When the FIM Stewards decided to impose a Long Lap Penalty on Zarco after the contact with Pol Espargarò, who crashed, there was a bit of a stir in the Ducati pits. The Ducati Team’s Sporting Director complained about the decision and after the race he wanted to clarify his position.
“I think everyone can understand why we are so angry - he said - For us it was a completely wrong decision, because Pol Espargarò made a mistake. He had recently crossed the finish line and had seen from the signalling board that Zarco was very close to him, so he knew it. Pol went wide and Johann made his normal trajectory inside. When a rider goes wide, before returning to the trajectory he has to look, because he is not alone on the track ”.
For Ciabatti Zarco was damaged by the incident.
"We can't understand what Zarco's mistake was, he was on the inside and could not brake because he was leaning - he continued - It was Espargarò who went into him and the mistake was his, it should have been Pol who was penalized. Johann was having a great race and would have finished 2nd, a very important result for a rider in his third race on a Ducati and for the Avintia team. Zarco managed to get on the podium, and he deserved it, but his position would have been second and we are angry for this. "
In these cases, it is not possible to make an appeal.
"The IRTA managers only communicated the penalty to us, they were mere messengers, the decision was made by Freddie Spencer and the FIM Stewards - he explained - We cannot appeal against this decision which was wrong for us, we spoke with the Race Direction, they explained their opinion, but from the images you can clearly see that it was Espargarò who made a mistake, because he didn't look before re-entering the trajectory, while Zarco didn't do anything wrong. For us it is a completely wrong decision ”.