Following a penalty at the Grand Prix of the Americas that “makes no sense,” Pramac rookie Jorge Martin has taken aim at MotoGP’s Race Direction.
Martin was competing for the final podium slot with factory Ducati teammate Francesco Bagnaia in the final stages of the race in Austin when he cut the track at Turns 3 and 4.
Race stewards hit him with a long lap penalty, dropping him to seventh behind Suzuki’s Alex Rins after Bagnaia quickly picked off the Pramac rider before he could serve his sanctions.
Martin, on the other hand, has questioned the penalty, claiming that he had no choice but to go off track when his Ducati’s front end was lost coming around the corner.
The rules state that a rider must give up a second in lap time or face a long lap penalty for gaining an advantage in these situations, while Martin considered that losing eight tenths on that lap was already a massive disadvantage.
“We had been quite close to the podium and surely I could have done it, I had everything under control,” Martin said after Sunday’s race at the Circuit of the Americas.
“The pity is that I had a scare that I jump[ed] the chicane. At the end of the race I had a lot of holes in the tyre, I also suffered a lot of chattering and all this added to the physical condition has contributed to me losing the position to Pecco.
“To begin with, it makes no sense that if you have a scare and you go straight [through a corner], where you are already wasting time, [that] on top of that they penalise you.
“The problem is that I cut [the corner] and I was already in the first sector, I could not slow down anymore.
“I simply lost eight tenths of my best test and you have to lose a second. So, for only two tenths I had to do the long lap.”
Martin added: “The sanction is unfair, but more than anything because I have not cut [the corner deliberately].
“I had a scare and I had no other option, and that is why I see it as unfair. But, hey, Race Direction is not very fine lately and we can’t do anything.”
Penalties for violating track rules have caused many a rider outburst this year, with some suggesting Race Direction should take a more human approach to events.
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