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MotoGP,  Freddie Spencer strikes again: to err is human, how to persevere as a Steward

Yamaha's appeal was thrown out because Morbidelli was allegedly "ambitious". Azman's penalties imposed for the Spanish GP and not for the next race. The FIM men again... distracted

MotoGP:  Freddie Spencer strikes again: to err is human, how to persevere as a Steward


The work of the Stewards led by Freddie Spencer never ceases to cause discussion. Negatively. The latest penalties were decided yesterday in the Jerez GP. Let's start with the Long Lap Penalty inflicted on Morbidelli. Regardless of Franco's responsibility (it seemed like a simple race accident, with the Yamaha rider slipping inside and Alex Marquez, overtaken by Quartararo, who closed the trajectory to return to the best line) the FIM stewards have decided to punish him.

Their decision might be understandable, a lot less the penalty. Manoeuvres of this kind are in fact usually sanctioned with two Long Laps, while in this case only one was given. The reason is not known. After all, riders have long complained about the lack of uniformity of judgment by the Stewards, with similar episodes sanctioned differently and, in some cases, not even sanctioned.

However, what really bugs us is the reasoning with which the appeal Stewards rejected Yamaha's appeal. "Franco Morbidelli was observed as being ambitious in his attempt to overtake" is written in black and white. We didn't know that ambition was a crime or that intentions were prosecuted, but that's what that document says. Manoeuvres should be punished because they are contrary to the regulation, ambition is not contemplated.

Let's move on and look at the form. The screw-up made with Marc Marquez (the GP in which the penalty was to be served was specified, the Argentina GP, in which the Honda rider did not participate, with the result that that penalty is still sub judice) should have been a lesson. Indeed, in Morbidelli's document it is written that "the Long Lap Penalty shall be served by the rider at the next GP in which the rider participates". Correct.

It's a pity that the Stewards went into relapse mode a few hours earlier. Syarifuddin Azman was punished in Q1 of Moto3 for riding slowly and obstructing other riders. A Long Lap Penalty and starting from the back of the grid was the punishment. When? “In the Moto3 race of the Spanish Grand Prix”. Any other comment is utterly pointless.


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