Commentary MotoGP Argentina 2018

Comment MotoGP Argentina 2018
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Punishment after punishment: The Argentine Grand Prix was exciting, but at the same time a farce through and through. The fact that Cal Crutchlow won ahead of Johann Zarco, Alex Rins and Jack Miller and that this quartet showed racing at its finest, faded into the background even before the checkered flag fell.

In the end, it can be said of luck that everyone returned to the box alive on Sunday .

Punished and non-punished: starting grid up to R1

The first punishment was for Jack Miller - for doing everything right. The Australian rolled onto the grid with slicks and took his well-deserved pole position there on Saturday. But everyone else pushed their bikes back into the pits to change tires. Miller stood alone and put the race management under pressure.


the very fact that the team pushed back to the pits after the sighting lap, was a gap in the regulations - had it has never existed before. In a similar situation at the Sachsenring, Stefan Bradl's starting line-up had been converted to dry - but it wasn’t finished. Presumably everyone assumed that you could simply return, rebuild and start the warm-up lap from the pit lane - and then take your starting place again, since you had been there before.

Marc Marquez drove in the opposite direction the direction of the race to its starting place.

Normally the rest of the field - and without delay - Having to start out of the pit lane - which of course is an unbelievable risk. Several pilots were already at the pit exit when the start delay was communicated and they had to go back to the pit - and were allowed to.


Missed penalty 1: Jorge Lorenzo. While everyone was aware of the basic rules of motorcycle racing, they appliedthis for a 'star' is not: Jorge Lorenzo drove in the opposite direction of the race in the pit lane, only switched off the engine when a mechanic had approached him halfway and pushed him from now on. This went under in the overall chaos and there was no penalty.

FIM World Championship Grand Prix regulations: §1.21 ' Behavior during training and racing ', Paragraph 11: Drivers are prohibited from driving their motorcycle in the opposite direction to the racing direction, both on the track and in the pit lane. This is only permitted when instructed and accompanied by an official. 'This was missing from Lorenzo. Later at another point as well.

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Zarco too deserves a punishment

The Marc VDS team received the second punishment Franco Morbidelli and Tom Lüthi - again for 'doing everything right'. Because the two Honda satellite pilots came back to the pits after the inspection lap in order to equip them with slicks in accordance with the rules. Of course, the two rookies would have had to leave the pit lane and line up at the end of the field, but the bikes would have been in the right setup - and everyone else would have had to switch to flag-to-flag rule>

In the meantime it was decided to let the pilots back into the field according to the rule 'at the end of the starting grid'. For another tour of the field, we went out of the pit lane to line up at the end of the field. According to qualifying, four rows should remain free behind pole sitter Jack Miller, Pedrosa took sixth place. Another wrong decision - you should have started with row 9, but there were no more markings that you could have put the entire field under.


After the warmup lap Marc Marquez was now just before sharp start the motorcycle. Marquez should have left the piste and should have driven out of the pit lane afterwards. But the six-time world champion pushed his machine up to Jack Miller - and then drove back to his starting position in the opposite direction of the race. Normally he should have received the black flag for this, but here too the officials were overwhelmed and one of them even showed that Marquez should return to his seat - which the official on the grid shouldn't have done either. Later there was a drive-through penalty for Marquez, which gave the Spaniard 27 secondscost.

Punishments and non-punishments: races

Missed punishment 2: After now finally had started, it came on the first lap to the first, momentous bump. In the wet section, Johann Zarco braked himself, forcing Dani Pedrosa to the outside, so that the Spaniard had to go out onto the wet strip and was thrown high into the air by highsider. Pedrosa hit his right wrist and wants to be examined carefully in Barcelona. Zarco fought for victory in the end and came in second.


Zarco once again fell as a hothead on - and served almost the Marquez actions shortly afterwards as a model. Sure: The conditions were really difficult in this corner of the curve and it takes a lot to assess the other drivers correctly. In the first round, such a mistake may still be forgiven - with a lot of benevolence - but it must actually be said clearly that even this approach was not forgivable. If forgivable, then only under the aspect that Zarco is only just racing his second MotoGP season and mistakes are there to be made. The only thing that can be said for the French in terms of the overall structure is that it was his only action of this kind this weekend - Marquez tore several of them.

Pedrosa was injured in a fall on Wrist.

On the sixth lap, Marquez received his drive-through penalty. The Spaniard said later that he did not understand this because an official had indicated to him to take his starting place again, but had accepted it. A follow-up analysis of the video material shows, however, that the officials pointed towards the pit lane and by no means towards the Marquez starting place.

Marquez finally came back on the slopes ahead of Alvaro Bautista - and thus in 19th place at the time. It was now three laps before he caught up with Aprilia driver Aleix Espargaro - and finally jostled him off the runway.Espargaro did not fall, but there was no room for a maneuver at this point.

The penalty? Giving a seat back - but by the time this was announced, the Honda driver had already conceded three more drivers. So he let the two of them through again, but didn't really lose much.

From then on he fought his way forward and after all, Marquez, who had already been punished twice, ran up against Valentino Rossi, who was sixth, five laps before the end. And again he used his opponent as a rambock, but Rossi fell. There was then an added drive-through penalty of three seconds, with which Marquez lost fifth place and was classified as 18th.

Too much of a good thing

Uncompromising, tough racing - yes! Definitely. But that in Argentina wasn't just a touch too much of a good thing. Almost the entire paddock rightly demands a real punishment. Locks must definitely be used here. To put a Marc Marquez at the end of the field at the next race would be a punishment for the entire field - and again a safety risk.

Marquez not only harmed himself on Sunday, but all of motorcycling. In addition, he was anything but a role model. Valentino Rossi also says: 'He ruined our sport today. He has absolutely no respect for anyone else. He has never had that!'

The victory snatched on End of Cal Crutchlow.

Although Rossi is one of the injured in this race, he still has to the Italian, however, be very calm. Rossi has already done similar crazy actions - exactly the same situation happened in Jerez in 2011. Rossi crashed into Turn 1 in the rain after a completely over-motivated maneuver in Casey Stoner and pulled the Australian out of the way.

In After the race, Argentina trudged Marquez towards Rossi's pit and wanted to apologize. The Italian refused to give him this handshake. Rossi saidTo apologize: 'That was a joke! That was just PR. At first he doesn't even have the balls to get into my box alone. He always comes with his manager, with Honda, in front of all the cameras - because that's important to him , it's not about you at all, 'said Rossi in 2018. Almost the same words Casey Stoner had in 2011 for Rossi. All of this does not change the situation that Marquez in Argentina more than overshot the target.

Conclusion to the GP of Argentina

Whether there will be a race suspension for Marquez is currently completely open. But the fact is that this is urgently needed. Professional prohibition clause and Honda employment or not. After this Argentina Grand Prix, everyone is definitely the winner, because there were no obituaries to prepare on Sunday evening. There have been too many of them lately, that's why we should act now and set an example - before it's too late again.

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