MotoGP Barcelona: Fabio Quartararo handed second post-race penalty
Fabio Quartararo has dropped from fourth to sixth in the final standings for today's Catalan MotoGP in Barcelona after receiving a second post-race penalty.
The Frenchman initially lost his spot on the podium (third) after being handed a three-second penalty for using the shortcut between turns one and two after running in too deep whilst battling Johann Zarco.
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Quartararo now finds himself in sixth position after being handed another three-second penalty. FIM MotoGP Stewards have decided that Quartararo was in breach of the rules with regards to his safety equipment.
In bizarre scenes, Quartararo's leathers came open with a few laps remaining and as a result he decided to remove his chest protector - which is usually held in place by his racing suit. Quartararo had to unzip hit suit in order to do this and then completed the final three laps with his suit unzipped.
As per the regulations: “The equipment must be worn, correctly fastened, at all times during on-track activity.” It's not yet known what caused the zip to become undone in the first place, but Quartararo has confirmed that Alpinestars, the manufacturer of the suit, are investigating.
"On 6 June 2021 during the MotoGP race of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, you [Quartararo] were observed to be riding with your leather suit not correctly fastened and without the required chest protector," this evening's FIM statement reads.
“This is an infringement of Article 126.96.36.199 of the FIM World Championship Grand Prix Regulations. For the above reasons, the FIM MotoGP Stewards Panel has imposed a three-second penalty to be applied to the race results of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya MotoGP race.”
The bigger question that is being asked by fellow riders, media and fans alike is why Quartararo wasn't shown the black flag and told to stop. Firstly, he was in breach of the rules, but secondly, having his suit open put Quartararo in danger. The consequences could have been terrible if he'd have crashed during those final three laps.
As a result of this evening's added penalty, Quartararo's lead over Zarco in the championship has been reduced to 14 points.