Kawasaki's Anthony West incurred a Jump Start Ride Through Penalty at this Sunday's Polini Malaysian Grand Prix, but why? To the eye he doesn't appear to have moved forward too early, but is that really the cause? Looking again at his position on the grid prior to the start it is clear that something is amiss. The grid for all MotoGP events actually has five positions per row.
For the 125 and 250 races, where there are four bikes on each row, all positions except the middle most one are used. In the 800 class however there are only three bikes per row which means that every second position is empty instead. Anthony West was in fifth position on the grid behind world champion Casey Stoner but instead of being on the middle most position as he should have been, he was on the position to his left, which is also slightly further forward.
Notice from the images that bike number 5 is too far forward. Is this in fact why he was awarded the ride through for a jump start? Because he was too far forward? Should the marshals on the grid have informed him that he was in the wrong place or is it the riders responsibility? It's a real shame that a promising result was taken away because of such a simple mistake, if that is indeed why the penalty was awarded.