What do David Munoz and Marc Marquez have in common? They both ride motorcycles, are Spanish and caused the same type of accident in the race. David at Austin knocking Nepa down, Marc at Portimao colliding against Martin and Oliveira. The same irresponsible behaviour for the Stewards and the same penalty: 2 Long Laps.
However, the documents that certify the penalties have a significant difference. While on Marc's it was written that the Honda rider would have to serve it in the Argentine Grand Prix, on Munoz's that "the double Long Lap Penalty will be served by the rider in the race of the next Grand Prix in which he will participate". Then reference is made to two articles of the regulation that simply explain the penalty.
More interesting is the footnote, after the asterisk: “The FIM MotoGP Stewards clarify that the rider’s next event would be the Spanish Grand Prix, unless the rider does not participate in this race for any reason related to this incident." And here reference is made to the penalties protocol published by the FIM Stewards on March 30, 2023. There is no trace of this document on the website of the International Motorcycle Federation.
The dates are important: Marquez's accident in the Portimao race took place on 26 March and on the same day the Stewards inflicted a sanction on him. Two days later, on March 28, the Stewards issued a note clarifying that Marc would have to serve the penalty in the first race in which he participated. On March 29, the Honda team filed an appeal and on March 30 the Appeal Stewards accepted it but referring the decision to the MotoGP Court of Appeal. March 30 is the same day as the issuance of that protocol, i.e., 4 days after the accident and the day following the appeal presented by Honda. Finally, on 13 April, the Court of Appeal decided to suspend Marquez's penalty pending a final decision. When this will happen has not been disclosed.
Freddie Spencer and his men have clearly messed things up, but the attempts to solve it are only making the situation worse and the fact that after 3 weeks of the accident nothing is known yet is proven proof.
Obviously, Honda is leveraging a 'technicality', but the conduct of the Stewards in this matter seems like 'an admission of guilt'. Because first they had to issue an explanatory note on the penalty and then review their protocol, but they did it the day after the appeal was filed.
At this point, the fact that Honda can win it and Marquez goes 'unpunished' is increasingly likely. Not for a technicality, but for a lack of competence shown by the Stewards on that occasion. Here the paper ‘sings’ and in this case, Marc really likes the music.