It’s clear that by now an incident on the opening lap is a constant factor in MotoGP, and it's easy to see why: with the lowering devices, clutch assistance and the fact that qualifying and starts have become so important for the result, no one is holding back.
This year Marc Marquez started things off by torpedoing his opponents at Portimao and was massacred. Marini himself was the protagonist of an error that cost Bastianini an injury, but without suffering any regulatory consequences.
This time it didn’t go so well for him: irresponsible riding and a Long Lap Penalty which he will serve when he returns after his collarbone operation.
At this point we must ask ourselves why the FIM, which in any case is responsible not only for the application of the rules, but also for their evolution, doesn’t intervene by modifying the starting procedure. Without arriving at a rolling start, we should realize that the current MotoGP bikes allow almost perfect starts and therefore the line-up made up of rows of three bikes separated by a distance of 9 meters is not sufficient to make the group spread out before the first corner.
It is pointless to talk about irresponsible riding: as Davide Tardozzi recalled in our LIVE on Friday evening, Ducati realized that a good start, in the perspective of an entire race, is worth from 2 to 5 seconds, because one subsequently avoids having to make too many overtakes. The reason therefore for the repeated incidents is the excessive importance of getting away well at the start – crucial in the Sprints – instead of 'irresponsible riding’.
This time too it went relatively smoothly, we’re obviously sorry for Luca Marini who got hurt, but instead of penalizing wouldn't it be better to address the problem? Just asking for a friend…