Repsol Honda boss Alberto Puig was quick to hit out at race direction after Sunday’s Argentinian Grand Prix for handing Marc Marquez a ride-through penalty, instead setting the blame for the confusion on the grid at their feet.
Given mixed signals by the marshals on the grid after stalling his bike and attempting to restart it, former Grand Prix winner Puig says that Marquez was only doing what he thought was the right thing to do.
“From our understanding, it’s not completely clear what happened on the grid. Something that doesn’t normally happen did, and from there it was a continuation of things that made everything more complicated. The rider acted on what he thought, but you can imagine when you’re in that situation with 20 riders behind you, you want to be in a safe position. He thought that the marshals were telling him to do that and no one tried to take him out of that position.”
Yet despite calls from his counterpart at Yamaha for further penalties for Marquez after the collision between him and Rossi, Puig sounds hopeful that cooler heads will prevail once things have been given a few weeks to calm down ahead of the next round in Austin in two weeks’ time.
“Valentino has a lot of experience and he knows that these things can happen in a race, and when the conditions of a track are difficult they may occur. We’re really sorry about what happened, but we don’t think that our rider was out of control. Of course I understand that Valentino and Yamaha are not happy about the situation, and they have a right to be. But it has happened to all of us in racing many times.”