint collision while Quartararo was hit with a penalty for a similar incident with Lorenzo Savadori.

“The problem is the consistency of the penalties, because every time they change their opinion, they change how they apply the rules,” he added.

“So, it’s not clear. It would be great if we could try to find a solution. I think at the beginning of the season we were in a situation that the regulations were very strict, there were a lot of penalties, even if there is no crashes, while in some moments they changed and they started to be more free.

“So, pushing another rider off the track is not a penalty, like happened in Silverstone with some riders.

“But until now there is contact and some crashes, every time there was a penalty. But today, no. It’s not clear. They gave Fabio a long lap penalty, so why Fabio yes and not in the other occasion?”

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