MotoGP: Dorna bosses defend race start decision

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Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta has defended the decision to cancel the start of yesterday’s argentine MotoGP race right before the lights went out, after most of the grid pulled their bikes from the grid as track conditions changed.

Leaving only pole man Jack Miller, the sole man on slick tyres, left on the grid, race control took the decision to delay the start of the race, instead creating a bizarre situation where Miller was left to start from pole position four rows ahead of the rest of the field.

But speaking in a statement issued by the organisers, Ezpeleta says that he believes they made the right call.

“At the moment we studied the situation of the grid, just Miller was using the slick tyres. The rest of the riders had the right to go to the pit lane and take the exit from there, after changing the bike set-up for dry conditions. It’s the same that happened some years ago in Sachsenring, where everybody took the start from the pit lane. We made the decision, shared by the majority of the teams, to start the way we did. That decision was taken for safety reasons, and it was the right decision.”

However, he didn’t comment on the situation between Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi that saw Marquez penalised for knocking off Rossi, instead only stating that it was a decision out of their hands to penalise Marquez.

“Since two years ago Dorna is not involved in the nomination of stewards, they are people nominated by the FIM and by IRTA. They took the decision, which I will obviously not judge. In the next GP Safety Commission with the riders, in Austin, we will discuss this situation and for sure we will take some experience from that.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer