Fabio Quartararo penalised for open leathers, chest protector
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MotoGP world championship leader Fabio Quartararo has been given another post-race penalty, this time for riding with the zip of his leathers open and discarding his chest protector in the closing laps of the Catalunya MotoGP.The new 3-second time penalty adds to a previous 3-second penalty for straight-lining Turn 2 and re-joining the track, without giving up enough time, also in the final laps.That initial penalty dropped Quartararo from third to fourth place, behind Jack Miller, while the new penalty further demotes the Frenchman to sixth in the classification and reduces his title lead from 17 to 14 points over countryman Johann Zarco.Extraordinary scenes in the closing stages involving @FabioQ20!For riding without his chest protector and his leather suit correctly fastened, the Frenchman received a 3-second penalty#CatalanGP 9EBy6hVSjN— MotoGP (@MotoGP) June 6, 2021The zip on Quartararo’s leathers suddenly opened, for unknown reasons, with four laps remaining, the Monster Yamaha rider then reaching in and discarding his chest protector.That meant he was in breach of the MotoGP rules which state that rider safety equipment, which specifically includes leathers and chest protector, “must be worn, correctly fastened, at all times during on-track activity”.Related ArticlesaccImages.createImage(); MotoE World Cup Catalunya, Barcelona – Race ResultsaccImages.createImage(); Catalunya Moto2 Grand Prix, Barcelona – Race ResultsWhile it was a surprise Quartararo was not black-flagged for his own safety during the race, something many current and former riders felt should have happened, opinions will also be mixed that he has now been handed a penalty once the race, and therefore risk, is over.Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro had been one of the riders who felt it was correct not to punish Quartararo at all.”No, come on. This can happen. It’s dangerous to start without it but if it happens during the race, what are you going to do?” he said. “Yes, it’s dangerous, for sure it’s dangerous, but he’s fighting for a title. You think it’s fair to stop a rider because maybe the zip is broken? Yeah, I understand that it’s dangerous, but… difficult.”Related ArticlesaccImages.createImage(); Catalunya Moto2 Grand Prix, Barcelona – Race ResultsaccImages.createImage(); Catalunya Moto2: Back to back wins for Gardener after victory in SpainMeanwhile, after the second penalty was announced, Quartararo made his own feelings clear in the following Instagram story:2021-06-06 19_46_32-Stories • Instagram.jpg accImages.createImage();Speaking before the second penalty, Quartararo had said of the incident with his leathers:”I don’t know what happened. I just know that I had the leathers completely open in the first corner and I just tried to put [the zip] back in a normal position again. I couldn’t do it. So it was difficult to ride but unfortunately it happens. Alpinestars are looking into how it’s possible because at the end of the race it was possible again to close the zip [like normal]. But it’s like this. It was not our day but I can be happy with this fourth position.”I was just thinking to try to ride normally because it’s not easy to ride with the leathers open at the end of the straight, you probably just go backwards! I was just thinking to try to keep the podium alive, but anyway I had a penalty [for straight-lining Turn 2]. It’s the rules but I think now it’s starting to be a little bit too much.””4Asked to respond to those that were already calling for a further penalty for having the leather’s open, Quartararo said:”Well, I think I already had a penalty [for Turn 2], demoted three-seconds from P3 to P4. I think this penalty is quite enough. Let’s say we finished the race and everybody is safe so that’s it. I think right now it’s not [worth] talking anymore about a penalty because the race is finished.”While Quartararo simply spoke about the zip coming open, he made no reference to the chest protector and exactly why it had been discarded.”5Did it begin to move around because the zip became loose, or perhaps it had somehow caused the zip to come loose? And did Quartararo, in order to remove the chest protector, make the issue worse by lowering the zip further?Unfortunately, the TV footage is inconclusive. Quartararo brakes for Turn 1 on lap 21 with the zip appearing fully closed, then the cameras cut away, returning just as he throws the chest protector out on the exit of Turn 3 with the front of his leathers fully open.
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